Go Outside in Augusta, GA
Augusta, GA, is not located adjacent to mountains or the beach, and it may not be associated with the types of outdoor activities that draw tourists year-around. However, ask around and you’re likely to uncover many ways to enjoy the great outdoors. One of the two cornerstones of Augusta’s outdoor scene is the Savannah River. The Savannah River forms a natural border separating Georgia from South Carolina, and you’ll find multiple ways to enjoy the water.
Start by visiting Savannah Rapids Park. This park is home to the historic Augusta Canal headgates (parts of the buildings date back to the 1880s!). When you visit, bring your tennis shoes and workout attire and walk, run or cycle alongside one of the various trails adjacent to the Savannah River Canal. You can use the primary path to go from the park to downtown Augusta. If you prefer to start from another area, there are entrance points for the Augusta Canal trails in the following locations: Water Pump Station, at the end of Riverlook Drive; 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; and Old Turning Basin at 13th Street, near the Walton Rehab Hospital. If you prefer to get closer to the water, you can bring a kayak or canoe – or rent one from one of several local businesses providing this service if you don’t have your own – or on a lazy summer morning, you’re likely to see small groups floating down the canal in inner tubes. Just make sure you have a plan to get home!
On your next weekend, consider a visit to Phinzy Swamp & Nature Park, located near the Augusta Regional Airport. The park contains more than 1,100 acres of land, and the associated swamp is estimated to encompass more than 7000 acres. When you are planning a visit to Phinzy Swamp & Nature Park, there are a number of named trials, observation areas and fishing areas. The list includes the Beaver Dam Trial, the Bridge Through the Woods, Floodplain Boardwalk and Observation Deck, Mayor’s Fishin’ Hole – one of the popular Augusta fishing spots (fishing license is required), Pfizer Pavilion, Pond Trail, Rain Garden Deck & Boardwalk (look out for multiple species of turtles and waterfowl), Wetland Cells, and the Windshear Tower. You don’t have to plan to do it all in one day. Because of its convenient location, Phinzy Swamp & Nature Park is an Augusta location you’ll want to visit again and again with your family.
The other cornerstone of Augusta’s outdoor scene is golf – most specifically, the internationally acclaimed Masters Tournament, hosted at Augusta National Golf Club in April. Augusta National is not a public golf course, but if you manage to score tickets to one of the tournament days, you can explore the beautiful grounds on foot, while catching a glimpse of some of the best golfers in the world. After you’ve admired this unique Augusta treasure, you can get active and play golf at one of the Augusta area’s public golf courses, including Augusta Country Club, Forest Hill Golf course, Jones Creek Golf Club, West Lake Country Club, and River Club (located in North Augusta).
Be sure to dress appropriately for any outdoor activities – especially during the hot Augusta summer. You’ll want to wear weather-appropriate clothing that breathes well in heat and humidity. In addition, be sure to wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water.