Mills River Park to Corcoran Paige River Park

by  lem384

A self-supported trip created by lem384

Trip Overview

On this day we decided to trek down from Canton to Kayak on the French Broad River. We like this southern section because of the limited crowds and abundant rural scenery. As we parked our pickup vehicle we noticed the sky beginning to darken towards the end of the valley towards Brevard and Transylvania County. We decided to press on chalking it up to a summer shower.

As we launched we were met with numerous downed trees. Most of these were easy to maneuver around, until about .5 miles in. There is a downed tree spanning across the river. With the water an average depth you may be able to go under. USE CAUTION. This span of Mills River flows beside a sod farm and you can see the pipes and cages that they use to irrigate the fields with a pivot system. This stretch of river reminds me of Eastern NC(other than the rocks in the river) with the serene rural environment. As the Mills begin to deepen and the water backed up we enter the French Broad River.

The clear dark water of the Mills gave way to the mud stained current of the FBR. The rain began to fall as steady drizzle as we c paddled the confluence of these two water ways. The wildlife, no doubt enjoy the cooler respite from the scorching summer sun was out and about. We saw hedge of herons. A congregation of egrets. A gaggle of geese. A lone otter swimming along the bank. And our new favorite a Belted Kingfisher.

The flow increased so did the wind. The rain we could handle in a steady summer shower but the wind was blowing our recreation kayaks around so we decided to take relief at Westfeldt Park to hydrate and escape the wind in the trees. The wind died down as we returned to the water. The rain lightened and gave way to torrential sunshine. Be prepared with some form of UV protection. The river widens and shade becomes harder to find especially with the water levels about 2 feet above the median.

We approached Buck Shoals with the dodging of rocks and rapids being made more difficult with the stain and level of the water. The mirror on top the water became clearer as the sun engulfed the puffy pillows clouds. With Corcoran Paige River Park in the distant our trip came to an end. I would not recommend taking out or putting at this location. The bank is steep and littered with broken glass.. This park has a single Picnic table and a couple of cutout of bank fishing. About 3 hours and 8 miles on the river made for a great day. However you can get out on the water do it, you will not forget. Be safe and Have fun.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 7/15/2021
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location