Pinnacle Trail

HARD 423 reviews

Pinnacle Trail is a 3.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kings Mountain, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
767 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

This one will make you feel the burn! This is the one of two peaks located in Crowders Mountain State Park.The trail offers many mountain laurels, birds and other wildlife. The last 1/3 of the hike is a steep climb with many rocks on the trail and requires climbing a short rock wall to get the best views of the countryside. Be sure and fill your water bottles at the Park Office and grab a map!

13 days ago

easy but rewarding; great views from the top of the Pinnacle

hiking
16 days ago

Felt like I couldn't say I captured Crowders at sunset unless I also got it at the Pinnacle Summit. Added some pretty good ones to the album. I think my amateur photography might be getting a little bit better.

hiking
18 days ago

First 3/4 of the trail a nice uphill climb that includes a small boulder field that is fun change of pace. Once you reach the split for Ridgeline trail the real work begins. The top of the trail offers some great views of the surrounds area. Even found a spot at the top to string up my hammock and take a short break before starting back. Would definitely do this one again. I went on Labor Day weekend and the place was packed.

hiking
22 days ago

Feels simple and lulls you into thinking anything more than an easy rating seems silly. Becomes more challenging quite quickly. Well shaded and well kept. Would suggest going towards late afternoon/early evening. At 6pm-7:30pm came across 15 or so others over the entire course of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is challenging and invigorating. The view up top is absolutely amazing. My favorite time to go is during the Fall peak season, it is visually stunning.

hiking
1 month ago

I didn’t find this too strenuous even in the heat - I’d mark this “moderate.” Good view at the top with a nice breeze.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout! A fit person should be able to reach the summit in 45 minutes. Many stretches are rocky and prohibit trail running. A good balance of terrain verity. Hiking poles come in handy.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, but strenuous for rookies like me. First strenuous trail since becoming active again at 69. Took about three hours for 4.3 miles with 30 minute plus rest at top. First 1.8 miles moderate to easy, but last .5 miles is rocky and steep. Worth the climb with great views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this last weekend, great trail starts off very easy but will become more challenging the closer you get to the top. All kinds of Terrain , but definitely worth the hike and the view at the top!

hiking
1 month ago

Very good , best to do early

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful view. It can get windy at the top but it’s refreshing after a long hike. I live pretty close to crowders so it’s great to drive up there and get in a good workout.

1 month ago

Not too long has a decent mix of terrain...the View at the Pinnacle is great.

hiking
2 months ago

We are not overly fit (not out of shape, just average 53yo)...found this challenging but doable. Just over four miles round trip in just under three hours with several rest stops on the way up and a leisurely lunch at the top. Great hike on very well maintained trails!

2 months ago

great

2 months ago

Fun and challenging terrain. fun obstacle course of rocks towards the beginning and then a challenging asscent. Amazing views of Charlotte. Connects to a less challenging forest trail that is still very scenic in its own way.

hiking
2 months ago

Very challenging towards the top but the view was worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Easier trail that I thought it would be by the difficulty rating, but the steps close to the top were challenging! Good experience overall! This would be a great trail to bring a friend to talk with since it’s not too crazy of a hike!

hiking
2 months ago

State park tracks are great for family outings, but walking with hundreds on a summer weekend doesn’t feel like ‘getting out there.’ As far as a trail, it is wide and walkable; the real exercise kicks in at the 1.5 mile area - steep but not strenuous for regular hikers. Overall, I like but probably won’t do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

It’s a deceiving little hike. It starts off so steady and easy but the incline steepens and becomes much tougher. Ignore the nannying warning sign and scramble to the top. The views are stunning as are the huge butterflies. Take a while, have a drink and some trail mix and then head back down.
For a fat 50 y/old it’s a good couple of hours but well worth it.

rock climbing
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Somewhat easy until you get near the top then it gets a bit strenuous. Great payoff.

hiking
4 months ago

Challenging and rewarding

trail running
4 months ago

Love this trail and extended it to ranger station so was almost 15 miles for out and back

4 months ago

nice easy/mod hike. when you get to the sign that says 'stop' make a left and keep going. Circle around to some amazing views, minor rock hopping and just keep going up to more views.

hiking
4 months ago

It’s challenging with a great reward

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome views and easy maintained trails.

hiking
5 months ago

great trail but decently strenuous towards the top. Beautiful view at the top! Well worth the hike.

hiking
5 months ago

this trail will give you a workout

trail running
5 months ago

I blend trail running and trekking on the various Crowders trails. This one is a bit more “rooty” and rocky than say Tower or Backside. When running Pinnacle I typically hit Ridgeline to get away from the crowds.

hiking
5 months ago

I was excited but nervous about taking on this trail. I am pretty out of shape (aerobically speaking) and have patellas (kneecaps) that are prone to subluxation/dislocation, so reading about the steepness and rocky nature of the trail concerned me.
I started out from the Visitor Center around 9:30 on a weekday, there were others coming and going but sparse enough to have my own time and space on the trail. I was very slow and deliberate on the way up for the reasons mentioned above. The entire trail goes through woods, which helps with the sun. The trail is a steady but very gradual incline at the beginning. About halfway up the trail goes through a few areas of large rocks and boulders, requiring a little scrambling but nothing too bad. Towards the last half mile the trail starts a steep ascent which is quite demanding. Being out of shape I stopped to take several breaks, but was able to make it up without too much trouble. There’s only one bench up in this area but there are several large rocks that make for natural resting places. The trail technically ends before the Pinnacle summit, at a rock wall and a sign that warns that others have been seriously injured and killed beyond this point. The rock wall is not too difficult to navigate, just take your time and look for proper footing.
At the top of the rock wall (a short stretch, not large at all) is the first main viewing area. This is a rather large space with lots of rock facings that overlook the landscape to the west of the park (towards the foothills). As I was snacking, half a dozen hawks were circling the area which was pretty neat. Many people seemed content with reaching this area and turned around here, however a trail continues past this viewing area, meandering around rocks and various outcroppings which provide dozens of little areas to snap photos and get views of other side of the mountain. The Charlotte skyline was barely visible with the naked eye on a partly cloudy day, and my phone’s camera was not able to capture it. Continuing along this trail for another tenth of a mile will get you to the actual summit of the Pinnacle area, designated by a pole. There are lots of areas to explore near the top and I really enjoyed this part, though it required a lot of scrambling around boulders. The wind is pretty significant near the top as well but I didn’t find it to be dangerous with proper stance and footing.
After I had my fill of the top, I returned down the summit on the original trail. I did opt to take the Turnback Trail halfway down just for exploration and a change of scenery, and was glad I did because I was starting to feel the effects of the climb and the downhill muscle use and this trail avoided crossing rock beds and was fairly easy. This trail returns to the Visitor Center.
I hiked the area on a warm March day, which I think is a superb time to do so as the weather is nice but the trees have not filled out yet, so views are much better.
I am really glad I ended up attempting the hike, I found that with patience and careful attention to my footing my knees fared pretty well. Well worth it in my opinion!

hiking
6 months ago

This is a good trail, but I wouldn't call it "lightly trafficked." Not on a weekend, anyway.

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