We couldn’t have chosen a more gorgeous day to do this. And the scenery — whoa — is breathtaking.
Pilot Mountain State Park, about a half hour north of Winston-Salem, is different from some of the other state park mountain areas I’ve been to, in that you drive to the top rather than hike to the top. Unless you want to hike to the top…which, at 2,400 feet, I did not. Amazingly, a group was cycling up! Presumably with legs of steel.
At the top there are a parking lot, restrooms and picnic tables. There are easily-accessible main overlook areas, and a number of wooded trails for hiking. Some of these trails lead to hidden overlooks with spectacular views.
After visiting the mountain, we drove to nearby Mount Airy, Andy Griffith’s hometown and the real-life inspiration for Mayberry. It’s a charming little town that makes the most of its famous heritage, with shops named after characters from “The Andy Griffith Show,” and plenty of souvenirs to be found. A 1950s black-and-white sheriff’s car even cruises the street, to the delight of visitors. We enjoyed lunch in one of several downtown cafes, and explored vintage book and clothing stores, gift shops, and a yummy bakery.
It was a lovely day spent outdoors with my family, enjoying our beautiful state.