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Kayaking in Augusta

Several friends and I kayaked down a creek just a mile or two downstream of downtown Augusta on the Savannah River.  What a gorgeous time of year to be out enjoying nature.  The colors were vibrant and nature still full of life.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

Around each twist and turn of the creek, we came across new discoveries. 

We hoped we didn’t disturb this fisherman where the creek met the Savannah River.

It was a good workout paddling back upstream to the boat house, but the good company and warm weather helped it fly by.

If you’d like to rent a canoe or kayak and go on your own adventures, you’ve got options!

American Wilderness Outdoors Limited (AWOL) and the 5th Street Marina both rent kayaks and canoes and will even provide drop off / pick up at locations of your choice.  Both businesses have knowledgeable staff who can recommend the best routes for your interests and skill level.  The Savannah River, Strom Thurmond Lake and Bettys Branch are all popular choices. AWOL will also provide guides for groups or you can join their Thursday Night Twilight Paddles in the warmer months. Be safe and have fun exploring Augusta by water!

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.

Augusta IronMan 70.3

IronManJake

You probably don’t think an Ironman competition is good for one or three year olds – but I have to tell you they loved the Augusta Ironman 70.3. On Sunday, September 28, 2009 I took the entire family to downtown Augusta to watch the final stage of this amazing race.

It was the largest Ironman 70.3 competition ever held. Starting at I think 7:30 a.m. they swam in the Savannah River for more than a mile. Then road their bike into South Carolina for something like 56 miles. And finished on with a half marathon through historic downtown covered in shade thanks to some old elm trees and crepe myrtles.

We actually started our adventure watching the first competitor finish the race in less than four hours. He crossed the finish line at the Augusta Common, a park in the middle of downtown. They had cloggers on either side of him as he crossed the finish line. Again I was very impressed, but the kids enjoyed the tents set up and all the flags and colors and of course any green space to run free is fun for them.

The athletes continued to file in for the next several hours. It was really like watching a parade. Everyone cheered and clapped for the runners. We sat and had lunch at T-Boys. I do recommend the Shrimp Po-Boy and the homemade potato chips and swamp dip. Yeah – not the meal of champions, but a meal for the family. We then sat on the curb and watched them go by.

I really look forward to next year when the Ironman comes again to Augusta. I am pretty sure I will not be competing… but you never know…it looked like so much fun!

Peggy

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