1. Watch the sun rise. 2. Take a tour of the historic cabins. 3. Go for a
The Greenway Bucket List
Instead of fad diets and trendy workouts, we would like to offer a different approach to
2015: we challenge you to complete our Greenway Bucket List. We have compiled a list
of all the things every Greenway user must experience, whether you are a founding
member or you just moved to town. In the coming issues of the Greenway Guide, we will
unveil our Greenway must-dos for you to check out and check off.
1. Watch the sun rise.
Some of the best time to connect with nature is before dawn. Enjoy the sounds and the solitude with an early morning walk
around Haigler Loop. Our most popular hike, the 1 ¼ mile loop features some of the Greenway’s best scenery. Take a look at the
old road bed of the Nation Ford Road, enjoy the diverse vegetation and keep an eye out for some Great Blue Herons. Check our
website for all the highlights on our Lake Haigler Nature Walk.
2. Take a tour of the historic cabins.
Home to two historic cabins, the Greenway offers visitors a glimpse into the past with the
rich history of the Faires-Coltharp Cabin which over time has been home to the son of a Revolutionary War soldier/prisoner-of-war, a Civil War soldier and several local and influential
families. Over the span of 80 years and two generations of Faires and Coltharp families,
about 21 people lived in the house, possibly with as many as 12 at one time. The Greenway’s
second historic cabin, the Graham Cabin (pictured), was built in 1780 and for a time was the
home of Billy Graham’s grandfather. This log house was originally located about two miles
from its current spot in the area known as Baxter. It was moved to the Greenway in 1999,
and was occupied continuously until it was moved.
3. Go for a Run (or Walk!)
If you’ve never tested your mettle during a trail race, this is the year to try. In partnership with local trail running club, the Rock Hill
Striders, the Greenway offers several trail races held each year including the Mill Stone 50K (February 7, 2015); Earthshaker Trail
Run (April 18, 2015); Mill Stone Half Marathon (May 9, 2015); Mill Stone Loop 10.5 Mile Race (July 18, 2015); and the Springmaid
Trail Race (October 3, 2015.) Walkers are always welcome for the 5Ks so no excuses!
4. Become a Catawba Master Naturalist.
Set to resume this March, the Greenway will host its third certification class for the Catawba Master Naturalist Program. In partnership with Clemson University, join us for 12 fun weeks exploring the world around you through observation and hands-on, interactive learning in local and surrounding areas. The program works to educate a corps of volunteers who are dedicated to the
beneficial management of natural resources within our communities. Participants that successfully complete the program earn a
certificate from Clemson University.
5. Take your picture at the top of the Dairy Barn silo.
Say ‘cheese,’ please! Perhaps the most recognizable spot on the Greenway, a trip to the Dairy Barn is not
complete without a hike up the barn’s silo. The Dairy Barn was built in 1947 by Col. Elliott W. Springs when he
purchased a herd of registered Guernsey cattle to supply dairy products in his textile operation's cafeterias.
Today the barn has been renovated into a spacious and unforgettable setting for weddings, parties and other
gatherings. The silo is typically unlocked for visitors to venture up to the top for a picturesque view.
6. Hike the whole Blue Star Trail.
Dubbed by Anne Springs Close as the “main street of the Greenway,” this intermediate hiking
trail stretches more than seven miles from one end of the property to the other. Not only can it
be accessed from any entry point, but it also merges or intersects with every other trail in our
trail system. Walking Blue Star means never having to see two aspects of the Greenway twice –
from the pine stands and older hardwood forests to ponds and prairie areas, this trail gives
hikers a chance to see the property as a whole.
7. Go Geocaching.
Geocaching is an outdoor scavenger hunt using GPS-enabled devices to locate hidden containers at specific GPS coordinates. A
typical ‘cache’ is a small waterproof container containing a logbook. The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with
their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Geocaching
shares many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing and waymarking. See our website for your “Greenway Passport!”
8. Spot a hawk on the Greenway.
Over the last several years, a total of eight raptors have been released on the Greenway in partnership with the Carolina Raptor
Center located in Huntersville, NC. From Red-tailed hawks to Barred owls, the Greenway has become a resource for CRC to release
their rehabilitated birds back into the wild.
9. Saddle up for a guided trail ride.
Most Saturdays, the Greenway Stables offer a guided trail ride to explore the Greenway trails from horseback. As one of Mrs.
Close’s favorite pastimes, horseback riding has always been intrinsic to the mission and daily operations on the Greenway. Whether you just enjoy seeing the horses grazing in the pasture or want to take riding lessons, we have an equestrian opportunity to fit
any ability level or lifestyle.
