Mills River is a community that offers the best of mountain history and growing modernity, with a healthy dose of outdoor adventure thrown in for the mix. The history of the area dates back to the late 18th century, and yet, the town only chose to incorporate in 2003. The result is a unique mix of the classic and the up to date.
There are plenty of terms we could use to characterize this eclectic small town. Here are three quick but revealing words we could think of to describe Mills River, NC.
Mills River is Historical
Mills River doesn’t have a condensed, walkable town center that’s long since been declared an official historic district. In fact, the town’s only building on the National Register of Historic Places is a Methodist chapel located off the old turnpike. But what Mills River may lack in historic infrastructure it makes up for in community. Mills River is among the oldest communities in Henderson County, with its first landholder receiving a deed in 1787. It was founded as a thriving agricultural community, often called the “fertile crescent”. Today, nearly 235 years later, many of the town’s residents remain direct descendants of the original landowners. More than that, they continue to own and farm the same land as their forebearers. You could say that the community of Mills River has deep roots in the area.
Mills River is Adventurous
From dawn to dusk, Henderson County locals love visiting Mills River Park. The park extends behind city hall to the banks of Mills River. It has a 1.2-mile multi-use trail, dog park, playground, tennis courts, handicap accessible fishing pier, and canoe/kayak launch. But if you venture a few miles upriver, you can discover a variety of outdoor adventures within and surrounding the North Mills River Recreation Area. Located near the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, it’s a popular day use area for hikers, fishermen, and mountain bikers. The North Mills River Campground is open year round with about 32 level campsites and a picnic area.
According to our agent, Wes Hight, the area is also among his favorite fishing spots. He says, “North Mills River, a delayed harvest fishery located between Asheville and Brevard, is home to a variety of types of water that can challenge both the novice and experienced angler.”
Mills River is Growing
Mills River has been an incorporated town for just shy of 20 years. In that time, the area has seen a population growth of more than 25%. And no wonder! With the town’s immediate proximity to Asheville Regional Airport, easy access to Interstate 26, and variety of nearby outdoor opportunities, Mills River is becoming a destination in it’s own right. In 2014, Sierra Nevada Brewing opened their massive East Coast facility in Mills River. Following in 2015, Bold Rock Hard Cider ventured down from Virginia to open an additional location here. Dotted with breweries, cideries, restaurants, antique stores, music venues, and much more, the town is balancing long-time staples with plenty of new offerings. And with additional growth on the horizon, locals remain poised to see what Mills River has to offer next.
Make Your Home in Mills River, NC
The town of Mills River is located in western Henderson County near Etowah and Fletcher. With about 7,500 residents, Mills River is the second largest town in the county, as well as among the oldest communities in the area. Since incorporating in 2003 to have more control over development, the town has implemented a number of regulations to control how the area’s farmland and residential areas are divided and zoned.
Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Find your dream home in Mills River now!