Augusta, GA – In August, I visited the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and learned a lot about the canal and the Discovery Center’s museum, but it was too hot to take one of the Petersburg boat tours of the canal. I went back to Augusta last weekend to take one of those tours. I had a reservation for a Saturday morning tour, but the weather was cold and rainy, so I rescheduled for a Sunday afternoon tour. The weather on Sunday was beautiful and it turned out to be a great day for a boat tour.
The tours are given on two Petersburg canal boats that were built in the early 2000s as recreations of the original Petersburg boats used on the canal. They’re powered by electric motors because internal combustion engine-powered boats aren’t allowed on the canal. The Autumn scenery along the canal was gorgeous. The leaves were in their Autumn colors and the clear sunny skies meant that they were reflected in the surface of the canal.
In addition to the beautiful scenery, the tour also features the history of Augusta, including Industrial History such as the Enterprise, King, and Sibley textile mills and Civil War History in the form of the Confederate Powderworks and Augusta Ironworks.
The canal boat tour is also a great way to see wildlife along the Augusta Canal. Even though the air and water temperature was cool, there were plenty of turtles along the canal banks. There were also Great Blue Herons along the canal banks and Kingfishers perched on wires above the canal. The canal must also be good for fishing because there were a number of fishermen on and along the canal.
The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and the Augusta Canal Discovery Center are definitely a reason to visit Augusta and the canal boat tours from the Discovery Center are certainly something to include in your visit. It’s a great way to take in some of Augusta’s history and some of its natural beauty since it combines the historic industrial area of the canal with quieter areas in which you can take in nature and wildlife.