Varied Recreation at Anne Springs Close Greenway

By:Marie McAden


Into the outdoors? Then a visit is in order to Fort Mill’s Anne Springs Close Greenway, a 2,100-acre recreational playground for mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, camping and kayaking.

Enjoy nature, but don’t want to work up a sweat? The Greenway offers plenty for you, too. Gather the family for an old-fashioned picnic by the lake or take a stroll on an easy walking path overlooking acres of rolling hills and picturesque pastures.

And that’s just for starters. The nature preserve offers guided walks with a South Carolina master naturalist every third Wednesday and Saturday of the month, guided trail rides Saturday mornings from September to June, as well as a host of recreational events from a Greenway Challenge Series to Family Fitness Day.

Opened in 1995, the Greenway celebrates the outdoors and the beautiful piedmont landscape of the Fort Mill area. The land was donated to the public by the children of Anne Springs Close, matriarch of South Carolina’s Springs textile family, to honor their mother’s lifelong commitment to recreation and the environment.

Both are well represented in the Greenway.

The centerpiece of the preserve is the 40-mile network of trails that crisscross the property. It takes you through lush mixed hardwood forests and scenic prairies, past 200-year-old log cabins, alongside lakes and over creeks. Whether you hike, bike or horseback ride, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the countryside along the way. I’ll tell you more about the trails in an upcoming post.

If you have your own kayak or canoe, you can paddle on Stumpy Pond and Lakes Frances or Crandall. Fishermen also are welcome to use the lake ramps to launch non-motorized boats. Not hauling your own boat? Rent a kayak at the 28-acre Lake Haigler.

The Greenway also offers a variety of horseback riding options. In addition to the weekly guided trail rides, parents can take their children on lead rides at either the indoor or outdoor arenas from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Visitors also are welcome to bring their own horses and ride any of the many miles of trails open to equestrians. Horse camping with paddocks is available for those who want to spend the night.

Primitive tent camping also is allowed on the north side of Lake Haigler. A bathhouse with showers, toilets and dishwashing sinks is located adjacent to the camping area.

Admission to the preserve is $5. Cyclists pay $5 and visitors with a horse $15. For directions or more information on the Anne Springs Close Greenway, click here or call (803) 547-4575.

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