Pilot Mountain Grindstone and Ledge Spring Loop Trail

HARD 165 reviews
#2 of 12 trails in

Pilot Mountain Grindstone and Ledge Spring Loop Trail is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pinnacle, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.1 miles
1,397 feet

dogs on leash


nature trips

trail running


bird watching



wild flowers


A moderately sloped trail that hikes through the woods to the summit. The trail will start across the road from the park office near the entrance.

5 days ago

Not bad. I saw one person the entire time. However, the weather wouldn't encourage many people to hit the trails (rain, cold, fog). The trail is broad and well maintained. Muddy at the bottom, but everywhere else was fine. The trail marking could be a bit better. Just be aware that Ledge Spring and Grindstone are the same trail at one point, though not every tree is marked with both colors (Grindstone- blue, Ledge Spring- yellow). I did some rappelling at a few spots while I was there- tons of fun and the bolts are secure. I had plans to stay overnight, but they have dedicated spots for car camping that have to be reserved. Right now the park closes at 6:00 pm, but starting in March it will close at 8:00 pm. Over all this was a very enjoyable hike.

24 days ago

Nice trail...fairly easy climb of just over 6 miles if you loop around the base of the main outcrop. We went on Monday and encountered less than a dozen folks on the trail. Of course, it is January!

1 month ago

This is a nice trail with some decent views. It’s good for a day hike if you live nearby. Lots of people, though and not enough parking for the amount of people. Trails are well marked- you definitely won’t get lost.

2 months ago

this was a great all day hike with family!

5 months ago

I ran this trail earlier today. It's pretty strenuous but not too bad. The most difficult part is near the summit where for about 2/10s of a mile you are on uneven terrain and/or wooden cross tie stairs. You are rewarded for your effort with stunning views of the valley below.

6 months ago

Definitely some sweat but didn’t think it was hard if you’re moderately in shape

7 months ago

Two of the best trails in the park. Great views and challenging to some degree. Rewarding hike! Those steps are a bit of a workout!

7 months ago

7 months ago

HARD but really great! Lots of interesting things to explore. There were tons of ladybugs in the cracks of the rocks at the very top, it was really something special to see. We went in November, but it wasn't too cold for hiking during the day. Would definitely recommend.

7 months ago

Amazing few from the summit. Trail is clearly marked the whole way through. You will definitely enjoy the elevation causing you to earn the joy of trekking this mountain. Beautiful panoramic views when you reach the top.

8 months ago

Pedestrian rocky pathway with hellacious vertical. A couple of stretches really worked the hammies and glutes on the way up. Not much to see other than trees on the way up; with all of the car traffic I would probably find solace elsewhere if I were a deer.

9 months ago

Ledge spring up is tough with lots of rock steps but recommend this if your knees give you trouble. Grindstone has some steps too but nothing like Ledge spring trail
Lots of people drive up and just do the hike around the pinnacle or even just walk to the overlook point.
A bit loud and crazy so 3 stars. Too many people and non-hiking people due to the road up

9 months ago

Excellent Trails. Took grindstone up from camp to Ledge Spring.

9 months ago

Enjoyable open woods hike...pretty rolling slopes inside of the wide spread tree canopy. Very unique pay off at the top. Do all the little spurs at the top, and def go down the back way

9 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike for the most part. I hiked the Grindstone Trail all the way up, checked out Little Pinnacle, circled Big Pinnacle on Jomeokee Trail, then returned down the mountain on the outer Ledge Spring side, rejoining the Grindstone Trail for the last couple of miles. I did find the last mile of Grindstone (on the way up) to be challenging, it being a pretty steep and prolonged ascent followed by dozens of steps, however I am glad I took this side up as I later found the outer Ledge Spring Trail to be mostly steep/high stone steps which would have probably a tougher climb up. There are plenty of great views around the top and especially along the Jomeokee trail. I felt like I was in some sacred temple space or something as I circled the Big Pinnacle, with its amazing cliffs, caves, and unique formations. The outer Ledge Spring trail was somewhat tough on the knees on the way down as the stone steps wind down around cliffs perfect for climbing, then it takes a steady and steep uphill route for the last quarter or half a mile to meet back up with the Grindstone Trail and loop around towards the summit. The trails were pretty wet from steady trickling streams and muddy in several areas. I did see a couple of climbers on the way down which was neat. You can hear the traffic hum from Highway 52 most of the way up as the park is not far from the highway. All in all not a bad hike.

10 months ago

Great trail if you're looking for a up hill hike! Good for trail running

10 months ago

I love this trail! If you are in good shape, you may enjoy this as a trail run - plenty of variety and rolling ups/downs - with the last part the steepest (think stairs). Beautiful scenery, from wooded forest to views appearing near the top. Out and back trail, not loop. Wear grippy shoes - loose rock and dirt abound. Such a gorgeous view at the top, you’ll have earned it! Bathrooms and water at top of trail is a plus. If you want to hike up but don’t like going downhill, take two cars and leave one up top.

11 months ago

Went yesterday (a friday) and ran into only one person on the grindstone trail before the Ledge Spring Trail (closer to the parking lot at the top). Definitely some effort required but not very strenuous over all, probably like a 3.5/5 on strenuousity (?). Definitely worth the hike vs. driving, and I would recommend doing the Jomeokee Trail around the Big Knob. It was extremely windy yesterday at the top which led to chilliness and hair in my face. Also I would lable this as out-and-back as well. You could take the Mountain Trail and add 4.5 miles and do the Ledge Spring Trail to add 2.5? 2.8? to make it almost completely new trails on the way back, but that'd be a hefty hike for sure. Overall a fantastic hike that I'd easily recommend.

11 months ago

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Great Trail. Be in good shape for this one.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Just completed this today. Great hike, great views at top. I would call this an out and back and not a loop because the path down is same as up. It’s listed as a loop.

Really enjoyed the hike.... it’s worth the trip. I drove just over an hour. I hike Crowders Mtn. and Hanging Rock Trails regularly and I’m putting this in the rotation. A couple of fairly steep sections but it’s not bad if you’re in decent shape.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Not as difficult as I thought it would be. The views are wonderful and the path is wide and clean.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hiked this trail on my 65th Birthday, nice challenge for an old man. Not really too difficult if you're in reasonable shape. Really nice views at the top and along the way. Easy to get to, about 15 miles N of Winston-Salem.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Really like this trail. Started at 830 am and no trail traffic. Moderate traffic at the summit but a beautiful clear day. This is a do again.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I would definitely go back again and again!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Worth the view

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Good hike. Enjoyed the Ledge Spring Trail going up to Big Pinnacle. Got to watch several rock climbers do their thing.

Monday, September 04, 2017

best to hike early when the parking lots are empty. As we left the parking lots were so full they had a Ranger directing traffic in and out one of the lots.

Beautiful hike! Definately would do again.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Second time on this trail and I would do it again. First time was a clear day and the views were spectacular. Second time it was misty and cloudy. I felt like I was in the land of the lost. It really added a mystique to the trail that you don't get on a clear day. The first 2 miles are fairly easy then you start climbing the ridge line, watching your step and get that heart pumping. I opted to take the ledge spring trail and there are tons of outcropping ledges to test your fear of heights. Kept my dog on a short leash in those areas. If you want to burn 800 calories, kill 3 hours and have a great hike, I highly recommend this trail.

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