PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. — Spring has given the charred forest of Pilot Mountain State Park new life. New growth is springing up after flames from a controlled burn jumped a fire line last November and scorched around 800 acres.
“There is just a couple of areas of the park where the trees are torched out,” said Park Ranger Josh Hemric.
Hemric says the fire cleared out the forest floor, and with new growth could bring new discoveries.
“Over the next several growing season, we are probably going to find species we didn’t even know we had and maybe a native plant species,” Hemric explained.
The pinnacle overlook recently reopened after being closed, due to damage the fire caused to the wood railing.
“That’s were people want to go. That’s the highest point you can get to in the park and you are looking right at the big pinnacle,” he said.
Hemric says trail renovations are underway, and a dozer line carved out to fight the November fire could be used for possible bike trails in the future.
The park is one of the most visited in the state with an average annual attendance of 450,000. Wait times to get into the park, on crowded weekends with clear weather, are posted on the park website.