Located in Pilot Mountain State Park North Carolina, Pilot Creek Trail is an out and back that travels adjacent to Pilot Mountain. Pilot Creek Trailhead is on Boyd Nelson Road, but the trail is also accessible from the visitor’s center in the park itself. I hiked from the visitor’s center out to the trailhead and back. The trail is 3.3 miles one way.
This is a hike through the woods. No waterfalls or epic views. Wooded bliss is the reward. I was fortunate because the area received a lot of rain before I arrived, and the result was beautiful mushrooms, lichen, and bright green moss. The ferns were also magnificent. There was one small creek crossing, but I didn’t get my feet wet, and I doubt that the water ever gets high. Although the trail is listed as moderate, and the elevation changed a few times, I found it to be a relaxing half-day hike.
When I reached the end of the trail, I was surprised to find a port-o-john at the trailhead parking lot. The area was clean, and hawks circled overhead, probably looking for a meal. The return trip was soothing, and I left the trail having worked up an appetite for lunch with friends.
I don’t have a recommendation for which direction to hike this trail. Although I started at the visitor’s center, the trailhead on Boyd Nelson Road would be an excellent starting point.
This is my favorite type of hike. Nothing is more relaxing to me than a walk in the woods.
More hiking posts by N. R. Tucker.