I tried this trail out this past Saturday and I LOVE This Augusta Trail. I usually walk the Greeneway in North Augusta and have walked the Canal throughout the years, but I just checked out this area, which is new to me.
I parked in the parking area near Lake Olmstead Stadium at Lake Olmstead Trailhead and walked to 13th Street Bridge and back for a total of four miles. You can see Hammonds Ferry in North Augusta from this trail and a couple of cool bridges with great scenery. CHECK OUT MY PICTURES BELOW!
Here’s more info on all the trails from Augusta Canal.
The main Canal trail. Originally used by draft animals to pull canal cargo boats upstream to the locks, today the towpath is the main hiking/biking trail on the north side of the Canal from the headgates to Sibley Mill. In earlier times no trees grew along the path; today the upper reach of the towpath is lined with trees that provide habitat for birds and wildlife. LOCATION: Between the Canal and Savannah River. From the headgates to the rest area is recycled asphalt surface, then sand/clay dirt road to Goodrich Street
- Approximate Length
Headgates to I-20 overpass: 2 miles
Headgates to the Raw Water Pumping Station: 3.5 miles
Headgates to the King/Sibley Mills: approximately 5 miles.
River Levee Trail
Curving from the Lake Olmstead bulkhead through wooded areas between the Canal and Savannah River for 1.7 miles. Two bridges span the trailraces of Sibley and King mills, offering great views of the river. The path climbs the river levee via a boardwalk, crosses the top of the levee at Hawks Gulley Bulkhead at 15th Street onto another boardwalk to a paved trail and ends at 13th St. There you can cross and connect to Riverwalk.
DIRECTIONS/PARKING. Drive past Lake Olmstead Park/GreenJackets baseball stadium to the end of Milledge Road. Park in gravel parking lot.
START. Walk across Canal on the Olmstead Bulkhead Bridge. Go down the Canal embankment. Trailhead is across dirt road, to the left. It is marked with a large brown sign and map.
Phase III of River Levee Trail passes beneath Riverwatch Parkway along Rae’s Creek, then turns east, running parallel to the parkway and along the Savannah River. It crosses two bridges. From there a 400-foot timber boardwalk leads to the top of the Savannah River levee near the Riverwatch Parkway access ramps.
END. This trail’s current end point is at 13th St. But from there, you can cross the street to access the Riverwalk.
The Mill Village Trail
Along the southwest bank of the Canal, this trail passes though Harrisburg, an 18th Century trading post that became a 19th Century textile mill village and is now a National Landmark historic district. LOCATION: This trail is through an urban area and crosses or uses some city streets. Surfaces vary. Begin at Lake Olmstead Bulkhead parking area, follow signs along southeast side of Canal. Trail crosses to Canal’s north side at 15th Street/Butt Bridge, ending at 13th Street/ Walton Rehabilitation Hospital.
Third Level Urban Trail
This trail follows city streets from the old turning basin at 13th Street & Walton Way to Davidson School at Telfair. From there it is a concrete paved trail following the Canal’s third level channel, ending at 7th Street.
Side Trails and Paths
- Old Fish Camp Path: A short 165 yard dirt trail leads to site of former squatters shack and fish camp.
- River Shoals Nature Trail: A 0.7 mile loop just northwest of the Clearing, between towpath and the river
- Mountain Bike Singletrack: A dirt 2-mile loop southeast of the Water Pump station, between the railoard tracks and river this singletrack mountain bike trail has some challenging sections. Click here for more information.
- Lake Olmstead Trail: A paved half-mile trail along the shore of Lake Olmstead, a recreational lake formed by Rae’s Creek the Canal enlargement during the 1870s. LOCATION: East side of lake from Bulkhead bridge to Julian Smith Casino (log recreation hall) at Broad Street
Other nearby hike and bike trails include the North Augusta, S.C. Greene Way (cross the Savannah River at 13th Street) and the Columbia County multi-use trail in Evans (from Headgate/ Savannah Rapids Park, follow path by Evans-to-Lock Road southwest.