Augusta is Georgia’s second-largest city, and thanks to its position near the Savannah River, the city is home to plentiful nature walks and trails. Plus, you can visit South Carolina for even more attractions and tourist destinations by crossing the Savannah River.
Proximity to South Carolina aside, though, Augusta is one of the oldest cities in the state. The town provides a mix of historic southern charm and modern amenities, and the trails you’ll visit reflect that. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to several of the best running trails in Augusta.
The Augusta Canal Heritage Trail is one of Augusta’s most popular running trails. Despite starting in the city’s heart, this eight-mile trail is full of nature and scenic views. The trail itself is mostly packed dirt, so it can get a bit muddy after extended rain, but it’s generally a pleasant run.
Notably, the Augusta Canal Heritage Trail is great for summer running, as the trail’s proximity to the water keeps temperatures cool. Beautiful shade trees also cover some areas of the trail for extra protection. The track is also bike-friendly if you need a change of pace.
Note that the Augusta Canal Heritage Trail can be broken down into many smaller trails, and you might see it referred to by other names, too (such as the Augusta Towpath).
The Pendleton King Park Trail is a proper metropolitan park that you can visit if you don’t want to leave the city. Pendleton King Park is a 64-acre sanctuary that provides habitats for many of Georgia’s native birds. The main trail within the park creates an almost-perfect one-mile loop.
While the trail is moderately well-traveled, it may not be appropriate for beginners, as it’s only partially maintained. Not all of the track is paved, and the unpaved sections can be challenging to follow.
While this cross-country trail is outside of the city of Augusta, it’s well worth the short half-hour drive for a day trip or a picnic, especially if you’re looking for a longer run. Because Augusta State University maintains the trail, it’s an excellent option for those looking for a long-distance running trail.
This trail is best for serious runners, as you’ll face all the hazards you’d expect from a trail in the woods, such as roots, uneven terrain, and flooding. Some branching paths aren’t well-marked.
If you’re looking to get away from the bustle of Augusta without going far, consider running through the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. This park is located right on the Savannah River’s banks, and the park covers more than one thousand acres. It features more than fourteen miles of navigable trails.
However, the main appeal of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park is the variability in its trail difficulty. The park features everything from easy-to-navigate boardwalks to paved trails, a gift shop, and less-traveled paths that go deep inside the preserve itself.
While there are plenty of natural areas to run outside of the city of Augusta, don’t neglect the city’s trails and paths, either. As one of Georgia’s oldest cities, Augusta has its fair share of walkable historic districts and neighborhoods. While many areas in Augusta are runner-friendly year-round, watch out for flooding during the rainy season.