Mill Ridge: A Historical Neighborhood in the High Country of NC

The High Country of North Carolina is home to many historical neighborhoods. One of the most known is Mill Ridge. If you have traveled to Boone or Banner Elk over the last couple of decades, you can attest to the incredible amount of change  throughout the region. Our small quaint mountain town, which may have once been described as “sleepy,” is now a bustling community year-round. Many neighborhoods like Mill Ridge, have evolved along with the town. What they looked like 50 years ago is not what you find today!

The History of Mill Ridge

Mill Ridge Ski Resort map from the 1960s/1970s.

Mill Ridge is located in Foscoe, directly in between Boone and Banner Elk. To enter Mill Ridge you cross over the Watauga River just off of Highway 105. In the 1960s and 1970s Mills Ridge was a ski resort and was primarily used as a mountain retreat for people that lived off the mountain. Mill Ridge was filled with small ski chalets and round Deltec homes scattered throughout the mountainside, surrounded by native rhododendron, huge boulders, and beautiful hardwoods. As larger ski resorts like Sugar Mountain, Appalachian Ski Mountain, and Beech Mountain became the main attraction, the Mill Ridge ski lift had to shut down. But this mountain community changed with the times and has reinvented itself as more of a primary residence community.

What’s Happening in the Neighborhood Nowadays?

Today Mill Ridge is a mixture of full-time local families but still offers that mountain getaway for second homeowners and their guests. The “resort” feeling is still alive and evident with amenities like an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, hiking trails, ponds, creeks, and wonderful fishing in the Watauga River.

Rusted red ski lift abandoned in historic Mill Ridge neighborhood.

Children can be seen riding bikes around the loop or playing in the expansive park-like grassy fields. Neighbors enjoy meeting around the pool in the summer months and playing a few rounds of tennis. The angler will find that the street of the Watauga River that flows through the neighborhood is a wonderful place to catch Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and the native Brook Trout. The ponds are homes to migratory birds and make for excellent bird watching. If you are ever feeling nostalgic just hike up one of the trails to the top and find the old ski lift and you can imagine watching skiers getting on and off the lift. Mill Ridge is a wonderful place to live full time and raise a family. This community is also a great place for a vacation rental investment or a second home.

Want to See Mill Ridge for Yourself?

Come visit next time you are in the area! 828 Real Estate’s agents and brokers specialize in buying and selling property in High Country of North Carolina and can help you find the perfect place in Mill Ridge.

About the Author

Susan is proud to be a native Tarheel, but as a military brat she also spent many years growing up in Kodiak, Alaska. Her father was a helicopter pilot in the Marines and then the U.S. Coast Guard, which allowed her to experience and appreciate both the South East and the Pacific NorthWest. After spending most of her High School years in Kodiak, her family was stationed back to Elizabeth City, NC. When the time came to choose a college to attend, Susan longed for something that reminded her a bit of the beautiful mossy forests of Alaska and the mountain culture that she had grown to love. Upon arrival in Boone in 2002 she immediately felt like she had come home. Although Susan is not a “true Wataugan,” she now considers the High Country of North Carolina her home. Susan loves to travel and even spent a semester abroad in County Cork, Ireland. Susan graduated from Appalachian State University in 2006 with a Bachelors degree in History, Secondary Education. Susan met her husband, David Stelling, while attending ASU. David is a Professional Fly Fishing Guide and Outfitter in North Carolina, Tennessee and Alaska. Susan spent 10 years dedicated to teaching High School Social Studies and also helped create the award winning alternative education program, Blue Ridge Academy, located in Avery County. Susan and David had their first child in 2015. Sophronia Woods Stelling and welcomed Hardiman Hill Stelling in 2019. Susan and David feel fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places and supportive communities on earth. The High Country is a wonderful place to not only vacation, but also to raise a family. Susan has been with 828 Real Estate since its creation in 2018 and has enjoyed every moment of working for a locally owned and operated firm. The last couple years have been very exciting and Susan looks forward to working with more people looking to either buy or sell in the High Country.