10. Become a Friend of the Greenway.
This spectacular landscape would not be possible without the financial support of our Friends of the Greenway. Founded in 1995,
this group of donors contributes to the Greenway’s annual operations, supporting the Exceptional Equestrians program, summer
camps, school fieldtrips, trail building projects, efforts to maintain lakes and control invasive species, and so much more. As a
Greenway member, you know firsthand how important the mission of the Greenway is to our community. Perhaps the Greenway
has provided you with some special moments – where getting close to nature becomes an irreplaceable experience and lifelong
memory. We ask you to consider joining us as a Friend of the Greenway.
11. Picnic near the peach orchards.
The Greenway has dozens of ideal picnic locations, with acres of field space and scattered picnic table locations. Pack your picnic
basket with goodies, grab a blanket or tablecloth and enjoy the time with family and friends as well as the surroundings and
outdoor experience. Picnic tables (some with charcoal grills) can be found near the Comfort Station at the Nature Center entrance,
under the pines in front of Rush Pavilion, behind the Nature Center and also below the Dairy Barn.
12. Attend a sheep herding competition.
Earth Day is the Greenway’s largest event of the year and will celebrate its 21 st anniversary this
April. More than 2,000 visitors descend on the Greenway and with the help of many volunteers,
we are able to provide a free day of family fun with activities that include wildlife exhibits, wagon
rides, cane pole fishing, kayaking, guided hikes, border collie demonstrations and much more.
13. Turn up the adventure with a mountain bike ride.
The Sugar Loop Trail is our most popular bike path, starting from the Recreation Complex and running 3-1/2 miles in length. The
intermediate loop starts at the Complex tunnel and leads to Sugar Island, at which point it continues south along the Sugar Creek
floodplain and then westward back to the Complex tunnel. Our mountain bike trail volunteers have been busy this past quarter
making improvements to Sugar Loop so that it is a safer, more enjoyable ride. Check our calendar for the next volunteer workday
and upcoming bike workshops. In 2015, we hope to offer some beginner mountain biking clinics to help introduce people to both
the sport and the Greenway’s fun and challenging bike trail system.
14. Take a night hike around Lake Crandall.
One of the best parts about the Great American Backyard Campout held each summer on the Greenway is the opportunity to
spend the evening at our Outdoor Classroom, enjoying s’mores over the campfire and taking a night hike around Lake Crandall.
Nature sounds different at night – escape the lights and noise of your typical routine and make plans to join us for the campout on
June 26, 2015.
15. See a concert in the Woodland Amphitheater.
Set to officially open during the Earth Day Celebration on April 18, 2015, the Woodland
Amphitheater is Fort Mill’s newest community asset. Nestled among oak trees and set in a
natural bowl below the Dairy Barn, the amphitheater has no formal seating and
provides a natural environment to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Already scheduled to host
the Greenway Summer Concert Series, the amphitheater will provide a setting for musical acts
and concert performances, plays and comedy troupes, children’s theatre and much, much
more. Bring your chair or a picnic blanket and enjoy nature’s surroundings.
16. Help provide a meal for the needy.
Located near Greenway Headquarters on Dairy Barn Lane, the Plant-A-Row for the Hungry Garden (PAR) gives support to volunteer
committees that want to promote vegetable and community gardening at the local level. The PAR Garden (in addition to growing
fruits and vegetables) provides outreach, training and assistance in coordinating the local food collection. The PAR Garden also
monitors the volume of donations being given to food agencies. To volunteer in the PAR Garden, please contact the Greenway at
17. Go on a photo scavenger hunt.
How many different plants and animals can you capture? With nearly 40 miles of trail to explore, there are plenty of photo opps
waiting for you on the Greenway. Does your child also exhibit signs of becoming a shutterbug? Sign him up for our Greenway Photography Camp this summer!
18. Visit the Grist Mill.
Webb’s Grist Mill was among the first of its kind in the area. Built circa 1780, the mill served European settlers and their descendants for over 100 years and is commemorated in the name of “Fort Mill,” originally known as Little York. To be successful at the
time, a mill needed water for power and accessibility for customers. As a result, Webb’s grist mill site is on Steele Creek near Steele
Road, once a spur of the Nation Ford Road. A historic representation interprets the significance of the site.
