Looking for things to do in Pilot Mountain, NC? Whether you are planning a weekend away or just a day trip, we have found a variety of fun activities for you!
But first, I found some interesting facts about Pilot Mountain that I wanted to share with you. Rising 2,421 feet above sea level, the unusual quartzite monadnock, known as Pilot Mountain, is visible for miles around.
In the early days, Pilot Mountain was used by the indigenous people to find their way around that part of North Carolina. Early settlers found the landmark equally helpful. Today Pilot Mountain offers visitors opportunities to enjoy the beauties of nature along with some exercise on the slopes and valleys of this most distinctive mountain.
The mountain is in the Pilot Mountain State Park. It is also part of the American Viticultural Area, which is home to more than 50 vineyards. There you go! Here are already 50 things to do in Pilot Mountain, haha. Just kidding!
Things To Do in Pilot Mountain NC
If you’re wondering what to do in Pilot Mountain (this weekend, or even during the week), you’ve probably already made up your mind to take a trip to the lovely Yadkin Valley. Here are some of the cool things you can do there.
Get a View from the Top of Pilot Mountain
Native Americans called the 1,400-foot peak Jomeoke, meaning Great Guide. This is because the Big Pinnacle can be seen for miles around and from any direction. The quartzite monadnock later served as a navigational tool for early European settlers. There are several hiking trails up the slopes of the mountain so you can choose one to suit your level of fitness.
You can’t get all the way to the top of the peak but there is a path that circles it. From this vantage point, you can see the towns of Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy in the beautiful valley below. Look out for the red-tailed hawks and black vultures, prowling the skies.
What To Do Around North Carolina NC:
An Afternoon of Exhilaration with Carolina Ziplines
Get a bird’s eye view of the forested slopes from above in an afternoon spent ziplining. Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tours has eleven zip lines, that vary in height and length. They’re ready to take you on an exhilarating ride through the treetops. The adventure takes between one and a half and two hours.
Take the whole family. Children over three can do the tour. All safety equipment including harnesses, gloves, and helmets are provided. Carolina Ziplines do customized tours and regular courses. There is also a Twilight Tour. So, if fancy floating through the calm night skies with a glowstick this one’s for you.
Wine Tasting at Jolo Winery and Vineyards
TripAdvisor has rated the Jolo Winery and Vineyards one of the top seven vineyards outside of California. Taste some of the best wines in the country at this boutique winery. If you’re looking for places to eat in Pilot Mountain NC, make sure to book a table at End Posts. The on-site restaurant serves tapas lunch every day from Thursday to Sunday. It’s delicious.
The winery enjoys stunning views of the surrounding mountainous landscapes. It has an outdoor patio so you can enjoy your favorite wine variant while soaking in the great view. Try your hand at Bocce Ball. It’s one of the world’s most popular lawn sports. The walking trails through the vineyard are also very popular.
Try the Yadkin Valley Surry Sonker Trail
There is nothing that showcases the heritage of a region as much as their food and if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the Surry Sonker Trail. It takes you on a mouthwatering trail where you get to taste the area’s heritage food.
Sonker is a deep-dish pie or cobbler. It is a combination of cooked fruit and sweetened dough that goes back to the 1800s. Sonker recipes were passed down from one generation to the next and, it’s said, that no two sonkers are exactly the same. The trail includes bakeries, vineyards, a pub, a brewery, and a confectioner.
Take the Family to the Pilot Mountain State Park
The Pilot Mountain State Park has all the facilities for a weekend of communing with nature, and if you’re looking for Pilot Mountain waterfalls, you’ll find them here. Hiking trails take visitors around the base of the mountain, along the Yadkin River, and up the pinnacle. Treat yourself to spectacular views of the Blue Mountains.
If you’re into more vigorous exercise you can try rock climbing or rappelling up the cliffs. Paddling up the river provides plenty of alone time with nature. You could also try some Pilot Mountain fishing.
There is a camping site in the park. So, why not stay overnight? The Park has a small parking lot, but this quickly fills up. When that happens, you can park your car at the visitors’ center and take a shuttle. The roundtrip costs $5. Children of ten and under can ride for free.
Cool Things to Do Near North Carolina:
Camp at Jessup’s Mill
20 minutes from Pilot Mountain, Jessup’s Mill is located on the Dan River. It offers some tranquil day time adventures. A variety of trails run through the forest land. They’re good for walking or running. The 30-minute tubing runs up the Upper Dan River is good fun and very popular.
The waters in the park are full of trout, smallmouth bass, and catfish. Locals allow visitors to access the river from their private lands but the angling is strictly catch and release.
The historic grist mill that stands on the banks of the river hosts a variety of events including workshops and music affairs. Camping is provided on the grass behind the mill. Above-ground platforms accommodate campers in the forest.
Tee-off at the Pilot Knob Park Country Club
Designed by course architect Gene Hamm, the Pilot Knob Country Club is minutes from the Pilot National State Park. Guests are welcome but you will have to phone to book your tee-off time. There is a driving range, a chipping range, and putting green to help you to hone your golfing skills.
