Pilot Mountain sees busy season nearly two years after fire

PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. – It’s the first full blooming season since the November 2012 fire at Pilot Mountain State Park, yet visitation numbers are busy as ever.

Park Ranger Matt Windsor said spring is the traditional burning season for the park. Windsor remembers the controlled burn nearly two years ago that lost control, but says that visitors may not notice much of a difference.

“On just the mountain portion of the park, around 60 to 70 percent of the acreage burned, but that doesn’t mean consumed, so when you’re driving, you’ll see very little difference,” Windsor said.

Ron Caviness brought along his grandfather for their first Pilot Mountain hike. He said the few charred tree trunks did not interrupt his experience.

“It looks to me as if the fire mainly thinned out so you actually can get better views,” Caviness said.

On an average spring day, the park gets about 1,200 car loads of visitors from all over the country.

Windsor advises visitors to prepare for full parking lots during the season.