There are no bathroom facilities at the TH. On the drive in you'll pass some to the right (the gate is closed in the off season to this area but the bathrooms are open) about a mile prior to the TH.
The North Mills River Trail #353
crosses the North Mills River a number of times (10?). Prepare for wet shoes and just embrace it. I did this in January and was a little over the knee at the deepest (I am 6 ft). This could, however, cause challenges for a smaller dog.
This trail has a steep, short climb in the beginning up to the Trace Ridge Peak then an almost 1000 foot descent down to the Trace Ridge trailhead parking lot. It is mostly hard pack clay with loose rocks and large boulders mixed in. Lots of erosion on the trail creates a fun more rugged downhill.
From the Trace Ridge Trailhead parking lot, the trail continues just to the left of the NF bulletin board. It starts along an old road and is not that scenic, but it quickly shifts off the road to singletrack and a descent to the river. This section of the trail is 1.2 miles long.
Along the way you can connect with Wash Creek #606
or, where this trail ends, with the North Mills River Trail #353
, allowing for about as many miles as any person could hope to run in one day. Or, if you are looking for a short loop, take the North Mills River Trail #353
to the Hendersonville Reservoir Rd. (FR 142)
. Take a right onto this forestry road and it'll take you back to the TH for about a 3.3 mile loop.