Tucked away near East Bend, NC, in Yadkin County, you will find a very impressive waterfall considering how far East you are. Not too far off of US 421 is the site where several mills used to be located. Finding the location is easy enough. Take the Shacktown Exit (Exit 253) from US 421 and turn North onto Old Stage Rd. You will quickly come to a "T" intersection where you will turn left onto Shacktown Rd. After only 0.3 of a mile you will come to Styers Mill Rd where you will turn right and continue for almost a half a mile. Just before a bridge you will see a gravel parking area. The falls can be seen from the parking area.
This is one of the few waterfalls I have visited where the observation deck gives a very good view of the falls and is a good location for pictures. Even though the falls are only 12 feet high, the amount of water that passes over the rocks is enough to categorize this as a full blown waterfall. The watershed is plentiful, so you should expect good flow any time during the year.
Even though the observation deck is well placed, you owe it to yourself to venture down to the falls for a closer look. There are several paths leading down to the banks of the stream. There are plenty of rocks scattered throughout the water, but if you want to cross to the other bank, be prepared to get wet. At the most shallow point, you are looking at knee level water for at least half the trip across. The rocks are not that steady either, so if you are trying to rock hop, beware, you could end up off balance and laying in the stream...not speaking from experience, of course.
What Lies Beneath
Once down at stream level, you will unfortunately see the evidence of those that visit here. There are beer cans, water bottles, and believe it or not I've even seen a pair of underwear in the grass. There was also a good amount of graffiti that detracted from the natural beauty. This is a shame and impacts not only the environment, but those trying to enjoy it as well. When you are visiting these amazing natural wonders, please be sure you leave it in the same condition as when you got there.
Once you get past the evidence of littering and vandalism, you might find some rock-wall remains by the falls. These are from the mills that have operated here in the past. There is not much left, but memories and some stone work. Yadkin County has purchased the land and has made it a historical park. You can read more about the Shore-Styers Mill Nature Park at http://www.shore-styers-mill.org/.
I was skeptical about this waterfall after reading about it, but I must say, this waterfall should be on your must see list. I have been several time now, and each time the vandalism gets a little bit worse, and the trash seems to pile up. However, the waterfall remains worth a visit. It is beautiful! From a photography standpoint, your best bet will be isolations of the different elements of the falls. These will provide more dramatic photographs than the typical "postcard shot" which includes the entire waterfall.