North Mills River Trail #353

1.6 mi - Moderate - This trail is most recommended for horses or for mountain bikers who want to cool off on a hot day. It crosses the North Mills River several times and there are no bridges. At most times of the year the water at the river crossings is less than 2 feet deep, though water levels rise drastically after a hard rain. The trail begins at a fairly open grassy area, which used to be maintained as a primitive camping area. The trail also ends in a grassy wildlife field, maintained by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, which is a nice spot to canter if you are horseback riding. From here you may return to the Trace Ridge Trailhead by taking Trace Ridge Trail (#354).

Approximate Elevation Change: 40 feet
Blaze: Blue

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Multiple-use Trail: Hiking, mountain bike and equestrian use trail. Motorized use prohibited. Mountain bikes are prohibited in wilderness areas.
Water: yes
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: Leaving the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn left (south) onto US 276. At the first traffic light, turn left (east) on NC 280. Proceed approximately 12.3 miles (past the intersection with NC 191 South) to a traffic light about 200 yards short of the intersection with NC 191 North. Here an official brown and white sign for “Nat’l Forest Recreation Area, N MILLS RIVER” directs you to your left. Turn left onto North Mills River Road, and then approximately 5 miles to Wash Creek Road (FS 5000), near the North Mills River Campground. Turn right onto FS 5000 and proceed 2 miles to the first left turn, a gravel road, marked Hendersonville Reservoir Road. Turn left, cross the low concrete bridge, and drive to the Trace Ridge Trailhead parking area at the gated end of the road. Via the gated gravel road marked Hendersonville Reservoir Road, descend approximately 0.6 miles to the trailhead (signed), on your left.


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking