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Mill Shoals / French Broad Falls / Cathedral Falls

Physical Address

7935 Parkway Rd,
Balsam Grove, NC 28708

Living Water Falls
Photos: Mill Shoals / French Broad Falls / Cathedral Falls

Photo Suggestions

Start with photographing Mill Shoals and if you have a wide angle lens, you can get both the Shoals and the French Broad Falls as well as the building in the same shot (as the above photo).
Consider shooting both falls individually.
  Follow the 1/4  trail down river photographing all the way.  (easy walk)
The next falls you will come to is Cathedral Falls (aka Bird Rock Falls)
What this falls lacks in height, it makes up for with a spectacular setting beneath towering cliffs that create a "cathedral" that amplifies the sound of fall water.

Driving Tips and Other Information

Use GPS or a mapping program to get to the site.
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.

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.
The trail to Cathedral Falls  (aka Bird Rock Falls) follows the river down from Mill Shoals (easy walk). 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. Be careful here if the bedrock is wet. It can be very slippery!

Information compiled by Bob Spalding

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Bob Spalding
(864) 430-0119
Copyrighted Spalding Services 2016