Anne Springs Close Greenway Turns 25

By Vanessa Infanzon | Posted on March 31, 2020 |  Modified on April 2, 2020

Please check the Anne Springs Close Greenway website for operational updates. 

The Greenway celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Anne Springs Close’s eight children donated the land, which had been in the Springs family for many generations. Some of the original historic buildings remain on the property.

Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill is 20 minutes from Ballantyne, offering 36 miles of nature trails for running, hiking and biking on 2,100 acres – an ideal place for fresh air and exercise. Don’t leave the pup at home – your furry best friend is welcome on the hiking trails on a leash.

The Greenway's namesake, Anne Springs Close, 94, makes regular appearances at the Greenway. Photo by The Charlotte Observer, courtesy of Anne Springs Close Greenway
Anne Springs Close Greenway offers 36 miles of nature trails for hiking, running and biking.
The Greenway Gateway, a welcome center for visitors, opened in the summer of 2019. It features the Gateway Canteen, which remains open for takeout.
One of the Greenway Canteen's sandwiches, courtesy of Anne Springs Close Greenway.

“There’s a lot of rich natural history,” says Elizabeth Bowers, communications and guest services director for Anne Springs Close Greenway. “We have a section of the Nation Ford Road, which was part of the (Great) Philadelphia Wagon Road, kind of the interstate of its day. This is how this land was accessed by settlers.”

It’s not unusual to see Close at the Greenway. She serves on the Greenway’s board of managers, goes on horseback rides at the Greenway and eats at the new Gateway Canteen.

“This Greenway will only be a more significant green space in the region as time moves on,” says Close, 94. “I have always said that if we get the kids out here when they are little when they grow up, they will want to protect it. I hope our future is in the young people who are using it now and that when they grow up, they will have the same passion for conservation.”

In response to COVID-19, the staff initially modified some of the Greenway’s regular operations and temporarily closed.

Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, visitors may tour the Greenway Gateway, a welcome center for visitors, which opened last summer. Inside, they can learn about the Greenway’s history and trails and grab a meal at the Gateway Canteen. The menu features local craft beer, wine and house-made dishes with locally sourced ingredients — salads, sandwiches, breakfast on Saturday mornings and brunch on Sundays.

Visitors can also enjoy a variety of other services: Plan a wedding or special event at the Comporium Amphitheater or the Founders Dairy Barn, participate in the Greenway’s run club or a guided hike or join the Mary Warner Mack Dog Park. Kayak or paddleboard on Lake Haigler – bringing equipment from home or renting it from the Greenway. (Greenway members may fish on the lake with a South Carolina fishing license.) Take a guided horseback ride or learn to horseback ride in group or private lessons.

We can all daydream about the Canteen’s wine and beer dinners or its Friday night Sunset Sessions with live music and beautiful views. For now, we can soak in the sunshine, enjoy the simplicity of walking through the forest and count the frogs and birds to be found along the way.

Anne Springs Close Greenway

2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, South Carolina

Admission fees: $6 adults, $4 children 5-12, free children 4 and under

Membership: $10 a month for families, $5 a month for individuals