Not far outside the town of Fort Mill, SC is a phenomenal park that serves as a nature preserve and natural recreational treasure. Anne Springs Close Greenway‘s tag line is “Get Close to Nature“, and that’s exactly what this place is all about. Its 2100 acres offer visitors 36 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails as well as kayaking and paddle-boarding, programs for individuals and families, and a host of special events. The park is located 82 miles from the SC State House and takes about 1.2 hours to get there from the State House. No matter if you’re in Columbia, Aiken, Charlotte, or Charleston, this place is definitely going to give you a day well spent. It’s worth the drive.
You should begin your first-time visit at the Greenway Gateway. This visitors center is designed to help guests get the most out of their time at the park. Staff members will assist you in getting oriented to the layout of the park, levels of difficulty for the trails, and interesting sites to visit along the way. One Saturday each month, there is a van tour offered that helps introduce folks to the park. Check the calendar here.
The Gateway building also houses the Greenway Canteen, serving salads, sandwiches, and beverages. Depending on the day of the week, they are open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. See their menu.
Choose from a nature hike or a historical hike. The most popular nature walk is the Lake Haigler Loop, a 1.25-mile hike around the sparkling 28-acre lake. A self-guided tour directs walkers to stops along the way, learning about vegetation, trees, the lake itself, and wildlife (including resident beavers). You can download the trail map here.
One of the historic trails is the Nation Ford Road Trail which runs on top of or alongside the original Nation Ford Road that extended from Augusta, GA to Philadelphia, PA. Used by traders, native Americans, colonists, and soldiers, this road dates from pre-historic times and is one of the oldest documented roads in the Southeastern US.
All trails are marked every quarter mile to help you stay on track, as well as note how far you’ve walked. There are trails for hikers only, for mountain bikers, and for horseback riding. Guided hikes are offered throughout the year. You can check out dates here.
Kayakers and paddleboarders love the lakes located within the Greenway. Bring your own non-motorized boat to the park or rent a single or tandem kayak or paddleboard beginning April 30th on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations need to be made online beginning April 15. The cost is $15 per person for a 2-hour rental. Fishing is also offered. Learn more here.
Horseback riding is available every day and there are 12 miles of equestrian trails located in the park. Trailer in your own horse, or take a guided trail ride led by a member of Greenway Stables’ equestrian staff. These are available on Saturdays, September to May, from 9-10:30 am and 11am-noon. Details about horse-related topics are here.
Programs are designed to help participants learn more and appreciate more about nature. Fishing clinics, guided hikes, mountain bike clinics, intro to kayaking, and many more programs are helpful in getting kids and adults to spend more time outdoors.
Special events include signature events held annually. This Valentines’ Weekend, you can enjoy a 4-course dinner for two and a carriage ride through the park. They still have reservations available for February 11 and February 14 (here). There is an upcoming Spring kickoff on April 2 called the Blue Star Blitz and features bike, hike, and run trails with 5k/10k races, live music, food, craft beer, and lots of fun! There are 3 upcoming 2022 Greenway Artisan Markets, where local artists and crafters show off their work. April 9, October 1, and December 3, 2022. Mark your calendars!
Anne Close Springs Greenway participates in South Carolina Agritourism Passport Program… so pick up your 2022 booklet here or bring yours along to get it stamped!
Anne Springs Close Greenway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill SC 29715
Open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Admission is $12 for adults; $6 for children 5 – 12.