I'm in South Carolina for two weeks for work and making the best of the extended southern summer to keep up with my marathon training. Today I went to the Anne Springs Close Greenway, which is a large network of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails in Fort Mill just south of Charlotte.
It took me some time to find the trailhead to the section that I wanted to run, but once on the trail, I was in heaven. So much so that I developed a theory that trail half marathons may be my calling. I don't know if that's true, but this was a great trail.
I made it about 2.5 or 3 miles into the Blue Star trail when I missed a marker and went the wrong way for a while. I didn't care. I doubled back, found the proper way again, and continued on. I loved the woods. I loved the suspended bridges over the creek. I loved the hawk that took flight right in front of me with a snake in its beak. I loved the little country landmarks like the old mill and the train trestle.
Because of my little detour, I decided to turn around before reaching the southern most terminus of the Blue Star trail. But I plan to go back tomorrow and start at the opposite end to run the piece that I missed. If you love trail running, this is a fantastic system. With summer rain filtering through the trees and damp leaves brushing past my legs, I ran with a smile on my face and felt amazing.
Here is a link to the trail map. I started at the top of the map at the Dairy Farm and Greenway Headquarters (letter G on the map) and took the Blue Star trail south to the east. I turned around near the Webb Grist Mill (letter J).
I may have to find a trail race in Michigan after the Chicago Marathon is done. So much fun!