Within minutes of some of the country’s most popular and picturesque state and national forests sits Mills River, N.C., a town in the northwestern part of Henderson County stretching northeast to the Buncombe County border and southwest to the Transylvania County line. Sitting 17 miles to the southwest of Asheville, Mills River offers expansive living against breathtaking backdrops, with close proximity to all manner of amenities.
Mills River was incorporated as a town in 2003, and has a population of around 7,500. Featuring rolling hills dotted with everything from rambling ranches to newly constructed homes, as well as lots ready for custom creations, the town is a draw for those seeking room to stretch out, but still be within arm’s reach of conveniences. The Asheville Regional Airport and I-26 are mere minutes away. The towns of Hendersonville (8 miles away) and Brevard (14 miles away) are also easily accessible.
Mills River is part of the Henderson County Public Schools system. In addition, families can choose from a number of private and parochial educational options. Brevard College, a small, liberal arts institution, is 20 minutes away from Mills River.
Outdoor adventures abound in Mills River
When it comes to outdoor adventures, Mills River can’t be beat. For water activities, the French Broad River flows through the northeastern part of town, while one of its tributaries, the Mills River, flows through the center of town. Both Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest are a short drive away, offering daytrips overflowing with waterfalls, hiking paths and mountain biking trails – you can even take a horseback trail ride. The area also boasts renowned destinations like Sliding Rock and the Cradle of Forestry.
For world-class music performances, Mills River is just a short drive from the Brevard Music Center’s Summer Festival, which features everything from bluegrass to classical to operatic productions. www.brevardmusic.org
Excitement is brewing
A major boon to the town came in 2014, when Sierra Nevada opened a brewery – its second in the U.S. – in Mills River. The sprawling, state-of-the-art facility and Taproom and Restaurant draw thousands of visitors from all over the region and the world to enjoy tours, tastings and special events, as well as live music indoors and outdoors, in a relaxed family atmosphere. www.sierranevada.com/visit/north-carolina/
Other popular spots to visit in Mills River include the Mills River Creamery, offering a range of locally made milk, cheeses, ice cream (www.millsrivercreamery.com), as well as the Bold Rock Hard Cidery, which has daily tours, tastings, flights and food. www.boldrock.com/visit/mills-river-cidery/
Search: Mills River real estate
Search: Asheville Area real estate