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Augusta Canal Boat Tour

It was a foggy October morning in Augusta, Georgia when we decided to take the kids on their first Petersburg Boat Tour along the Augusta Canal. They loved it!

Jake loves the water – although at 1½ years old everything that is water is “boat.” And William the 3 ½ year old got to be the Captain. The tour guide gave plenty of history that was lost on my two kids, but I enjoyed the stories. The boys were entertained with wildlife we saw – birds and turtles. But of course we kept an eye out for alligators.

There are several different types of tours besides the one hour tour we took – like moonlight tour and a music tour. I know groups have even rented the boats for family reunions and office outings. For more info on the boat tours, history and museum visit the Augusta Canal’s website. Because I know I am missing all sorts of important stuff.

But I have to say our tour was just long enough and the photo of Captain William will last forever!

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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