Stop over at the new clubhouse. It has a fully equipped Pro Shop and a 19th hole grill. Take a dip in the pool or just relax on one of the outdoor decks and enjoy a long cool drink.
Take a Trip to Mount Airy
Mount Airy is just 14 miles from Pilot Mountain and if you’re in the area, it’s well worth the trip. The town dates back to the 1700s and is best known as the fictional town of Mayberry from the 1960s Andy Griffith’s Show. If you’re an Andy Griffith’s fan you’ll be bowled over by the museum that contains all kinds of memorabilia, the biggest collection in the world.
Mount Airy is also known as Granite City as it is home to the biggest open cast granite quarry in the world. One of the best ways to see it and many of the other landmarks around Mount Airy is to take a squad car tour. You’ll leave from Wally’s Service Station with sirens blaring.
Your local guide will tell you everything you need to know about the town. A carload costs $40. The tour takes around 30 minutes so you’ll have plenty of time to do a bit of shopping too.
Family Fun at Mayberry Shazzam
For a day of fun with the kids head down to the Mayberry Shazzam Family Entertainment Center. The center has a variety of go-karts for kids and adults. Two-seater go-carts ensure that the littlest children don’t miss out on the fun as they can share with mom or dad.
There is also a fully equipped kiddies park, games arcade, and volleyball court. Bring a picnic and enjoy the provided facilities or buy fun meals like corndogs and pizza at the concessions. Entrance is free but you’ll pay for the rides.
Pilot Mountain Day Trips
While we’ve made some suggestions for a Pilot Mountain Day trip, there’s nothing stopping you from combining these trips and making a weekend of it.
Explore Farm Life at Horne Creek Farm
Stop in at Horne Creek Farm and experience farm life of more than a century past. The old family home of 1900 still stands, as does the tobacco curing barn and a corn crib. This is a working farm so it is home to livestock and poultry aplenty. You’ll find a heritage apple orchard, with apple varieties long out of circulation.
The farm runs regular events and, if you’re lucky, you may get a chance to cut grass with a scythe or join a corn shucking event.
You can visit the farm between 9 am and 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free of charge.
Travel the Surry County Wine Trail
Spend some time following the Surry County Wine Trail. The trail map traces routes to more than twenty wineries, a distillery, and four breweries in the Yadkin Valley.
Tour the picturesque countryside and taste the best the valley has to offer. If you’re looking for places to eat in Pilot Mountain NC, you’ll find some really tasty food around the area.
Most of the participating vineyards have restaurants or offer tasty snacks. Each offers something just a little different including firepits, scenic views, live music, and, of course, award-winning wines.
Hire a Horse at Bregman’s Trail Riding and Stables
There can be no better way to explore the slopes of a mountain than on horseback. Enjoy the exhilaration of getting out into nature on the back of a well-trained horse. Bregman’s Trail Riding will take you on a guided tour of the area. Your guide comes from this part of the world, so he or she knows the countryside and you’ll get to see the best that the area has to offer.
The stables supply all safety equipment. you will be matched with a horse that corresponds to your size and stature. Don’t turn down the adventure even if you have never ridden a horse. Your guide will give you a lesson before you set off. The one-hour thirty-minute ride costs $80 per person.
Climb Pilot Mountain with Blue Ridge Mountain Guides
Ever been mountain climbing? What better way to make your way up Pilot Mountain? Blue Ridge Mountain Guides will happily take groups of people up the slopes from beginner to expert. The Pilot Mountain slopes offer excellent top rope, sport, and trad opportunities. Blue Ridge Guides know the area and they will provide guidance and training for any level of climber.
Enjoy The Art of Massage
Need some relaxation? You’ll find all you need at The Art of Massage situated in the Living Room Coffeehouse and Wine Bar. Book for an aromatherapy or massage session. Enjoy a deep muscle massage and then head for the farm-to-table restaurant and tuck into a hearty meal.
You can even book into one of the Wellness Center suites and enjoy a couple of days of massage and pampering.
Beroth Oil and Gas Memorabilia Museum
After a lifetime in the oil industry, Thornton Beroth decided to collect gasoline memorabilia and impressive neon signs. He’s proud of his collection so he invites the public to view it on appointment. His compilation includes old gas pumps and a vintage oil truck in pristine condition. Floor-to-ceiling shelves are packed with gasoline products from yesteryear.
Located in an old bank building, the sheer size of the collection makes for a very worthwhile visit.
Pilot Mountain Vineyards and Winery
No reservations are needed to visit the Pilot Mountain Vineyards and Winery. The owners welcome visitors between 12.30 and 5 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Visitors can enjoy live music every Sunday throughout the year.
You can bring a picnic basket or stock up with cheese, sausage, crackers with hummus, and guacamole. Sit out on the patio with a glass of wine and enjoy the stunning view of the vineyards against the Pilot Mountain backdrop.
If you’d like to stay the night, the vineyard boasts a luxurious suite for overnight stays. You’ll enjoy exclusive use of the swimming pool so bring along your swimsuit.
With so many things to do in Pilot Mountain NC this weekend, what are you waiting for? Start packing and head for the mountains. You won’t regret it. It’s an awesome place to visit and you will enjoy your time there.
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