Sherri and I
Just off of a really cold spell, then a snow day we tried to chase frozen waterfalls last weekend. Now it’s going to be 65 degrees today.
We went to a most underrated spot. I really never hear anything about Pilot Mountain. It was a great hike. We hiked every mile in this park.
We pulled into the visitors center around 10 am grabbed a map and set off across the road.
We started off at the bottom and followed the Mountain trail. It was 4.3 miles and started to wind around the mountain at a gradual incline. It was a beautiful path through rolling hills of hardwoods.
When we got to the backside of the mountain we turned on the Grindstone Trail. It was a great trail decorated by huge rocks. It goes back down the way we came except higher up the mountain.
We keep going and we come to a real rocky area on the way to the top. I saw what I thought was a cat in the bushes and some people in the rock looking at it in the bushes. I know now how dumb that sounds thinking there is a cat on top of the mountain. Turns out to be a big red fox and he ran across the path just in front of us and up into the rocks. Sherri said that was our first look at any wildlife since we’ve been hiking.
I thought we were coming up to the observation area but we were quite a ways from that. We stopped at the edge to take pics and there were rock climbers below us and to the left.
It was such a beautiful day and the views were awesome. We headed back up the trail toward the observation area. There were rock climbers everywhere. This side is nothing but rock walls.
We continue up the trail and head to the observation area. We take the short walk up to the top and get some great views of pilot mountain. There were plenty of people around.
We go back towards the parking area and go to the right which becomes the Jomoekee Trail. This goes right below the observation area and then heads in a loop around Pilot Mountain. Pilot Mountain top is a protected nesting area that people have no access to. Luckily there is this loop that is just well worth the walk. Pilot mountain is mainly stone walls with beautiful views.
There are hawks or something flying around. They are just circling and circling. It was beautiful .
The trail goes back near the observation area but then cuts across and goes down the other side of it. The trail starts going down to the base of the rock wall where lots and lots of Rock Climbers have streaked out their area. It’s almost like we were encroaching in there territory. This turned out to be a difficult part of the trail. Partly because we were getting tired and partly because the trail was basically roots and rocks.
This part of the trail is called ledge spring and it goes quit always until we merge back into the Grindstone Trail. Turns out we picked the right direction because as we went down the trail we passed people coming up the trail. It was pretty steep and they were all red faced and breathing hard!
We followed this trail around till it meets the mountain trail again and we head back down to the parking area which is still a couple miles. About this time I’m getting pretty tired. The trail goes right through the campground (which I didn’t know was there). I’m ready for the visitors center! All total we did 11.3 miles on a beautiful January day.