Pilot Mountain State Park – North Carolina
Pilot Mountain, a National Natural Landmark, seems to rise out of nowhere in the rolling foothills near the Blue Ridge Mountains — reaching 1,400 above the valley floor. Modern travelers find it as useful for navigation as the Saura Indians did centuries ago, hence the “pilot” name. Even more unusual than its height relative to the neighboring landscape is the quartzite “knob” at the top of it, which looks like a little cupcake set atop the mountain with a forest for frosting.
Beyond ascending Pilot Mountain, you can rock climb, rappel, horseback ride, paddle the Yadkin River, and hike on everything from easy to strenuous trails. The park has 49 campsites for tents and trailers; some can accommodate RVs without hookups or a dump station. The south bank of the river offers primitive paddle-in campsites. Sites are open from March 15 to November 30. Each site has a tent pad, table, and fire pit with a grill. Drinking water and hot showers are available.