Hiking North Carolina
by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
There are many different trails to choose from for all different skill levels. The shorter trails are usually crowded on weekends, but they do offer some nice views. Jomeokee Trail is probably the most popular and is a nice trail that circles the pinnacle and the views are excellent. There are three longer and more challenging trails, the Grindstone, Ledge Spring and Mountain Trail. The Grindstone Trail travels between the campground and the summit and is a fairly steep climb up. Ledge Spring trail has some sections that are mildly strenuous, but overall not too bad and there are some great views. The Mountain Trail can be accessed from the Ledge Spring Trail or from Surry Line Road in Pinnacle. It is almost all up hill from Surry Line Road to the summit parking area and can be very strenuous in areas, but you can also find a lot of solitude as there are very few hikers on this trail. Keep in mind that the maps show it as 2.5 miles (one way), but that does not include the portion of the Ledge Spring Trail that connects it to the summit parking area. Even though it can be strenuous in some area, anyone in good shape should have few problems with the Mountain Trail. There is also the Grassy Ridge Trail that can also be accessed from Surry Line Road the place where you can access the Mountain Trail, but it is only 1.5 miles and much easier. It ends at the visitor center near the park entrance.
Great spot for groups with mixed skills and motivations. We visited the park over thanksgiving weekend so the shorter loop trails around the pinnacle were a bit crowded. However, once we got on the longer and more challenging Ledge Spring trail we had the expansive views and fresh fall colors mostly to ourselves. This is also a great place to go climbing. You can set fixed ropes just off the parking lot (at the top) and then hike around and below to some really nice faces.
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