Pilot Knob is a trail that I hike at least once a year. The view is absolutely stunning and definitely a must in the fall! If you are a history buff, it is believed that Daniel Boone stood on this rock and looked out at our beautiful Bluegrass scenery here in Powell County. I will warn you, though...this trail is hard. Not because of crazy knee killer steps or dangerous rock climbing. But simply because the entire trail to the lookout is uphill. When I ask my family if they want to go with me, no matter the season or weather, the answer is always a very firm...NO WAY! So this time I decided to bring Ranger, the puppy dog. Seeing that he crashed without moving for 4 hours after we got home, I'm pretty sure the next time I go, he will run the other way and bark a big NO WAY, too.
If you are not familiar with the location, take exit 16 off the Mountain Parkway and follow KY 15 north, towards Winchester, for 2.7 miles. Turn right on Brush Creek Road and travel 1.5 miles to the end of the road which turns into a gravel parking lot.
Once you cross the creek, go thru the fence row/gate pictured above. You will soon come to an area that has a map and a sign-in box which should have brochures that not only tell about Daniel Boone being here but also the history behind the short Millstone Quarry Trail that is there also.
As you start the climb you will notice that the trail is very well maintained and the signage is great. But I did see rebar sticking up in a few places. Usually where there used to be a step. So be careful not to trip!
You will notice about half way up, the trail turns from dirt to little pebbles. The very first time I hiked this, years ago, I wondered why in the world people hauled gravel up here?? Well, as I kept going I noticed that the huge boulders were not the normal solid rock boulders. When you look closer, you will see that they are made up of these small pebbles. Also known as Pennsylvania sandstone. From what I read, this is a treat for geology buffs.
By now, though, I am huffing and puffing and taking quite a few breaks looking at the wildflowers and today, watching the two deer Ranger and I scared up.
As I am rounding a curve in the trail and obviously gaining altitude, the wind picks up and I know that I am getting close to an amazing view. You can make a stop at an overlook that is just a small distance from the main spot only to give you a small taste of what you are about to see. Or you can walk right on by and get to the main attraction. Get ready for a view not everyone gets to see!
The picture above was supposed a 360 panoramic view, but it is only allowing me to show it as a regular pano pic. Bummer!
Well, you know what this means? You just have to get out and take this hike so you can see exactly why I love this trail and this view! I always take a snack and water and sit right down and try to see as far as I can see...watch the birds fly right in front of me...take lots of pictures and just enjoy the peace and quiet. Trust me...you will be glad you went. The view it totally worth it.
So don't forget your camera and snacks and take this hike! The weather is awesome! And remember...
'Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.' - John Muir