Mills River, High Fall

Nothing not to like. The hole is 45 to 50 feet wide, fed by a fall that’s more than 12 feet in height. Water quality was excellent and standing on the entry ledge, I could almost see the bottom at seven to nine feet. Gorgeous to look at. It’s on a fairly well used trail, great woodland setting. Not much sky, but the pool is so large and surrounded by forest that’s awfully pretty. Close to classic, but lacks anything to jump from.

Rock on the South Fork Mills River is bedded at a low angle, pointed downstream. That probably accounts for the many tubs along the river, as rock makes a smooth ramp for the high water to push cobble out of the low end. The rock, when it does fracture breaks into tablets that make great sunning platforms facing upstream to the fall. Even though it doesn’t break easily, the rock has many edges and corners that make the water lively to the point that, if you poured a teacup over High Falls, it’d look like a torrent. It’s south facing, and a good thing, too. High Falls has such a dense canopy, that if it collected any less thermal energy, dipping would be uncomfortable during anything other than record heat.

It’s on a historically well used, if slightly overgrown, trail. The only tricky part is a wet ford at a huge hemlock tree. Angle slightly downstream to the right bank to find the trail, and continue a couple of hundred yards to the fall.

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