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Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

This author writes of places in the southern U.S. you may love to visit; having personal knowledge of which she writes!

Wow, is this one fantastic place or what? The beauty leaves you breathless.

Even if heights do not affect or wow you, this is a breathless beauty! Every season is equally beautiful from this mountain.

Known to many as Mount Pilot from the Andy Griffith show, honoring this great mountain that was not only a guide for planes but travelers as far back as a civilization, who used this odd deformity to gauge their whereabouts.

The Moravian I have written about in other historic North Carolina articles were also a part of this area’s past.

Rock Formation Guided Planes in.


Beautiful From Every View

Diving hawks

Diving hawks

Happy Little Clouds

What a very beautiful day I had to take pictures. Happy little clouds just everywhere! You almost feel like you can reach out and touch them on days like this! There is no picture to do it justice, you have to see it for yourself to realize the breathtaking beauty for yourself.

The walkways and paths are wide and pretty easy to walk. The wood fence protectors at each stop are solid and strong beside being very pretty.

There is some steepness in the last few yards to see straight over to the peak but there are points lower down you can also see it but nothing so beautiful as from the very top!

If and when you do visit, bring drinks or a picnic for there are tables at the top in private areas away from the rock and you can stay longer to really enjoy and make it worthwhile.

There is no fee of course and there is an information center on the road up to the overlook with nice, clean restrooms.

I took my mother here and she usually felt pretty bad with arthritis and it was hard to get her to try much but she fell in love with this mountaintop too and all the beauty. I am so glad I did bring her to give it a try. It will always be a wonderful memory tied to this beautiful place.

Breathless Beauty.


The Andy Griffith Show

I watched old Andy shows and heard of Mount Pilot so many times. It was a big city to them and so imagine my surprise when I visited Pilot Mountain the town and Mt Airy where Andy was actually born.

We visited Aunt Bee’s which I cannot give a recommendation to, I am sorry, but you may want to find where Andy still has occasion to have his favorite pork chop. (Written before Andy passed on.)

We southerners are proud of all our plain simple folk that has made it big in this dirty old world with their niceness and southern charm!

So taking in all these sites of ones from long ago has been a real adventure that I have enjoyed a few years now and it never ceases to thrill me.

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Pilot Mountain

Barney and Andy - Best Friends in Real Life


Andy and Barney's Mount Pilot

Nearly everyone remembers the “Andy Griffith Show” and the town of Mayberry. The show aired on CBS for 8 years beginning in 1960. It pictured an idyllic town set in rural North Carolina where, even if things went wrong, they always worked out. MtPilot was the slightly larger and more sophisticated town "just up the road a piece" from Mayberry.

Yes, there actually is a town called Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. We live near the small mountain called Pilot Mountain, just down the road from Mount Airy, the birthplace, and hometown of the actor Andy Griffith. By many accounts, Mount Airy was the source for the fictional town of Mayberry.

Thanks to "The Andy Griffith Show", many folks think of Pilot Mountain (Mt. Pilot) as a place synonymous with common sense, a down-home point of view that keeps us on the right track. That attitude is in keeping with the way folks around here have always felt about the mountain. It has been all this and certainly a landmark to many, well before Andy!

The Valley Below

In 1751, this mountain was mapped by Joshua Frye and Peter Jefferson (the father of Thomas Jefferson). Geologically, it is a quartzite monadnock, which began forming nearly a billion years ago (or so they say) when this area was merely a beach.

In 1751, this mountain was mapped by Joshua Frye and Peter Jefferson (the father of Thomas Jefferson). Geologically, it is a quartzite monadnock, which began forming nearly a billion years ago (or so they say) when this area was merely a beach.

Rock at Top is Pilot Mountain



This mountain has high bare rock walls, with a round top covered in plant life, going over 1400 feet higher than all around it. You can see just some of the breathtaking beauty from these pictures I have taken high in the sky; that changes with every season of course. I think I do prefer the fall for all the stark contrasts in colors and the magic of seeing a carpet of leaves on the ground matching the leaves in the trees. When the sun hits it there is a golden glow that you really must see to believe!

The birds love to fly and dive as our entertainment each and every time, no matter the season. You go and you never want to leave.

The road is uphill and winding and just a little frightening for me to meet another car although I am sure it has never been a problem I do have this problem looking down over embankments and mountains when I am driving; well or even if I am not!

The overlook is the only place you have the heights and curves so if you have those fears, there is still plenty to enjoy. I manage for it doesn't take ten minutes up or down and even I can manage that!

There are trails for hikers, horseback and canoe with miles to explore and drinking water and restrooms anywhere you go. The picnic grounds in the Yadkin River section of the park are about a half mile from the edge of the river.

Picnic areas also are located in an open area along Horne Creek which is adjacent with these park grounds and a fantastic new find all by itself, recapturing the past. There are fishing and hunting here also.

No one who comes south will ever forget it, and especially the true Carolinian's. We have something very special besides total honesty and charm. Come and enjoy the fun, the beauty, and southern hospitality!

Y'all come soon now, hear?

Great Placed to Visit

Forest Fire at Pilot Mountain

On Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 10:00 A.M. EST authorities started a controlled burn meant to burn brush in a 180-acre area. This burn was meant to burn until 4:00 PM, however, embers jumped the fire line and started a fire on the other side. As a result, the fire quickly grew out of control. Over 500 acres of forest on the mountain burned as authorities scrambled to build a new fire line to prevent the blaze from reaching the bottom of the mountain.

Pilot Mountain, NC




This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Jackie Lynnley


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on May 19, 2018:

I am sure it has Peggy. I am waiting until fall to check it out. My favorite time there. The trees and leaves make the focal point absolutely beautiful too.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 17, 2018:

What a gorgeous spot! That video was well worth watching. It is too bad about the forest fire. Hopefully new growth has started by now.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on July 17, 2015:

Thanks Thelma; it is time for my visit there which I always look forward to; just waiting for this heat to go down some! Fall is a great time too I think.

