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Mill Shoals/Bird Rock Falls – Living Waters Ministry, NC

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
0.8 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
45 minutes with 15 minutes of breaks
80 ft
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Park on the long shoulder of NC 215. 35.22267, -82.86050

By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins (Contact Zach)

A short, scenic stretch of the North Fork French Broad River along NC 215 is home to Mill Shoals and Bird Rock Falls. The land is owned by the Living Waters Ministry, but thankfully they allow public access to see these majestic waterfalls. Mill Shoals, also known as French Broad Falls, is a twin waterfall at the confluence of Shoal Creek and the North Fork French Broad River. Both falls drop approximately 15 feet over a ledge, with Shoal Creek cascading below an old red house. A maintained trail follows the river downstream, passing by two small waterfalls in succession before ending at Bird Rock Falls. Although Bird Rock Falls is listed as a modest 20 feet, the setting below a towering cliff is spectacular.

Parking – You might see visitors parking at the main lot for Living Waters Ministry, but for waterfall visitors it is encouraged to park on the long shoulder of NC 215. The parking lot at the buildings is reserved for guests.

  • Mile 0.5 – Pass by the top of Bird Rock Falls. You can walk onto the bedrock here to admire the massive cliff towering above the waterfall.

  • Mile 0.55 – The trail ends at the base of Bird Rock Falls. Although the waterfall is only 20 feet high, the scene is impressive. The powerful flow of the river has exposed all of the surrounding bedrock. A tall, imposing cliff towers above the river right side of the falls. This is a great waterfall to visit any time of year, with any level of water.

  • Mile 0.8 – Return to the highway. You can walk all the way back to the entrance road beside Mill Shoals, or use one of the shortcuts you’ll come across directly up the bank.

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Mid January
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