The site is a Monadnock mountain rising
738 m (2,421 feet) above sea level, located in the upper Piedmont in Surry County. The summit and upper slopes
consist of steep rocky slopes, 60 m (197 feet) vertical cliffs and ledges, dominated by chestnut oak (Quercus montana), pitch pine (Pinus rigida), Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens), rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), laurel (Kalmia latifolia), fetterbush (Pieris floribunda), and blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum). The lower slopes are dominated by oak-hickory forests.

Ornithological Summary

The site is a key corridor for migrating raptors (5,000-13,700). Counts of migrating raptors began in 1973 and have occurred annually since 1991. Broad-wings are the most abundant, followed by Sharp-shinned, Cooper's Hawk, Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk and Kestrel.

Conservation Issues

Residential and commercial development, air pollution, water pollution, soil erosion and degradation,
natural and introduced pests.

Air quality concerns become evident here on hazy summer days when visibility is diminished, especially to the south toward the urban areas of Winston- Salem and Greensboro. Surveys of landbirds during breeding season, migration periods, and winter are needed.


The site is owned and protected by the State of North Carolina as Pilot Mountain State Park


Summit and upper slopes of Pilot Mountain are thin soiled, steep rocky slopes, cliffs/ledges, 200+ vertical. Lower slopes of colluvial materials with oak/hickory forests. The river section has mixed forest and oak/hickory forest with typical piedmont species and Yadkin River bottomland species in the floodplain area. Elevation ranges from 2421 on the mountain to 770 on the Yadkin River. Upper slopes of mountain are undisturbed, lower slopes and river section is second growth vegetation. (30+ years to 150 years).

Land Use

Wildlife conservation, other conservation, recreation and tourism.

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