Pilot Mountain State Park
This was my first visit on Sunday. I love this hike!!! We were not allowed to drive up the mountain (as it was crowded) but they have a shuttle bus that takes you to the top and back down for 5.00 each. The views are amazing and there are plenty of hiking trails at the top. One of my favorite hikes! Amazing! (Side note: we expected the trees to be a bit closer to peak for the colors, so I imagine that next week it will be even more beautiful!)
Visited 10-29 and it was breathtakingly beautiful. As long as you are aware ahead of time of the shuttle system (it's a bummer, but it is what it is) you can prepare accordingly. Talk to the person at the desk in the visitor center for trail info- they are very knowledgeable. The fall colors were at their best this day, 100% loved it and recommend. The 0.8 mile loop around the knob is gorgeous and only took me about 13 minutes (I did this quick loop solo). The other trails were also totally enjoyable- scenic the whole way, especially this time of year.
Very nice spot to spend a day. Bus ride takes you to the top, to the overlook. 5$ ride (2 miles) is worth it if you are with small kids or old people. Or else you can take trails to reach the top. Views from overlook points are stunning. Carry the binoculars if you into birding, lots of opportunities to spot raptors and other birds. Visitor center has clean restrooms and even at the top restrooms and water refill points are available. We did not visit the river section of the park but will visit next time. Mountain section is definitely worth the visit. No food available at the visitor center or at the top. I did not spot any vending machines either. Carry whatever you need with you.
We came before sunset and most of the crowd were gone. We were able to drive to the top with no difficulty finding a parking spot. A short hike going up to the viewing point. Awesome view on both sides. We did not hike the trail to the top due to our limited time. There is a rest room near the parking lot. They also has gift shop in the visitor center. The staff are friendly and helpful. There was no shuttle service when we came. Its a weekend. Some people walked to the top from the visitors parking lot. I guess we were lucky they allowed us to drive to the top.
Always a nice experience here. No matter how many times you go. Easy walk from parking lot to overlooks, the Little Pinnacle Overlook, and even the walk around the knob. Even easy enough for my little kids. There aren't too many trash cans though. The new visitors center looked awesome from the outside, and has a nice view of the mountain from its parking lot (in the morning/noon when the sun isn't right over the mountain). Well worth a visit for any and everybody.