While urban growth from the north continues sprawling southward, one of the many local concerns is whether the Fort Mill area can keep its own identity. On this, the township has an ace up its sleeve: the Anne Springs Close Greenway.
The 2,300-acre natural area lies in the northern part of the township between Highway 21 Bypass and Steele Road. The Greenway, which crosses over Highway 21 Business, serves as both a recreation resource and a growth buffer for the town.
It provides 26 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, as well as picnic areas, lakes for fishing and an outdoor interpretive center.
The land, 2,000 acres of which is still forested, was owned by the Springs family for 200 years. The eight children of H. William and Anne Springs Close gave the property as a gift to the community in 1995.
The Greenway works on an honor system for non-members, with hikers paying $2 per person or $5 per family at an entrance drop box. Trails are open from dusk until dawn.
Horseback riding costs $5 per day, and riders must provide their own horse. Fishing is for Greenway members only.
The Greenway offers a variety of memberships that range from $96 (family membership for a full year) to $12 (membership for one student). Members must live in Fort Mill, Lancaster, Kershaw or Chester, and applications can be picked up at the Greenway office on Highway 21 Business.
For more information or to inquire about a membership, call (803) 548-7252 or(803) 547-0234. Brochures can also be picked up at the Greenway entrances.