Mill Shoals - Living Waters Ministry
3-20-16 The 3 waterfalls at Living Waters Ministry are on private property, but the kind folks here are nice enough to let the public enjoy the beauty. Please show your appreciation by not littering, keeping your dog on leash, and by not being obnoxious. The 2 waterfalls right behind the buildings are collectively known as Mill Shoals and are easy to get to. The one on the left in the above picture is on North Fork of the French Broad River and is also known as French Broad Falls. The one on the right is on Shoal Creek and as far as I know doesn't have a name. The 3rd waterfall - Bird Rock Falls (aka Cathedral Falls) - requires a fairly easy hike of about 1/4 mile to see.
Directions: From the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and NC215, drive south on NC215 for about 9.2 miles. Living Waters Ministry is on the right, but pass the buildings and parking lot, then try to pull off in the widest area against the guard rail on the right. This area used to be wider, but a guard rail was added in 2010 which took away a lot of the parking space. Make sure your vehicle is completely off the road! If you are coming from Brevard, take US64 west to the right turn for NC215 at Headwaters Outfitters and drive 7.6 miles to the guard rail on the left. If you are in the Cove Creek/Daniel Ridge area along FR475 near the fish hatchery, there's a short cut. Continue out FR475 passing the Daniel Ridge area and more primitive camp sites. The road is still gravel and can be very washboardy in places. I don't have a mileage, but come to where Indian Creek Rd turns to the right. Stay straight here and the road turns back to pavement and is now called Shoal Creek Rd (SR1327). Continue along this road until it dead ends into Clinic Rd. Turn right here and the road soon ends at NC215 across from Living Waters. Turn left on 215 and pull off at the guard rail on the right.
Once you safely park, head down the short trail on the other side of the guard rail to river level and turn back towards the buildings to see Mill Shoals. You'll need a really wide angle lens to get both waterfalls in the same photo and you may also have to wade out into the river if water levels are low enough. Both waterfalls are about 15' high. There's a trout farm north on 215 that gives this area a fishy small at times.
French Broad Falls
waterfall on Shoal Creek
The trail to Bird Rock Falls (aka Cathedral Falls) follows the river down from Mill Shoals and is easy to follow. There are several really nice cascades along the way so be sure to head down to the river every chance you get to take a look. The trail ends with a scramble down to the base of the waterfall, but before it does, you can get down to the bedrock above the waterfall. Bird Rock Falls is only about 15' high also, but it's the massive rock wall on the other side of the river that makes this a special place. Please be careful here if the bedrock is wet. It will be very slippery!
me at the top of Bird Rock Falls
Bird Rock Falls
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