Locate It: Augusta

Augusta Outdoors is More than Golf

Augusta, Georgia may be best known for the elite Masters® golf tournament, but its location on the Savannah River in Georgia’s Classic South travel region gives residents and visitors plenty of reasons to spend the days outdoors.

Augusta, Georgia may be best known for the elite Masters® golf tournament, but its location on the Savannah River in Georgia’s Classic South travel region gives residents and visitors plenty of reasons to spend the days outdoors.

One of Augusta’s primary attractions is the Augusta Canal, an outdoor oasis only minutes from the city’s downtown restaurants, shopping and lodging. Whether you hike, bike, paddle, fish, or just float through the waterway’s 170-year history on a guided boat tour, you’ll create memories in Georgia’s first National Heritage Area. Take in views of both the river’s rapids and placid canal waters on the historic towpath – a wide, level, sand-clay surface trail running the 7-mile length of the upper canal into downtown Augusta that was once used by mules to pull canal boats to the canal headgates. Keep your eyes open to spot playful river otters in the canal. Additional trails branch off from the towpath into various wooded and urban areas. Pick up a trail map at the Augusta Canal Discovery Center.

Downtown, enjoy a walk along the Augusta Riverwalk, a two-tiered park that runs for 3 blocks along the banks of the Savannah River. The Riverwalk connects a children’s playground, various gardens, two museums, the Jessye Norman Amphitheater, and several restaurants. It is the preferred way for Augusta families to enjoy the river and get some fresh air.

Walk or peddle along the North Augusta Greenway. The shady trail is like traveling through a tunnel of greenery. Serious mountain bikers will enjoy the Fork Area Trail System (F.A.T.S), a series of loops through a thickly forested area. Hikers are welcome on F.A.T.S as well. There are also 14 miles of great trails for hikers and bikers at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, a designated Audubon bird area. Glimpse turtles, fish, marsh rabbits, an amazing array of birds, and diverse flora along the swamp’s miles of boardwalks, bridges, and trails.

 

If you consider yourself to be a water sprite, Augusta has you covered. You can fish for bass, or go boating and water skiing on Clarks Hill Lake, kayak from the Augusta Canal into Lake Olmstead, or go paddleboarding on the Savannah River.

Do you disc golf? Then Augusta will not disappoint. Bring your friends to play friendly matches on the 3 courses at the Professional Disc Golf Association headquarters, 4 courses at The Hippodrome, or single courses at Lake Olmstead Park, Pendelton King Park and Riverview Park.

Of course, Augusta is known for traditional golf. The Masters® tournament is played here every April at the exclusive Augusta National course. If you want to test your own swing, you’ll find both public and semi-private courses all around the region. Or try The Inside Drive, an indoor golf simulator that replicates the experience of playing at more than 100 golf courses, including Pebble Beach, Pinehurst No. 2 and Torrey Pines.

Serious athletes may already be familiar with Augusta, which hosts North America’s largest Ironman® 70.3 triathlon competition. Consisting of a 1.2-mile down-current swim in the Savannah River, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run through downtown Augusta (70.3 miles of total racing), the Ironman® 70.3 Augusta attracts 3,600 competitors who want to test their stamina against some of the world’s most elite athletes.

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