Let’s Go Outside in Augusta, GA
Augusta, GA, may not be thought of as a destination location for outdoor enthusiasts, but there’s more to Augusta’s outdoor scene than meets the eye. The Savannah River forms a natural border separating Augusta, GA, from North Augusta, SC, and Augusta’s proximity to the Savannah River lends itself to days on the water. The Augusta Riverwalk is a paved path that runs alongside the river in downtown Augusta, offering runners and walkers, as well as families out for a stroll, great views and water breezes. Along the way, you’ll pass an events pavilion as well as a playground. While the kids are playing, you may be lucky enough to see a train cross the bridge, giving you close-up views of this mode of transportation.
If you’re seeking views of more trees and fewer buildings, there are other opportunities to enjoy the river. Start by visiting Savannah Rapids Park. While you’re there, bring your tennis shoes so you can walk, run or cycle alongside one of the multiple trails of the Savannah River Canal, but also take time to visit the historic Augusta Canal headgates, with buildings dating back to the 1880s. When you’re back on the trails, there are multiple routes to try. The most prominent path takes you to historic downtown Augusta. There are other entrance points for the Augusta Canal trails include Lake Olmstead, at the end of Milledge Road (this single location gives you access to three trails – River Levee, Towpath, and Mill Village); Mill Village Trailhead, at Grace Street near the Kroc Center; Discovery Center at Enterprise Mill; Water Pump Station, at the end of Riverlook Drive; and Old Turning Basin at 13th Street, near the Walton Rehab Hospital. And if you’re ready to get in the water, you can drop in your kayak or canoe in the canal (there are several rental places if you don’t have your own). For a truly lazy day, you and some friends can float down the canal in inner tubes. Just make sure to arrange transportation when you get to your final destination.
Golf is a popular outdoor activity in the Augusta area. Augusta has several public and private golf courses, including Forest Hill Golf course, Augusta Country Club, Jones Creek Golf Club, and West Lake Country Club. Much of local interest in golf stems from Augusta’s association with a prominent golf tournament. Augusta is home to the internationally acclaimed Masters Tournament, hosted by Augusta National Golf Course in April. Augusta National is not a public golf course, but you can catch glimpses of the course’s beauty by driving around the course itself, or if you’re lucky enough to snag tickets to April’s big event.
With trails, parks, playgrounds and access to the water, many people are surprised to find all that Augusta has to offer outside. But, if you don’t consider yourself an “outdoors person” but you’d like to get some vitamin D, consider a visit to downtown Augusta or Surrey Center, and explore the plethora of local restaurants, shops and businesses nearby (and air conditioning!).