Thelma Raker Coffone from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on July 16, 2015:

I was in the town of Pilot Mountain (the locals call it simply "Pilot") over this past weekend. The little town is very quaint, especially the historic homes on Main Street. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on August 06, 2014:

Thanks Rebecca; it is most beautiful in the fall and I will get some photos then and put them up!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on August 06, 2014:

Thanks Rebecca; it is most beautiful in the fall and I will get some photos then and put them up!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 06, 2014:

I've heard of Mt.Pilot but never been. I know it's a real place of course. Beautiful photos!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on May 06, 2014:

Will do Jo; he will be back this weekend!

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on May 06, 2014:

Very Beautiful Jackie it's awesome seems heavenly could you imagine the sceneries in heaven nah!

You sure stamped those photos with your name it means no thieving ha ha ha. You need to email me and tell me how was your son's visit etc :)

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on March 28, 2014:

Delores I have many much better pictures and have been meaning to put them here. Fall is the absolute most beautiful time to go! Oh, it just overwhelms you with beauty. Hope you get another chance! Thank you.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 28, 2014:

Once we went for a visit to North Carolina and I am so sorry that we did not see Mount Pilot. It was in the plans but we never made it, just saw it in the distance. Not that we felt we missed anything at the time. The area is so pretty and the people are all so nice we enjoyed our visit. Your pictures are awesome!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on March 27, 2014:

Thank you Faith, you know I have just had this place on my mind. I have gorgeous fall pictures at this place, which I do not even see one here but I do not think I have ever been there in the spring and I need to do that!

This is the town supposedly big city Barney went to on the Andy show. Glad you found it!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on March 27, 2014:

Jackie, I would love to see it, with its breathtakingly beautiful views! Love your photos. I have never read this hub of yours, I think it was written prior to me following you.

Thank you for taking us along to Mount Pilot with you. I truly enjoyed the trip, especially being it was free and is free to go in person too!

Up and more, tweeting, pinning and sharing

Enjoy your day,

Faith Reaper

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on August 20, 2012:

Sorry to take so long to get here just been so busy on hubs not to forget anyone. Yes that is Andy's Mt. Pilot and he passed away this summer in case you didn't hear. I know the first one is a cardinal but the second one is bald with red bill and seeing it better with my eyes than this camera it looked so like buzzards I have seen (there was two of each bird) but I have never seen one this small but then they were there close to the same time, just the second one is so ugly, I have never seen an ugly cardinal. Thanks so much for having a look, it was a big puzzlement. I will keep my eye open for more to show up maybe get a better shot. Again, thanks!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 20, 2012:

Great pics, Jackie, and a wonderful synopsis on the area. I was wondering if that was the place referred to in the Andy Griffith Show. I think those are cardinals.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on April 05, 2012:

Thank you Poetic Fool, and the photos I have now is down on the other side; Yadkin River, but shot of the peak here too from a distance. Can you see the monster rock at the end? Most can't make it out that way, I thought is was really weird! Thanks for the visit.

Poetic Fool on April 05, 2012:

Jackie, I was surprised to stumble upon this hub with your wonderful photos. This is truly a beautiful spot as your lovely photos prove.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 14, 2011:

Thank you so much, photography is the bigger part of my life now, a real love and places like this make it so. I found out there is much more to this place than I ever knew and I am counting the days until summer! on December 14, 2011:

It is a beautiful place - was there a long time ago and it looks still fabulous!

Great skill in those pictures - thank you for sharing!


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 03, 2011:

Thank you Movie Master and so glad you liked my photos. I saw some really great ones of yours too so I know you have the same love for nature. I am very greedy with my pictures. lol

Movie Master from United Kingdom on December 03, 2011:

What a beautiful place and fabulous photos, I would love to visit, thank you for sharing, best wishes MM

Nell Rose from England on December 02, 2011:

Hi, what a beautiful place! I am so jealous of you Americans, can we swop countries please? ha ha! loved the photos, rated up! cheers nell

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 02, 2011:

You are welcome lyns. Happy Holidays to you too.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 02, 2011:

Thank you so much Prasetio, you have brought a smile to my waking up. I always love your visits! Thanks for all!

Lynn Jones from USA on December 01, 2011:

You are welcome, I see it is so beautiful, thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays. lyns

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on December 01, 2011:

Wow....this was fascinating hub with beautiful pictures. I got new information from you. I hope I can see this mount in person...amen. You have done a great job here. Rated up!


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 01, 2011:

Wow! I will say Alastar, in my research I found out about a neighboring place and places there and in between for so much fun and I could not tell about that! I cannot wait til spring to get there! Sounds like heaven to me. So glad you liked it. If I get my pictures on my own site I don't have to do that to them I can fix them to not be picked up. Believe me that was the worst of my lot, lol. I loved that little cloud picture, did you notice the little cloud in Happy Little Clouds? Looks to be playing, but maybe it is just me that sees these weird things. So glad you liked it!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 01, 2011:

Well thanks so much vocalcoach, what a wonderful compliment. Photography is my love and I am so glad when I can show it off. More to come I hope. Always thankful for the votes, too!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on December 01, 2011:

Oh Jackie! I love this hub containing the beautiful photos you have taken. And - being an Andy Griffth Show fan, it is so great to see Mount Pilot. What beauty! You are a wonderful photographer. Thanks for all the information about Mount Pilot. "Toodle Doo." I rated straight across the board and if there were more buttons to press I'd hit them to!


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 01, 2011:

Hi lyns, it is so totally beautiful and every time I return it is like the first time! Thanks for your visit!

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