Traversing Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

During our first visit to the Winston-Salem area in early December, we visited Pilot Mountain State Park. However, it was incredibly windy and cold, so Will and I took turns dashing up to the overlook while the other stayed in the warm truck with the girls. Thankfully, our second trip was on a much nicer day, and we were able to explore the park and show the area to Will’s sister and her partner who came to visit us.

When we arrived at the state park, we made our way straight up the mountain to the overlook parking area. While there are many trails around the base of the mountain that go to the overlook and pinnacle, we were not feeling quite that adventurous. We instead opted to take the just over 1 mile trail around the pinnacle of the mountain and visit the various overlooks as well.

The parking lot was absolutely packed, but we set out for the trail anyway. There were definitely quite a few people on the trail (more than we have seen on a lot of the trails we have been on), but it was not uncomfortable, and we were able to maintain decent distance from other hikers.

The views of both the mountain and surrounding vistas were breathtaking. For Little Bird who is obsessed with rocks, seeing the huge rocks making up the mountain was awe-inspiring. She did not know quite what to think. The rest of us were more drawn to the miles upon miles of landscape we could see from our elevated vantage point. Looking southeast, we could see the buildings of downtown Winston-Salem. Looking west, we could see the Smokey Mountains. It was so beautiful.

After making our way around the peak, we took a shorter, easier trail that Little Bird could walk herself. She was more than delighted to have rocks in one hand while holding her aunt’s hand in the other. Being away from family as we continue this adventure is by far the hardest part, but in many ways, it makes the times we are together so much sweeter. I am truly grateful that we have technology like video calls to stay in touch so that Bird does not hesitate to jump right in for a hug and an adventure when we are together.

Even though Will and I had been disappointed that we were not able to go on this hike on our first visit to the park, it was so much fun being able to enjoy the hike with family and make lots of fun memories together. The hike was only about a mile long, but it was moderate in difficulty and definitely worth the effort. The views were nothing short of incredible.

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