The weather is finally cooling down, so it’s time to break out of the house—without breaking the bank. The great outdoors of York County offer the escape of a slow, scenic stroll, an adrenaline-pumping bike ride or an aquatic adventure that allows social distancing on the cheap. So lace up your sneakers and soak up some much-needed sunshine and fresh air for free. (And if you’re hungry for more, grab lunch to go at these nearby eateries!)
1. Anne Springs Close Greenway
With 2,100 acres of preserved nature, Anne Springs Close Greenway is a local gem that provides unlimited outdoor recreation. Vast forests—perfect for social distancing—rolling pastures, rambling terrain, and up-close views of the 28-acre Lake Haigler's shimmering view beat any travel documentary you could binge-watch at home. Listen to a podcast or grab a partner to wander with through 36 miles of hiking and biking trails. Come September, you can even traverse the trails on guided horseback rides. Find the two “swinging” suspension bridges and historic cabins. One of the best parts is you can enjoy the beauty of the Greenway for only $5 for admission!
Where to eat: End your hike with a fresh meal at The Greenway Gateway Canteen, then wash it down with drinks at Amor Artis Brewing.
Take in the glimmering sights of the river either solo or in a group. Bring your kayak for a picturesque run down the Catawba River, which spans two states and more than 200 miles from the Blue Ridge Mountains through York County. Or tie up your inflatable tubes six feet apart from friends and float the day away. Do you prefer paddleboarding or are you looking for a wider body of water to enjoy? Jump on Lake Wylie with The Goat Boater in Tega Cay to SUP around. You’ll be refreshed and relaxed however you choose to explore York County’s waterways.
Where to eat: The Pump House provides casual dining on the Catawba River, locally sourced and southern inspired, this is a meal you won’t forget.
3. Riverwalk Carolinas
For a more casual getaway, Riverwalk Carolinas offers shopping, restaurants and idyllic walking along the Catawba River. If you’re into cycling, go for a leisurely spin around nearly seven miles of scenic mountain biking trails, perfect for family trips, or the 1.1 mile paved Criterium Course at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center. For thrill-seekers, RHOC’s BMX Supercross Track features an amateur and elite ramp and an open track at the world-class Giordana Velodrome, operated by Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Where to eat: Try this brand new hot spot – Legal Remedy Brewing’s newest location, LRB Cantina.
4. Kings Mountain State Park
Hike, bike, row or picnic—you can do it all at Kings Mountain State Park. Rent a Jon boat to fish on one of two fishing lakes or take out a seasonal canoe. The park is adjacent to Kings Mountain National Military Park, a Revolutionary War site, which makes this an enchanting destination for history lovers. You can even pack your tent and spend the night enjoying the beautiful views.
Where to eat: Stop at Courtney’s BBQ in nearby Clover, then visit The Peach Tree Orchards for ice cream and fresh produce. Or pop in to McGill’s Store, one of the oldest general stores in York County, and order lunch at Lauren’s Café.
Ready to plan a day or weekend out and eager to learn about other cool and safe activities to get into? Head over to visityorkcounty.com for more details.