Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Trail

Augusta, Georgia 30917

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Trail

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Augusta Canal Trail is one of the most historic of Georgia’s hiking paths, following the waterway that was constructed in the 1840s. The hiking/biking trail runs from the headgates that release water into the canal downstream to the Augusta waterworks pumping station. You walk on what was originally the path used by draft animals to pull cargo boats upstream to the locks.

Expect to see canoeists and kayakers on the canal and the Savannah River. There is a commercial outfitter offering boat rentals at the headgate park. History, scenery, birding, and wildlife watching are a few of the fascinating things waiting for you while hiking this rustic and urban hiking trail."

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Trail Trip Reports

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3/20/2018
Very historic and very easy.
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6/9/2013
I did the 7 mile backcountry trail as a day hike. You no longer need to have a permit for hiking, only for camping.
I chose to start the loop by first descending into the canyons from the trail behind the visitor center. This is fairly steep descent, and was somewhat slick after a rain. From the bottom of the canyon, you can take the canyon loop or the backcountry loop.
For the first mile or so, the backcountry loop follows the course of a stream bed. It was not especially wet when I was there, but I could see how it would be quite wet during rainy weather.
The trail is rather hilly, with many climbs and descents throughout. Nothing terrible, but not much flat land. The trail is lightly traveled, so there are many points where branches hang low and the trail isn't much wider than your foot.
By going in the direction I did, the canyons were not visible until the end of the hike. the trail takes you around the top rim of the canyons, and some of the views are absolutely beautiful. The last stretch takes you back down to the base of the canyons before returning to the visitor center. I recommend going into the canyon trails to get views of the canyons from the floor - well worth the extra distance.
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2/21/2009
We did the 7 mile loop starting from the visitor's center over two days. We camped at backcountry site #5, which we thought was the best because it is off of the main trail so you have privacy. The only disappointment was that the backcountry sites do not have views of the canyons. The sites are nice, but it is just a wooded area. The majority of the canyon views from the top are accessible from the visitor's area. What I would recommend is to somehow incorporate the trails in the canyons into your trip. We just stuck to the loop so we never were down in the canyons themselves. Other things to note are that you can't filter water due to the iron ore. So be sure to take in all of the water that you will need. Also, the mile markers are a little screwy. For example, you start from the visitor's center and it is roughly 3 miles to the first backcountry site (#6), but it is right past mile marker 2. There is also a shortcut that cuts off the trail that goes to site #1. You can't really get lost, but the trail markings are strange. And, once you get to the canyon floor, the trail IS the creek bed. That confused us for a little bit until we picked up a red blaze. That part can be wet and muddy so prepare for that. Some materials I read said that the 7 mile loop was "extremely rugged". I wouldn't classify it that way at all. There are probably two ascents from the canyon floor, but the canyon is only 150 ft so they aren't bad at all. Overall, I thought it was great, but I would get into the canyons if you can.
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1/6/2007
Providence offers a 7 mile and a 3+ mile trail. To hike the 7 mile trail they ask that you register before 2pm. I did not get there before 2 so I can only comment on the 3+ miles of cannon trail. This is an interesting trail in that it is hard to believe this canyon has been formed in less than 140 years. You can walk up to the walls of the canyon and see that they [the walls] are formed by sand instead of rock. Easy and very interesting trail for this area. I recommend it. Note that you may get your feet wet walking up stream beds through these canyons.
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8/25/2006
This is a must see trail. The trail is moderate with spectacular views of the canyon. Being able to walk through the base of the canyons and viewing the canyon walls up close is unbelievable. Words can not describe this trail. You have to see.
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10/23/2005
Hike starts at the visitors center after you check in to get your permit. You can leave your car parked at the visitor center (good for peace of mind while overnite backpacking). Did the 7 mile trail over two days.
Good trail system, pretty well marked. There's 6 overnite campsites. The best being 2,5,and 6. Site 6 has a large lean-to shelter you could set up 2 tents under if the weather turns real crappy. Only a few up and downs, when leaving the gorge and coming out at the end. For the most part, the trail is very pleasant to hike. would not recommend this trail after a few days of rain. A good portion of the hike is at the bottom of the canyon on the creek bed. The only reason I gave the trail a 3 and not a 5 is that you need to pack in ALL your water. The water in the creek is so full of iron, it's worse than sucking on a rusty nail, and it clogs your filter. But the canyon is AWESOME. You'll swear that you're in New Mexico with the terrain and colors inside the canyon. Good place to base camp is at Kolomoki state park 45 min south of Lumpkin in Blakely. It's a first class place to camp. (opt for primative site #3 it's totally by its self, great for dogs to run.
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Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Trail Photos

Trail Information

Augusta
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
7
Distance
Shuttle
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
About 3 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
USGS Martinez, Augusta West, and Augusta East
Local Maps

Trail Log