19. Know your native plant species.
Do you know what to look for when you’re out on the Greenway? Anne Springs Close’s favorite
tree on property is the flowering dogwood, which blooms white and pink in the spring. They are
the most shallow-rooted tree on the Greenway and so are the first to succumb to drought. And
have you ever heard of a PawPaw Patch? These trees can grow up to twelve feet tall and
produce a sweet fruit that tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango. Another native
species is the Schweinitz’s sunflower (pictured) which the Greenway manages in connection with
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The daisy-like blooms can be seen from late August through
October below the Field Trial Barn, heading down to the swinging bridge.
20. Pitch a tent under the stars.
Grab your camping gear and head to the Greenway for a night with nature. Tent camping is available on the north side of Lake
Haigler, each site accommodating up to three tents. Adjacent to the camping area, a bathhouse provides restrooms and showers
for campers. Time to pull out the sleeping bags and spooky campfire stories!
21. Paddle the Greenway lakes.
Of the Greenway’s five lakes, the most easily accessed by boat are Lake Frances and Lake Crandall. Kayaks and canoes (even a
standup paddleboard!) can be rented from May through September at Lake Haigler on Saturdays and Sundays with no reservation
for a fee of $5/member. Boats are available on a first come, first served basis. Don’t forget a person flotation device (PFD)!
22. Treat yourself to Springs Farm Market homemade ice cream.
If you frequent the Greenway’s Field Trial Barn entrance, you’ve likely noticed the small Farm Market located across the street
from the strawberry fields. If you’ve never stopped in, you should! Open seasonally, the Springs Farm Market serves up delicious
and refreshing homemade frozen treats throughout the summer, in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables from Springs Farm.
Peach smoothie, anybody?
23. Take a stroll around Lake Haigler.
Lake Haigler was built in 1952 by Col. Elliott W. Springs and named for a great Catawba Indian
Chief, King Hagler. There are many points of interest along the Haigler Loop, but be on the lookout
for beaver dams! The beaver, North America’s largest native rodent, is a vegetarian and constantly
cutting trees, eating the inner bark and using the rest to build lodges and dams. The best time for
viewing beavers is in the evening, as they are primarily nocturnal. They can get up to three to four
feet in size and weigh 50 to 60 pounds!
24. Bring your appetite and appreciation for bluegrass to the annual Fiddle ‘n Pig Shindig.
For the 10th year, the Greenway will host the annual barbecue and bluegrass festival, the Fiddle ’n Pig Shindig on Friday and Saturday, September 20th and 21st. More than 30 cook teams will compete again for bragging rights in the Kansas City Barbeque Society
–sanctioned event. The lineup of bands also includes a fresh crop of talent (Chatham County Line) along with some of our old bluegrass favorites like The Hinson Girls and Lonesome Road Band. New this year is the festival’s relocation near the Woodland
Amphitheater, which we’re predicting will be the place to be in 2015.
25. Go fly a kite.
When was the last time you flew a kite? We bet it’s not as easy as you remember! The Greenway’s large open landscapes provide
the perfect setting for kite-flying. Treat your children or grandchildren to an afternoon of good ol’ fashioned fun. See who can fly
their kite the longest and the highest!
26. Learn to fish.
Did you know that the Greenway has five – count ‘em 5! stocked fishing ponds? Lake Haigler, Lake Crandall, Lake Frances, Stumpy
Pond and Lake Katherine. Fishing is available exclusively to Greenway members (you’ll need a valid SC fishing license). Lakes have
been stocked with Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Shellcracker and Channel Catfish. We bet you’re pulling out your Greenway map right
27. Feel the history.
Get out and walk the same trail used by Native Americans, traders, settlers and Revolutionary soldiers. The road was part of the
Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, which stretched from Philadelphia, PA to Augusta, GA and was the first
major road on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. For hundreds of years, the path was an important conduit for
trade, war and settlement. At its peak in the late 1700s, more than 1,000 wagons per day passed along the
trail through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, and was known to be the most heavily traveled
road in America. Locally, it is known as the “Nation Ford Road” because it went through the Catawba Indian
“nation” and led to a “ford”, or crossing, in the Catawba River.
28. Take a photo on a swinging bridge.
The Greenway is home to five swinging bridges spread throughout the property – find them on Blue Star,
Prairie Loop and School Loop East. If you have never ventured out onto a swinging bridge before, gingerly head out to the center of
the bridge to get its full “swing” effect. [We love watching dogs do this for the first time – they all react differently to the swing beneath their paws!]
