Spring Island - Best Equestrian Community of the Year
Spring Island is timeless, pristine and a private oasis. Situated about 35 minutes north of Savannah, the 400 home private island on the Sea Islands of South Carolina is the place to unplug, escape and play hard. History here dates back to the early 1700’s when the island was a working cotton plantation and the historic Tabby Ruins still remain. Traditions here aren’t much different than they were 100 years ago. Families building memories around quail hunting with the dogs, crab boils, oyster roasts and gardening. Spread across 3,000 acres, the peninsular island protruding out into the Colleton River is a true sportsman’s playground with saltwater and freshwater fishing, sporting clays fields, and backcountry horseback riding. Our thoughts are not alone. Sporting Classics magazine called Spring Island “a sportsman’s nirvana.” It’s not your typical country club although the gated community does have a Spring Island golf course designed by Arnold Palmer.
The 31 acre equestrian facility is understated and first-class. A classic red barn set in a forest near the core community amenities. The center has 29.5 acres of pastures and paddocks, an all-weather flat arena and round pen, plus sand and grass jumping arenas. But best of all, there are over 30 miles of manicured trails on the island wind through salt marsh, live oak forests, pine savannahs and old agricultural fields. For Baby Boomers approaching retirement, this could be one of the finest equestrian retirement communities in the Southeast. The Spring Island Club has been awarded the prestigious Distinguished Emerald Club of the World for the superb combination of qualities, both features offered and superior staffing. At the equestrian center, 20 year veteran Lacey Halstead with a B.S. in Animal Science, an M.S. in Rangeland Ecology leads the equestrian program.
EQUESTRIAN CENTER FEATURES
- 24 Stalls w/fly spray, wall-to-wall rubber aisle mats, an engineer-designed overhead fan system
- 16 Paddocks and Pastures (29.5 acres of coastal Bermuda & Bahia for grazing)
- 100 x 200 Flatwork Arena
- 3/4 Acre Multi purpose Sand Arena
- 1/2 Acre Grass Arena
- 60 Foot Round Pen
- Full Care Boarding Programs
- Horseback Riding Lessons
- Social Activities and Events
- Club Horses
Fees at the center range from $400 a month to $1100 a month for the Premium Boarding services for horse care. We took a trail ride this year with Lacey Halstead, the facility’s manager, to see what makes Spring Island unique and grew to appreciate the importance of the sandy roads and hidden trails through the shimmering forest. Within minutes of departing the equestrian center, we felt like we were a million miles away in centuries of the past. Our senses were heightened listening to the sounds of the whistling wind, clicking oysters at low tide and song birds near the Spring Island golf course. We could tell the horses were enjoying the ride as much as we did as we headed towards the Tabby Ruins and the massive St. Francis of Assisi statue, a tribute built in 1971.
A club member shares an inside glimpse - “I went horseback riding. We spotted the eagle’s nest above the Great Salt Pond. The marsh and Port Royal Sound ran as far as the eye could see—-astoundingly beautiful, powerful, and untouched. It became so clear—Spring Island was one of the most unique and pristine places in America.”
The Sea Islands are special place Baby Boomers have been staking a claim on for years. The topography here is still lush and unspoiled. The wetlands and salt water ponds are scenic nature habitats. There are 36 fresh and saltwater ponds on the island. The island serves as an ecological research site for universities and other scientific organizations. The Community Garden is one of the largest we’ve seen and provides free seasonal produce to the residents as well as farm to table ingredients to the community’s restaurants.
The island is a classic example of southern inspired communities on the Sea Islands featuring Southern coastal cottages and distinguished luxury waterfront estates. Homes blend beautifully with the landscape and often times are purposely hidden. Approximately 264 homes have been built here of the 410 planned. Prices range from the high $400k’s to over $3 million. Amenities on the private island include a golf course, wellness center and swimming pools, tennis courts, ball fields, two clubhouses with dining, community garden and art barn. The Spring Island golf course recently jumped 15 spots to #28 Best Residential Golf Course in Golfweek’s Top 100 Residential golf courses. Mandatory club membership is pricey and keeps the club exclusive. Monthly HOA fees and full golf privileges runs about $1,600 a month plus the $125K initiation fee to join the club.
We honor Spring Island as our 2015 Best Equestrian Community of the Year. Whether folks are raising a young family teaching equine principles or are searching for equestrian retirement communities with like minded retired Baby Boomers, the island offers a rich and fulfilling life to horse lovers at one of the top places to live in South Carolina. If Spring Island sounds like it might be a right for you, ask us to introduce you to our trusted colleague who can show you around the island.