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Paddling Deep Step

Deep Step, a former cypress swamp that runs alongside the Savannah River, was where some friends and I decided to explore this weekend.  Despite having lived in the area over ten years, I’m still finding new areas around Augusta to discover with scenic beauty and an abundance of flora and fauna. 

 

The first thing we learned is that Deep Step is deep in name only!  After paddling far into the area we found  the waterway narrowing considerably and ourselves barely floating above the bottom.  We had to pull our way through some muddy spots with our paddles, but catching a glimpse of this tranquil and beautiful spot was well worth it. 

Fishing Deep Step is another popular activity, but the water level is key!  Bass boats and the like will likely get stuck or have their hulls pierced by the many remaining cypress stumps.  Canoes, Johnboats and kayaks are ideal in this type of water.

 

If you’re interested in exploring Deep Step or any other area of the Savannah River, kayak and canoe rentals are available at American Wilderness Outfitters Limited.

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!

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.

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