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Planning a Wedding in Augusta, Georgia

I recently got married in my hometown of Augusta, GA. While planning a wedding takes lots of time, and can be stressful-it was worth it in the end!

There are so many places to choose from to get married in Augusta. The city offers many churches, downtown venues, historic sites, hotels, and even an old firehouse. My family hosted my bridal brunch at the beautiful and historic Partridge Inn. This is a Southern hotel that dates back 100 years and is still the splendor of the South!

We decided to have our rehearsal dinner at Enterprise Mill, located downtown on the Augusta Canal. This was the perfect place to enjoy the historic mill, while also enjoying the sites of the canal.

We chose the church I grew up in, The Hill Baptist Church, located in Summerville, for the ceremony site. Last, we decided on The River Room located on the Savannah River in historic St Paul’s Church for our reception site. We wanted to incorporate as many features that Augusta has to offer.

There are also many wonderful vendors to choose from when deciding who to use for your caterer, cake, flowers, band/DJ, photographer/videographer, wedding dress/tux, gifts for your attendants and everything else! Also, here at the Augusta CVB we can help you with reserving hotel rooms for your out of town guests at a discounted rate, and help with locating a venue for any of your wedding events.

So, if you or someone you know is thinking about getting married here in Augusta, the opportunities are endless and I can assure you, you will be happy with any choice here in Augusta. Happy Wedding Planning!!!

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.

Biking along the Augusta Canal

There’s nothing better than being outside in the Springtime in the South.  Recently my 6 year old little boy, Brandon, and I went for a nice, easy bike ride along the tow path of the Augusta Canal.  We parked at the headgates where the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River meet and the Canal begins.  A nice pedestrian bridge let’s you walk your bikes across the canal for easy access to the flat dirt path.  For a while the bike or walking trail runs in between the Savannah River and the Canal, talk about beautiful scenery.   There is so much to see and take in all around you.  It was fun for Brandon and me to spot the yellow-belly sliding turtles sitting on logs as we rode.  Every we time we stopped for a water break we could see those turtles sunning and just hanging out.  There were so many of them it was hard to keep count.

Another beautiful spot that feeds into the Canal is this waterfall; recent renovations to this area have made getting to this spot much easier and it is as picturesque as you can get.  I would have taken a million photos of Brandon here if he would have just stayed still a little longer!

Brandon and I only rode for probably a mile or so before he was ready to call it quits, but the path along the Canal is 8 miles one way, so if you’re up for a nice little jaunt, up and back is a good ride.  And if you’re a cycling enthusiast you can continue to ride from the Canal onto a couple of different cycling trails.  Bike paths in Columbia County, GA actually lead into the headgates and from the downtown Augusta section of the Canal you can easily access North Augusta, South Carolina’s Greenway.

Anyway you choose to explore it or get out and ride in Augusta on the Canal you’re guaranteed to enjoy the warmth of the season, nature, and create great memories along the way.

Disc Golf in Augusta

For the past two years my husband has been trying unsuccessfully to get me to play disc golf with him. I just never thought it would be much fun. Why not play regular golf instead, I thought? So, I was a good sport, following him around the disc golf course as his ‘caddy’ for a while.  Until one day, when he insisted I try it just for a few holes. If I hated it, he’d never ask me to play again. Well, lo and behold, I tried it and I liked it! 

I’m not very good yet, but I really have enjoyed it so far.  There is a lot more technique involved that just slinging a frisbee down the fairway, so I’m working on that part.  For the most part, it is really fun and it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors.  The other great part is that there are so many disc golf courses in the area to choose from.  The International Disc Golf Association and Disc Golf Hall of Fame is located right outside of Augusta, making it a prime location for disc golfers.

Two of our favorite courses are the Riverview Park course in North Augusta and Pendleton King Park in Augusta.  Riverview Park is definitely the harder of the two, since nearly all of the front nine is on or near big hills.  This course wraps its way around Riverview Park, giving you a great view of the Greeneway and the Savannah River.

(View of the Savannah River from the Riverview Disc Golf Course)

I find it really easy to lose discs out there, since the fairways are more narrow and I’m still learning how to play. The course at Pendleton King Park, on the other hand, is a little bit more beginner-friendly.  This course spreads out around Pendleton King Park and a few holes are pretty wide.  Pendleton King might also be my favorite because there is an ice cream truck that visits the park from time to time, which makes it easy to enjoy an ice cream sandwich between holes! Both courses have great signage, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the woods while you look for the next tee!

If you’re looking for something new to try in Augusta you should definitely check out disc golf. And if you’re a veteran, maybe you could try a new course. There’s even a course close to downtown at Lake Olmstead! For more course listings in the area check out the PDGA’s website.

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!

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