29. Identify a tree.
Did you know the Greenway is home to an Oak-Hickory Forest? This type of forest ecosystem produces four prominent oak and
hickory species that are identifiable on the Greenway. They include white oak, southern red oak, black oak and chestnut oak, while
the hickory varieties include pignut, red, shagbark and mockernut. Already restricted by limited available habitat, Basic Oak-Hickory
Forests have been reduced considerably by a long history of agriculture, conversion of hardwood forests to intensively managed
pine stands and urban development. Some of the types in this group can be considered uncommon or rare in the state.
30. Attend the Winter Wonderland Craft Fair.
Last November, more than 100 artisans and craftsmen from our local area descended on the Dairy Barn to sell their goods and
wares. For more than 15 years, the Winter Wonderland Craft Fair has been an after-Thanksgiving staple, providing locals with the
perfect opportunity to buy something handmade by local vendors. Be one of the 2,000 people to attend this year on Saturday, November 28, 2015.
31. See, hear and feel our natural surroundings at the Greenway Nature Center.
The Greenway Nature Center has seen a lot of TLC in the last few months and we are ready to show off our hard work! Bring your
kids to experience wildlife exhibits, points of interest and other environmental education opportunities for all ages.
32. Find a Native American arrowhead.
The Nation Ford Road provided the Catawba Indians and other southern tribes with an access route for trade
and communication with northern tribes. It was known by several names, including the “Occaneechi Path,” the
“Catawba Path” and the "Indian Road." The convergence of trading paths at Nation Ford made the position of
the Catawbas a strategic one, as they could control the flow of trade to other tribes. Pack trains of horses were
loaded and headed south carrying goods such as guns, powder, shot, hatchets, kettles, fabrics, blankets, and
trinkets, all to be traded to the Catawbas and other tribes for skins and other products.
33. Explore the Greenway with a Guided Hike.
We are going to make it really easy for you – leave the navigating to one of our Master Naturalist volunteers and join in on
“Exploring the Greenway!” Guided hikes are led on the first and third Saturday of every month from varying locations on the
Greenway. Check our website for a complete list throughout the year.
34. Do some bird watching.
Did you know that 27 bird nesting sites were monitored on the Greenway this past year? For the
last sixteen years, Greenway member and volunteer Dick Metzler has lead the effort to monitor
breeding bluebirds on the 2,100-acre property. Now with the help of John Marklewitz, a graduate
of the Catawba Master Naturalist program, our monitoring systems continue to grow – from
Carolina chickadees to Eastern bluebirds, there are plenty of beautiful birds to observe while out.
Also keep your eyes open for the Wood Duck boxes placed near Lake Haigler. Known as the
“Summer Duck,” the Wood Duck is the only native South Carolina water fowl that stays year-round
and doesn’t migrate. It gains its name from nesting in trees, instead of on the ground.
35. Send us your Greenway Bucket List items. We want this list to continue growing! Tell us about your favorite user experiences.
The Greenway Bucket List
____ 1. Watch the sun rise.
____ 2. Take a tour of the historic cabins.
____ 3. Go for a run (or walk!)
____ 4. Become a Catawba Master Naturalist.
____ 5. Take your picture at the top of the Dairy Barn silo.
____ 6. Hike the whole Blue Star trail.
____ 7. Go Geocaching.
____ 8. Spot a hawk on the Greenway.
____ 9. Saddle up for a guided trail ride.
____ 10. Become a Friend of the Greenway.
____ 11. Picnic near the peach orchards.
____ 12. Attend a sheep herding competition.
____ 13. Turn up the adventure with a mountain bike ride.
____ 14. Take a night hike around Lake Crandall.
____ 15. See a concert at the Woodland Amphitheater.
____ 16. Help provide a meal for the needy.
____ 17. Go on a photo scavenger hunt.
____ 18. Visit the Grist Mill.
____ 19. Know your native plant species.
____ 20. Pitch a tent under the stars.
____ 21. Paddle the Greenway lakes.
____ 22. Treat yourself to Springs Farm Market homemade ice cream.
____ 23. Take a stroll around Lake Haigler.
____ 24. Bring your appetite and appreciate for bluegrass to the Fiddle ‘n Pig Shindig.
____ 25. Go fly a kite.
____ 26. Learn to fish.
____ 27. Feel the history.
____ 28. Take a photo on a swinging bridge.
____ 29. Identify a tree.
____ 30. Attend the Winter Wonderland Craft Fair.
____ 31. See, hear and feel our natural surroundings at the Greenway Nature Center.
____ 32. Find a Native American arrowhead.
____ 33. Explore the Greenway with a guided hike.
____ 34 Do some bird watching.
____ 35. What did we miss? Send us your Greenway Bucket List Items!