Last weekend, I went hiking at one of my favorite places in North Carolina, Pilot Mountain State Park, with my daughter, and my dad who was visiting from Delaware.
Pilot Mountain, 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 can drive to the top rather than hike to the top.
At the top there are restrooms, picnic tables and a parking lot. There are easily-accessible main overlook areas, and a number of wooded trails for hiking.
If you’re going on a weekend in the fall and want to park at the top, it’s recommended to arrive early to avoid having to wait in line for a parking spot. We got there on Sunday at 10:50 a.m. and fortunately got one of the last available spots before it started backing up.
We hiked the .8 mile Jomeokee Trail that goes up to and then circles the pinnacle of Pilot Mountain (elev. 2,421 feet) — giving us a spectacular view from all sides!
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After our hike and a picnic lunch, 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. I knew dad would love it.
When we got there though, we were in for a surprise. There was a huge event going on, the Autumn Leaves Festival. Tents with booths lined both sides of the main street and side streets, with a vast array of crafters, food and music. Thousands of people packed the streets. So it wasn’t quite the sleepy little town experience I was expecting, but we enjoyed it. While we were there, we also visited the Andy Griffith Museum.
According to my Fibit, I walked over four miles on Sunday…and this was after doing 12 miles on my bike that morning. So I was pretty worn out after all that, but I had such a wonderful time and it was so gorgeous that I loved every minute of it. What a perfect way to spend a fall day!
©Michelle Rogers, Inc.
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