Mills River Area

The Mills River area is the largest in the Pisgah Ranger District. Trails in this area tend to be less popular, more remote, and less traveled than their counterparts over the ridge in either Bent Creek or Davidson River. Two main watercourses flow through the area – the North and South Mills River, which join together near the town of Mills River further East. These rivers drain the south side of the Pisgah Ridge, which sports the highest elevations in the Mills River area (up to over 5000′ on Laurel Mountain). Much of the area is composed of the lower ridges between the Bent Creek and Davidson River areas, however.

The North Mills River Recreation Area – the only developed recreation area in Mills River – is a fairly popular day use area at the edge of the National Forest boundary. The area is is separated from Bent Creek by the Pisgah Ridge itself and the Blue Ridge Parkway, but a gravel road connects the two areas. It’s separated from the Davidson River drainage by Rich Mountain and Black Mountain, but another forest road connects the two areas. Funneltop Mountain, a landmark easily visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, sits right in the middle of the Mills River Trailhead area between the North and South Mills Rivers.