There are three trail systems in the Fort Mill area. This tour will give you the best of all of them.
Starting at Baxter Village, this ride starts with the hardest of the trails first and the longest last. While there is not a lot of climbing or many obstacles, there is a lot of saddle time. This is a great way to push 35 miles without riding the same thing twice in the area.
Leaving the parking lot, you'll enter down into the Baxter trails. This is a great mostly singletrack trail system that reminds you how close to civilization you are from time to time as you cross a neighborhood road.
After a quick warm-up on an old fire road, you'll dip off into the woods. You'll see many trees that are native to the area, providing lots of shade for hot days. Once you get down to River Run Trail
, you'll start to feel a bit more like you are in wetlands. The thick trees are still there, but grasses and low growing plants start to creep their way into your vision. All while being just yards from people's backyards...again you'll never know!
Go down to River Loop
and enjoy a flat, fast loop that brings you up the river bank for a half mile or so. As you start to come back out, you'll get to some powerlines, and that's when you'll know it's about time to head down to the next trail.
Ride Sutton Road down to Hwy 21, take a left, and then your first right to find your next trail.
This is where you'll start the Riverwalk Green Loop
. Once on the Green Loop
, it quickly comes apparent that this trail is different. This trail is a bit flowier, a bit older (even though the trail is newer, the grounds it is built on has more visible history), and somehow a bit more industrial. The Riverwalk Green Loop
will lead you to Riverwalk Blue Loop
; this trail is the "meat and potatoes" of the Riverwalk trail system. Enjoy the punchy climbs, quick downhills, and a few man-made structures to test your skills on.
The tree cover remains thick for most of the trail, but you can see the houses, BMX track, and the river off in the distance as you ride. Ride the Piedmont Medical Center Trail
(paved path) back out to the road after you enjoy this round of singletrack.
Take a right back out on Hwy 21 and your first right onto Bus 21. In 2.1 miles, you'll take a right onto Hwy 160 for another mile.
Anne Springs will be on your left after the hill. Go in and hit School Loop to the right. About .5 miles down School Loop, you'll take a right onto Sugar Loop. This loop is fast, curvy, and hilly. There is nothing punchy, but there are some steady climbs. This trail takes you down to the creek, and will end back on School Loop. Once you get to School Loop, you'll cross a service road, head up to the dam of a lake (that is always drained), and onto the fastest section of trail in the area.
As you fly past the river, you'll make it to the bridge. Go under the bridge, then right on the old bridge. Start up the hill on Prairie Loop and follow the signs. The initial hill is a red clay climb until you get to the top. Once at the top, you are in the pine trees for about a mile, until you get back down to the creek. Prairie Loop by the river is usually 10 degrees cooler all year round. Once back to the bridge, take a right onto School Loop and power out the last mile and a half of this loop. This trail is fast until you find yourself climbing what seems like a flat trail. This will bring you back to the lot at Anne Springs complex.
Take a right on Hwy 160 and follow it back to where you started.
Most of all, have fun!
Anne Springs has some historical points if you're into that kind of thing. You can find a map at the top of the trailhead.