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Between Two Small Towns

What Makes Surry County, North Carolina So Special to Me

By Missey FinleyPublished 5 years ago 8 min read
Pilot Mountain State Park in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina - Photography by Missey Finley

What makes Surry County so special to me, you ask? I can tell you that there are many reasons why this county is so special to me. For one, I grew up here and have lived in this area since I was born. I have seen many businesses come and go and seen improvements to Surry County as time marches on. Two special towns come to mind living in Surry County and those are Mount Airy and Pilot Mountain. Growing up, I have always loved the outdoors. I would roam and play in the woods, spending as much time as I could outdoors. Mount Airy and Pilot Mountain have beautiful outdoor parks. Although having outdoor parks is one special thing, but there are so many other things when living between these two towns.

Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

Greenway Trail in Mount Airy, North Carolina - Photography by Missey Finley

I am going to start off explaining why Pilot Mountain is so special to me. Let's take a time lapse back to when I was a small child. One of the main reasons why Pilot Mountain is so special to me is because of Pilot Mountain State Park or as many locals call it, Pilot Knob. When I was a kid, nothing made me happier than hearing that we were going to go hiking and have a picnic at Pilot Knob. Before we went, I would grab my red Snoopy canteen and fill it full of water and then I would be all set to go on an exciting adventure on the trail around Pilot Mountain. On the Jomeokee trail, going around the knob, I would run ahead of my parents. I would go off the trail and crawl through a small hole in a rock. Then I would climb up on the rocky ledge to a hole that was in the rock. I would stick my face near the hole and feel cool air rushing out of it. This was one of my favorite spots to go to as a kid on that trail. Some of my family members would tease me saying if you stick your ear up to the hole, you can hear voices. I would always try to see if I could hear voices, but heard nothing. When I was a teenager, I still went hiking and picnicking with my family at Pilot Mountain State Park. One hiking adventure stood out the most because it was the most craziest, unprepared and semi-dangerous trip on one of the trails that I ever did. My mom picked me up one weekend to go up on Pilot Mountain State Park. We decided to invite my two girl cousins along. We got to the park and my mom said, "Ok hiking expert, what trail are we doing?" I told them I wanted to try out a different trail, instead of the trail that went around the knob. I wanted to go on the trail that lead down to the Yadkin River. The oldest of my two cousins asked how long the trail was. I told them that I didn't know for sure, but I would like to check it out. My mom then explained that we would just walk a little bit of it and turn around. So, we started going down the trail on this hot and sunny day. As we were heading down the mountain, I kept telling them, to just go a little bit further, the river shouldn't be too far away. Although, I really didn't know for sure how much further this river was going to be down the mountain, my cousins joking around that I was going to kill them. As we were walking down the trail, I kept noticing these acorns hitting me from behind. I kept blaming my cousins, thinking it was them throwing acorns at me, but they kept saying it wasn't. I got hit again and I turned around to tell them to stop hitting me and as I was doing so, I saw that it wasn't them. I saw an acorn falling down from the tree and it hit me smack in the head. I felt like I saw it all happen in slow motion. My cousins started laughing, "SEE WE TOLD YOU SO!" So, we headed on down to the bottom of the mountain, near the highway, but there was no Yadkin River in sight. At this point, I didn't care if I saw a river or not. We all were so tired, that we almost decided to flag down a car to take us back up the mountain so we could leave. My mom was like "Oh no!" "You dragged us down this far, now you are going to pay the price." "We are going to walk it back up to the top." I honestly don't know how we made it back up to the top of the mountain, but we did. We had NO water or anything for the whole day. Although, there was a running creek, that we did stop and took a drink of water, but it was the only taste of water we got. Surprisingly, we didn't get sick from it. As we saw the end of the trail, I saw from the distance, a Coke machine and bathrooms. I gathered up the very little energy I had left in me and bolted to the water fountain. We got a drink from the machine and I funneled a can of Coke down in less than a minute because I was so thirsty. After we rested at the benches for a few minutes, my mom and two cousins gave me the vilest looks. They were like, "I will never go hiking with you again!" "You nearly killed us!" They spared my life that day, but it did teach me two lessons. Always know what trail you are going on and where the end is at. Also, take bottles of water and snacks with you on long hiking trails. As for dragging family and friends on hiking adventures with me, that didn't stop there. Other special things about Pilot Mountain is the town itself. The town of Pilot Mountain lies just at the foot of Pilot Mountain State Park. It is a small town that has a few places to eat and some nice local shops on Main street. This town hosts many events like Mount Airy does. I enjoy going to the Mayfest festival that happens in May. Also, I enjoy going to the cruise-ins that have car shows, food and music. After a childhood friend of mine got elected mayor of Pilot Mountain, I have seen many more fun events and improvements of this small town. I hear rumors of a Greenway trail that may happen. If so, this will be another special thing I like about Pilot Mountain. So, there you have it! These are all the things that I think are special to me about Pilot Mountain. If you never visited this town, then you must do so. The fun events in the town and Pilot Mountain State Park are wonderful and fun experiences to take in if you come to this town.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

Wildflowers Alongside Highway 52 in Mount Airy, North Carolina - Photography by Missey Finley

Mount Airy is a very special place to me because this is where I grew up and where I actually live. Mount Airy is known as a small tourist town because of Andy Griffith from The Andy Griffith Show that grew up here. Every weekend the Main street here is full of tourist buses and people walking the sidewalks to go into local shops here in town. Downtown Main street is where most of the fun events and festivals that take place here. Our biggest festival that I always like going to would be the Autumn Leaves Festival that takes place once a year on the second weekend of October. There are many vendors that set up, but I mostly go for the food. I enjoy eating the ground steak sandwiches, crazy fries and funnel cakes there. One recent new favorite of mine is the Lexington BBQ food truck vendor that sells Lexington BBQ sandwiches. When there are no events going on downtown, my boyfriend and I love walking up and down Main St. to exercise and look at all the decorated windows in each shop. Sometimes we run into familiar faces as well. In this town, everyone knows just about everybody. If you have lived here all your life and you don't know one particular person, then I am sure they have mutual friends that you do know. Another thing that makes Mount Airy so special to me is the Greenway trail. This Greenway trail is a very long trail that starts at Riverside Park and ends at Veteran's Park across town. My boyfriend and I love exercising, enjoying viewing wildlife and the scenery on this trail. Last, but not least, the one other special thing about Mount Airy is the local restaurants here. If you enjoy good food, then you will like some of the local restaurants that are here in town. My favorite restaurant is Coaches Bar and Grill. This place has good customer service and really good food. I enjoy the Ribeye steak, BBQ ribs, and buttery mashed potatoes that they have there. Another good place to eat at is the China Buffet on highway 601. I think they have the best Chinese food around. I am not going to lie, though. This place has its good days and bad days. If you like fast food, then Mount Airy has an over abundance of fast food places you can choose from. Most fast food places are on highway 601, but you can find other fast food places at other locations in town. If you like great local food, fun events and The Andy Griffith Show then you will love visiting Mount Airy or better known as Mayberry.

In conclusion, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy are two very special places that you must visit if you haven't done so. Living between these two towns, I have made some wonderful memories and experienced many special things that both towns have to offer. Life in a big city can be exciting with many fun things to do, but if you give small towns a chance then they can be just as fun and sometimes even more memorable than big cities. Below are some websites that I have found that gives a good idea of what all there is to do in both of these towns.


About the Creator

Missey Finley

My name is Missey and I live in North Carolina. I am a graphic designer that loves creating art. My hobbies as of now include working on my online shops and traveling when I can. I love the outdoors, nature and animals.

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