Have you heard of the Anne Springs Close Greenway? Are you looking for a new wide-open space to explore with your family? I recently spent a few days exploring York County, South Carolina and found so many wonderful things. This nature preserve was just one of the discoveries we made while there.
Anne Springs Close Greenway is really the perfect spot for any outdoor adventure you are looking to enjoy. It’s family-friendly, with a restaurant, live music events, hiking, horseback riding, historical relevance, paddle sports, and over 2100 acres to explore. At about 90 minutes from the Upstate in Fort Mill, SC, this is the perfect day trip for your family. We spent several days in York County and left without getting to do everything on our list!
Check out the Kidding Around guide to York County, SC for more adventures to be found in this destination, just a few hours from Greenville.
What Is The Anne Springs Close Greenway In York County, SC
The Greenway is a 2,100 acre nature preserve that is a continuation of the Springs’ family tradition of providing recreation options to the workers of the Springmaid Brand Mill workers. The park is a little more than a third of the land that the Springs family purchased from the Catawba Indians. They take the stewardship of this land as well as its sister properties very seriously.
Sadly, the world lost a wonderful steward of the environment on August 20th, 2021. Anne Springs Close passed away at the age of 95 and was the last living person to have flown across the Atlantic aboard the German airship Hindenburg. Her regular presence at the park will be missed by the locals, but the legacy she leaves behind will benefit generations to come.
The board of trustees has placed restrictions on the grounds that will ensure future generations can enjoy this natural gem, without fear of development. People from all walks of life can come to enjoy this park having fun with outdoor activities or doing nothing at all.
Things to do in The Anne Springs Close Greenway
No matter what outdoor activities you enjoy, or your level of knowledge you will find something here to enjoy. The 2,100-acre preserve includes hiking trails, lakes, creeks, wildflower gardens, and so many other things. Let’s look at everything you can enjoy during a visit there.
The park includes 36 miles of trails for use by guests. They are available for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, running, and they are leashed pet-friendly. You can text GWMap to 51555 to have a mobile trail map texted to you.
The Nation Ford Road was part of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road. For hundreds of years, the road stretched from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Augusta, Georgia. This is the oldest documented road, with records dating back as far as 1650 making mention of it.
The Nation Ford Trail is a mile in length and stretches between The Nature Center and the Dairy Barn. While on it, you will be sharing the same path that Lord Cornwallis’ troops marched in 1870. Current visitors to the trail have the convenience of a 125-foot suspension bridge to help them cross Steele Creek.
The suspension bridge is fun, but creek stomping is fun too! While on the trail, you’ll also encounter two authentic log cabins from the 1800s.
The stroller-friendly Nation Ford Loop Trail is a ¾ mile trail with a concrete paved path that will take visitors past Steele Creek, a horse pasture, a cotton field, and some very old log cabins. One of those log cabins belonged to the Reverend Billy Graham’s Grandfather. It didn’t originate here but was moved for preservation.
Access mountain biking trails from the Adventure Road Entrance (104 Adventure Road) and the Complex Trailhead (971 Tom Hall Street).
Helmets are required on the trails and due to hazardous conditions, they might be periodically closed to bikers. For the most up-to-date info, visitors can call the trail hotline at 803.547.1019
Lake Haigler is a 28-acre lake providing visitors with lots of space to enjoy water sports. You can bring your own kayak or SUP, or rent your own in the park seasonally. The lake was built by the namesake’s father and is one of several within the park. To access a boat ramp for putting your own kayak into the water, you’ll need to head to Lake Crandal or Stumpy Pond.
You can bring your own horse or sign up for riding lessons or a guided trail ride with Greenway Stables.
A guided trail ride will most likely be the best option for a family visiting from out of town, so here are some things you’ll need to know.
- Guided trail rides are led by a member of the Greenway Stable staff.
- Riders must be at least 8 years old, and under 250 lbs.
- Closed-toed shoes are mandatory, as are helmets that are provided.
- Rides are available on Saturdays, from September through May, and you must register by noon on Friday the day prior.
- 1-Hour Ride: Members $63; Non-Members $70 | Register for 1-Hour Ride
- 1.5-Hour Ride: Members $68.5; Non-Members $75 | Register for 1.5 Hour Ride
- Trail rides are available from September to May.
Fishing the park’s lakes is only for park members with a valid SC fishing license only. The lakes provide anglers with the chance at Bass, Catfish & Breem. The Bass are only permitted on a catch-and-release basis.
Creek Stomping The Anne Springs Close Greenway
The portion of Steele Creek next to the suspension bridge provides a perfect shaded place for kids to splash and play in the water. The gently swaying swinging bridge does move a little, so know that if you are afraid of heights. If you get there early, there’s even a small sandy patch that is the perfect size for a family to lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy a day next to the creek.
The park offers extra fun in the form of its regularly scheduled special events.
- Music on the Gateway Canteen– Live Music
Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 9 pm (March through October)
- Saturday Morning Yoga and Sunset Yoga events
- Special Kayaking lessons and events
- Special seasonal events
There aren’t too many places like this where you can go, enjoy all that Anne Springs Close Greenway has to offer – and enjoy a delicious meal. The Canteen has a full menu of offerings, plus beer, wine, and frose (on the weekends).
The Anne Springs Close Gateway offers two different options to gain entrance to this private nature preserve. A day pass or a membership. If you think you will visit often, the membership is an easy decision. The cost of membership per family is just $10 a month and provides you with extra benefits that the day pass doesn’t.
- Day Pass
$12 per person (age 13+) | $6 per person child (ages 5-12)
- Membership Pass
$6 a month/$66 a year for an individual
$12 a month/$132 a year for a family
You can sign up for a membership pass online
Membership benefits include access to the park on weekends, access to special events, discount rates for activities, fishing privileges, and more.
*If a membership pass sounds like something your family would use often, but isn’t something you can afford right now, they offer scholarships.
Anne Springs Close Greenway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive, Fort Mill | 803.547.4575
Open 7 am to Sunset Daily