South Mills River Trail

At A Glance

12 mi one-way

Steepness: Climbs Gently
Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Blaze Color: White
Trail Number: 133

This trail is located in the Mills River area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Mills River trails list page.

Description

This is a stream side trail along an old road bed for much of its length; pulls away from the river along one section around High Falls. Crosses the river using bridges (concrete and suspension bridges) and fords it many times as well. There are some very muddy, overgrown, and sandy sections, especially between the intersection of Cantrell Creek and Squirrel Gap trails. Heavy horse usage. Scenic, wide river as it drops out of the Pink Beds. There were once many dense, open groves of hemlock along stretches of this trail; these are mostly dead, and almost all of the large, old, stout hemlocks growing beside the river are dead and falling into it.

All Photos from the Trail

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Intersecting Trails

  • Wagon Road Gap
  • Buckhorn Gap
  • Bradley Creek
  • Mullinax
  • Squirrel Gap
  • Vineyard Gap
  • Cantrell Creek
  • Turkey Pen Gap
  • Poundingmill
  • Feedback

    Ratings

    Average Rating: 4.4 (rated 5 times)

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    Comments

    JC said: I highly recommend this trail for a daytrip or overnight! Easy hike with lots of beautiful sites. Runs along the river with great campsites all over.
    Sunday, June 9 2013 7:27pm
    gjm said: Just got back from 3 days on this trail, and I have to say, it is an extremely beautiful hike! We didn't experience any navigational difficulty, blazes are few and far between, luckily all the side trails are marked well. We turned back at the crossing just before the intersection of squirrel gap, the water was up quite a bit and there was no crossing with packs! Make sure you are aware of the water levels before attempting this trail, I can't wait to hit it again in the summer.
    Sunday, April 14 2013 10:10pm
    JLS said: had a similar experience as JLO. Set out to do an easy 3-day loop around South Mills & Squirrel Gap. First took a wrong turn which ended up being a shortcut over a ridge-top from just before the trail meets the Buckhorn Gap trail to just before it meets the Squirrel Gap Trail. Could not for the life of us figure out where the trail continues after the junction with Squirrel Gap (about 5 miles in), but there are 2 really nice campsites on the river there and 2 others within the first 5 miles. The part of the trail we were on WAS lovely - nice and wide in most places with an easy grade. No vistas but nice valley scenery. Looks like a lot of great places to swim in the summer. A nice hike if you come in with the right expectations, I guess. If I came back I'd just plan to spend one night at a riverside campsite.
    Sunday, October 21 2012 1:09pm
    JLO said: This would probably be a nice trail if there were blazes because then you could figure out where you were supposed to be going. There were plenty of extra trails not shown on the map, and we ended up taking the wrong turns and had to backtrack quite a ways several times when we hit dead ends on what looked like the right path. I am a very experienced hiker and map reader and have never had problems like this before. It got very frustrating backpacking with a child. The campsites that we found were really nice though, at least we had a positive experience with that. We ran into two other groups that had their maps out also that were having the same problem trying to find the trail as we were. After three days of trying to figure out where we were supposed to be going, we gave up and hiked back to our car. On a side note, make sure you bring shoes that can get wet, we ended up switching between our boots and sandals quite often with the fords which became very time consuming.
    Sunday, October 9 2011 11:28pm
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