The 2300 acre Anne springs Close Greenway, located between Highway 21 Bypass and Steele Rd in Fort Mill, SC, is a real treasure for both nature lovers and history buffs. The land was owned by the Springs family for 200 years and gifted to Fort Mill in 1995 by the children of H. William and Anne Springs Close. If you go midweek, you almost feel as though you have the place to yourself. It’s like your own private oasis where you can escape the demands and stresses of everyday life, for an hour or two.
There are approximately 36 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails that meander through the greenway. A color coded trail map can be obtained from kiosks in the parking lots. My favorite is the trail around the 28-acre Lake Haigler. There really are some gorgeous views of the lake and you get quite a bit of elevation on the far side. The lake is open for many activites including kayaking and fishing. There are 8 campsites next to the lake that can be rented.
There are several suspension bridges in the greenway which are great fun for kids and adults alike. Dogs are welcome in the greenway, but must be leashed. Many of the trails are also open to horseback riders and be aware that they leave evidence behind. You’ll want to keep an eye out as you are walking or jogging.
The land that makes up the Greenway has a rich history. Just past the Nature Center on the trail that leads down to the swinging bridge is a marker for the historic Nation Ford Road which was part of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road. This road dates back to the 1600s and went all the way from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Augusta, Georgia. On the Springfield Parkway side of the Greenway is a grist mill with a working water wheel. It is from this grist mill that Fort Mill obtained its name.
The Greenway is open from 7am to sunset everyday. A family membership costs just $96 a year and is available to anyone who lives or works in York, Lancaster, or Chester County. Admission for nonmembers is $2 for hiking trails, $3 for mountain biking, and $12 for horseback riding. Honor system drop boxes are present in the parking lots for payment.
Upcoming events at the Anne Springs Close Greenway include the Dog Gone Good Times Festival benefiting the Humane Society of York County on September 10 and the Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival September 23 and 24.
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