I was able to make a maiden voyage to Pilot Mountain State Park! I wasn't sure how much I would like a place with a road all the way to the top, but I gotta say it is cool!
The boy and me hiked the Grindstone Trail from near the base of the mountain. The first 2 miles were a casual, hilly stroll through the forest. The last mile, the views really come around and they are awesome! You can seemingly see forever.
Pilot Mountain stands just outside of the Blue Ridge Mountains, much taller than the surrounding piedmont. The views are incredible.
After hiking three miles, you arrive at the parking lot, and the trail to the big view. Below, you can see Hanging Rock State Park(the farthest mountains in the distance to the left)
For some context, here is a shot from the Moore's Wall Loop Trail in Hanging Rock State Park. You can see Pilot Mountain in the distance to the left.
For EVEN MORE context, here is a photo taken from Buffalo Mountain, well within the Blue Ridge Mountains/Plateau. You can see Pilot Mountain shooting up from even here!
The overlook at the top is a great place to have a snack before heading back down the mountain.
Thanks for looking!
And here is a drone shot taken just down the road from Pilot Mountain.