Pilot Mountain State Park, NC - Dec. 19, 2008

Pilot Mountain State Park, NC - Dec. 19, 2008

TRAVELING ALONG THE HIGHWAY TOWARDS THE PARK, WE COULD SEE OFF IN THE DISTANCE PILOT MOUNTAIN AS IT STOOD ALONE LIKE A BEACON GUIDING US. WE REACHED ONE OF THE SEVERAL PARKING LOTS FOR HORSE TRAILERS AND OTHER VEHICLES. HORSE CAMPING WAS NOT AVAILABLE IN THE PARK, BUT THERE WERE SEVERAL PRIVATE CAMPGROUNDS IN THE AREA.

THE TRAILS WERE CALLED THE SAURATOWN TRAILS WHICH IS A PROJECT OF THE SAURATOWN TRAILS ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHING  A TRAIL SYSTEM FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA. PARKING LOTS, EACH WITH VAULT TOILETS, CONNECT THE TRAILS. MAPS OF THE TRAILS WERE LOCATED IN THE PARKING LOTS.  ABOUT 35 MILES OF WELL KEPT SHADED TRAILS ARE OPEN TO ALL HORSEBACK RIDERS AND HIKERS MOST OF THE YEAR EXCEPT DURING HUNTING SEASON, NOVEMBER THRU DECEMBER, AND AFTER A HARD RAIN.

AS WE RODE ALONG IN THE CRISP AUTUMN AIR, BIRDS WERE SINGING AS THOUGH WELCOMING US THERE. THE FOREST FLOOR WAS FREE OF UNDERBRUSH EXCEPT FOR THE MANY YOUNG SAPLINGS GROWING IN THE SUNLIGHT BEAMING THROUGH THE TREES. DEER WERE PLENTIFUL.  A DEER WAS TAKING A NAP CLOSE TO THE TRAIL ,AND AS WE STARTLED HIM HE JUMPED UP AND OUR HORSES CAME TO AN ABRUPT STOP TO WATCH IT DISAPPEAR INTO THE TREES.  AUTUMN WAS IN THE AIR, AND THE TREES WERE JUST BEGINNING TO BURST INTO COLOR. IN A FEW WEEKS, THE FOREST WOULD BE A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR.

WE CROSSED SEVERAL STREAMS PROVIDING WATER FOR OUR HORSES. THESE TRAILS WERE MOSTLY EASY TO SLIGHTLY DIFFICULT IN THIS AREA OF ROLLING HILLS. THE TRAIL LED US BY THE YADKIN RIVER. HERE YOU COULD FORD THE RIVER AND RIDE ON THE ISLANDS FOR SEVERAL MILES. HEAVY RAINS CAN RAISE THE WATER LEVEL MAKING IT UNSAFE TO CROSS.

ON OUR WAY BACK TO OUR TRAILERS WE SAW IN THE DISTANCE PILOT MOUNTAIN WITH ITS KNOB AT THE VERY TOP. THIS WAS A GREAT FALL RIDE!

UNTIL LATER, WE HOPE YOU HAVE MANY “SAFE AND HAPPY TRAILS.”

BOBBIE AND LARRY

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