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The Augusta BMX Track

There’s just no shortage of recreational opportunities in  Augusta, GA.  Recently my husband and I took our son to the Augusta BMX track.  Brandon will start the second grade next month.  He has never been to anything like this before, but he’s athletic and loves to ride his bike.  We chose a Sunday evening to go check it out, which for us, worked out really well.  There were just a few kids there when we arrived, all older than Brandon, but they were all nice and let him get on the track without feeling too intimidated.  Soon we were the only ones there and Brandon could really try it out.

He loved it!  You could see the exhilaration on his face as he sped down the gate, over the hills, and rounded the curves.  There were a few minor scrapes, but all in all he toughed it out and can’t wait to go again. Augusta’s BMX track is at Wood St. and Division St. near downtown and is operated by the Augusta Recreation Department.

If you have any questions about the BMX track you can reach them at (706) 421-9892 or  (877) 269-1269 ext. 11.  It is free and open to the public during daylight hours.  It is also home to the Augusta BMX Club.  I definitely see more of this in our family’s future and look forward to a lot of fun and a heavy supply of band aids!

Mountain Biking Minutes from Downtown Augusta

Situated between the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal Towpath is one of the area’s best kept secrets.  Chances are many have ridden right past it not knowing this hidden gem is awaiting their arrival.  It winds like a serpentine through the dense urban jungle, only 10 minutes away from downtown Augusta.  And just like a serpentine, it will strike if provoked.  It’s the Augusta Canal Singletrack and it’s poised for your tread.

The Canal Singletrack is a 3-mile, well-established trail that surprisingly enough, few people know exist.  Located next to the Pump Station halfway between the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and downtown Augusta, the Canal Singletrack is one of the CSRA’s most convenient trails.  The trail was built in the early nineties by local mountain bikers wanting a place to ride with out the long, pre-ride drive.  This was before FATS so the closest trails were a 30-45 minute drive (still not bad compared to other areas).  The story is that there were some pre-existing deer trails in the woods and the crew simply built more trail off of the deer creations.  And to this day you will see deer using the trails and hear them slicing through the woods.  Being that space was limited due to the surrounding water, they had to really focus on maximizing trail length per square foot.  

In an effort to create as much fun possible in a small area, the Canal Singletrack is one of the tighter, more technical trails.  It’s full of close radius turns, steep descents leading to nearly 180-degree turns, and every other type of turn imaginable to keep riders on their toes (or fingers on the brakes).  It has a several gulleys to ride along the river, including a nearly 8 ft. deep gulley that riders can dive into at speed and shoot out the other side with only a couple pedal strokes.  But the Canal Singletrack is not all tight turns and gulleys.  For the big ring kings, there’s a nice open area along the retention ponds that allows riders to “open it up.”  This is a great section for setting a top speed record.  Just make sure you’re riding the trail in the correct direction, clockwise on odd days and counter-clockwise on even days.

Other highlights of the trail include a 90 ft. long, 3 ft. wide, elevated boardwalk that was built by SORBA-CSRA (the local MTB club) with contributions from Fred Russell, Mulherin Lumber, and the late Dick Fox.  The boardwalk was constructed as a fix for an area riddled with drainage problems and makes for a very unique riding feature.  There is also a tall, steep set of stairs above the trailhead made from old railroad cross ties that riders can bomb down.  If a physical and technical challenge is desired, try riding straight up the middle of the “stairs” without putting a foot down.

It’s easy to see why the Canal Singletrack is still going strong.  It’s well-maintained, super fun, there’s a good chance for wildlife sightings, it’s near the water, and it’s in the middle of downtown Augusta.  Local mountain bikers are very fortunate to have this type of offering in such a convenient location.  Now that the secret is out, go explore one of Augusta’s hidden gems!       

Blog submitted by local cycling enthusiast Drew Jordan. Thank you Drew!

Exploring the Augusta Canal Trail

The Augusta Canal is one of the most interesting historic landmarks in Augusta. It was created in 1845 to use water power from the Savannah River to power textile mills.  It is the only canal in North America still in use for its original purpose, and there are still buildings in Augusta that use hydropower from the canal.  The tow paths that run parallel to the canal used to be for mules and horses that would pull boats up or down the canal.  Now those paths are used for recreation.  You can hike, jog, or bike the canal trail and experience part of the historic beauty that is still a part of Augusta today.

The trail runs about 7 miles long altogether and has several different points of entry if you would like to take a shorter ride or walk beside the canal.  If you decide to take the trail all the way up to the headgates you will see the Savannah River and other scenic spots! You can even paddle the canal yourself if you have your own canoe or kayak, or you can rent one from American Wilderness Outfitters Limited (AWOL). To learn more about the canal and its history check out the Augusta Canal’s website. If you would like more information on the trails and how to enjoy the canal on your bike or in your own boat, click here.

Enjoy a Photo Journey through Augusta

What a gorgeous season to be outside enjoying Augusta!  Saturday my girlfriend Stacey and I rode along the Augusta Canal to explore downtown Augusta.  The Augusta Canal Heritage Area has a path you can follow all the way from the Savannah Rapids Pavilion straight into the downtown area. 

Along the way, there were all sorts of things to see. 

The trees are all turning beautiful colors.

As we got closer to town, we passed some of the old mills and historical buildings close by.  Here is Sibley Mill and the Ezekiel Harris House.

We went by a Petersburg Boat tour in progress – they’re a lot of fun too. 

They start at the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center located in Enterprise Mill.  The regular hour-long tours are narrated by story-telling guides who share all sorts of information about history, nature and wildlife. 

Once downtown, we crossed over the Butt Bridge and made our way to Springfield Village Park.

Chicago artist Richard Hunt sculpted the Tower of Aspiration that reaches to the skies above the park.

Just down Broad Street a little ways, another well-known artist, I.M. Pei, designed the pyramid-shaped structure atop this building downtown. 

And of course, no visit to downtown is complete without visiting the James Brown statue!  Here he is all decorated for the Christmas season.

We rode a little further to the Marina to check out the Head of the South Regatta with teams coming to compete from all over the east coast.

While we were down there, we also noticed you can rent bicycles and canoes at the Marina.  That means when you visit Augusta, you can ride bikes and follow our steps or create your own tour of downtown Augusta!

Afterwards, we hopped back on our bikes, totally satisfied by a beautiful morning exploring our hometown.

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