The Anne Springs Close Greenway has a Hiking Challenge one can choose to participate in or not. I participated in the challenge earning mu Trail Passport certificate a year and a half ago in December of 2020. My grandson, Coleman, has been hiking the trails at the Anne Springs Close Greenway (ASCG) since March of 2021 when he was only a year and a half (1 1/2). A person earns the Passport Challenge certificate by completing all twenty-six (26) trails consisting of thirty-six miles (36) within and around the Greenway. There is a Trail Passport booklet that one can pick up at most any of the five (5) entrances to the Greenway. After completing a trail, initial and date verifying that you completed that trail. All the trails are listed in the passport. After completing all the trails, turn your initialed passport into the Greenway Gateway to receive your certificate.
While you are out on the trails, be respectful and remember the Leave No Trace Principles.
- Plan Ahead and prepare.
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors.
These are very important guidelines everyone should follow no matter which Greenway trail, State or National Park trail, or even a local trail you choose venture onto to for an awesome hike. My grandson being only 2 1/2 doesn’t understand all the rules yet. I constantly remind him to leave what is in the park in the park, what is on the ground must stay on the ground. He usually will pick up leaves, rocks, or sticks off the ground and I remind him to put them down that they have to stay in the Greenway.
On Sunday when Coleman and I went to the Greenway, we hiked 5 trails:
- North Steele Creek Trail – This trail follows a portion of Steele Creek and connects two sections of Blue Star.
- Blue Star Trail – Blue Star is the longest trail on the Greenway (7.8) miles. This trail is dividing into 5 sections, and it connects to nearly every trail on the Greenway. It follows portions of the Historic Nation Ford Road. [We hike 2 sections on this day.]
- Muscadine Trail – This trail connects with Blue Star and Trestle Trail and Wagon Loop, Wild Azalea and Hickory trails. This trail is accessible from either the Lake Haigler Entrance or the Adventure Road Entrance.
- Wild Azalea Trail – The main point of interest along this trail is Lake Haigler. This trail is accessible to hikers via either the Wagon Loop or the Haigler Loop. This trail connects with Wagon Loop, Muscadine Trail and Haigler Loop. One may use Billy’s Walk as a short cut between Wild Azalea and Muscadine to be able to view the Lake Haigler Spillway.
- Haigler Loop – This is a very popular trail for most visitors. It loops around Lake Haigler, the largest scenic lake on the Greenway. It connects to Blue Star, Wild Azalea, Hickory and Timberline Trails and Wagon Loop.
We began our hike on North Steele Creek Trail and continued onto the Blue Star Trail. The Blue Star Trail led us to the Railroad Trestle. Coleman loves trains and was a little disappointed when a train did not pass overhead once we arrived at the Trestle. He has seen other Railroad Trestles, but this was the first time seeing the Trestle at the Greenway. Whenever he sees a trestle, he will say choo choo. He does not say train yet, but he says choo choo anytime he sees or hears a train.
The Blue Star Trail runs along one side of the Railroad Trestle and Muscadine runs along the other side. Upon leaving the Railroad Trestle area, we started on another section of the Blue Star Trail, across a swinging bridge on then ventured onto Muscadine to head back towards the Lake Haigler Entrance and the Canteen. On the Muscadine side of the Railroad Trestle, Coleman found an opportunity to get close to (and even in) the water. Being a hot and humid day, I did not object to him getting in the water. We skittered off of Muscadine and onto Wild Azalea which led us to Lake Haigler. Once down by the lake, we wondered over to the kayak launch area to obtain some information about renting a kayak on another day. I wanted to know if they had life jackets to fit Coleman. They assured me they did and informed me of the costs and for the length of time which you can rent a kayak. Coleman’s birthday is coming up later this month, so I will try to make it possible for him to go out on the lake in a kayak close to his birthday. He wanted to go out right then and there, but I let him know he’ll need to wait until another day. That we will try to kayak for his birthday.
Leaving the kayak launch area, he chose to hike part of the Haigler Loop before returning to the Rush Pavilion and the Canteen. Once at the canteen we refilled our bottles with ice and water. By this time, we had run out of drink from the 3 bottles we had on the trail with us and were in much need of replenishing our fluid intake. It was so good to just sit and relax for a couple of minutes before heading home.
God Bless. Stay Safe. Enjoy Nature. Thank you! And always remember I appreciate y’all.
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