ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Augusta Riverwalk, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Augusta Riverwalk, Georgia
The Augusta Riverwalk
A beautiful greenway along the Savannah River,
the Augusta Greenway links numerous historic and
scenic points of interest.
The Augusta Riverwalk
Conceived to help Augusta
save the riverfront that gave it
birth, the Riverwalk is popular
with residents and visitors.
The Savannah River
Augusta was founded by early
traders at the natural head of
navigation on the Savannah
River. It quickly developed into
a city of great importance.
The Augusta Riverwalk - Augusta, Georgia
Celebrating the Savannah River
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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Historic Railroad Exhibit
The historic oaks of Biloxi
frame picturesque views of
the city's beautiful beaches
and the blue waters of the
Gulf of Mexico.
Fort Augusta Monument
Seen here from the Riverwalk,
the Fort Augusta Monument
marks the sites of Fort
Augusta (1735) and Fort
Cornwallis (1780). Both stood
at St. Paul's Church.
The Augusta Riverwalk along the Savannah
River in Georgia is one of the finest efforts of
its type in the nation.

The Savannah River gave the city of Augusta
its life in the first place, but also brought
devastation and death during its regular
floods. The flood of 1908, for example, killed
18 people in Augusta and it was but one of a
series of floods that took place when the river
overflowed its banks and spread out through
the streets of the city.

It was not until 1919, however, that the city's
historic levee was built. The safety it provided
turned out to be far less than expected. The
Flood of 1929, which devastated towns and
farms across the South, forced the Savannah
River to rise so high that it flowed over the
new levee at Augusta and again flooded the
downtown area.

The levee was strengthened, but it was not
until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built
the Clarks Hill Dam (now named the J. Strom
Thurmond Dam) just upstream from the city
that the threat of flooding came to an end in
downtown Augusta.

By that time, however, the downtown area
had begun the deterioration that plagued
many American cities. Businesses moved
out, property values declined and crime

In a remarkable effort to spark a downtown
revitalization, the people of Augusta formed
an organization called Augusta Tomorrow.
The group was the catalyst that ignited a
riverfront project that is one of the finest in the

Augusta Tomorrow formed a partnership with
the City of Augusta and the two entities
funded a master plan for the develop of the
riverfront. By 1985, the planning stages were
complete and construction began.

The project required an Act of Congress to
allow access to land between the Savannah
River and the historic levee. Georgia's
Congressional delegation helped obtain the
necessary authorization and construction of
phase one of the Augusta Riverwalk was
completed in 1985.

Since then the Riverwalk has been extended
to cover the section of Augusta's riverfront
stretching from 5th Street to 10th Street. It
has become a showplace for the city and a
gathering place for residents and visitors

From its beginning as little more than tree-
shaded walkways along the top of the levee
and the the banks of the river, the Augusta
Riverwalk has grown to become a cultural
and historical center.

It now includes an outdoor amphitheater,
marina, playground, weather station, picnic
areas, water features and horticultural
displays. Exhibits tell the story of such
historic features as the 19th century railroad
that crossed the Savannah River at Augusta.

Steps lead down from the levee to historic
Paul's Church, site of both the Siege of
Augusta during the American Revolution and
the colonial area
Fort Augusta itself.
Historic Sites of Augusta, Georgia
Other features along the Augusta Riverwalk

  • Historical flags of France, Spain,
    Great Britain at Founders Overlook at
    the top of 7th Street.
  • The Alemetic Sundial on the top of the
    levee between 8th and 9th Streets.
  • Takarazuka (Japan) Historical
  • Displays showing historical photos of
    Augusta, focusing on such things as
    cotton, railroads and flooding.
  • Levee Breach at 8th Street has marks
    showing the levels of the floods that
    have impacted the city over the years.
  • Japanese Garden and Waterfall on
    the lower level at 10th Street.
  • Heroes Overlook at 10th Street
    honors Medals of Honor recipients.

The real attraction of the Riverwalk, though, is
the Savannah River itself.

Rising at the confluence of the Tugaloo and
Seneca Rivers (today's Lake Hartwell), the
river flows south for 301 miles to Savannah
on the Atlantic Ocean. Famed
Tallulah Gorge
is located on one of its tributaries and the
river forms much of the border between
South Carolina and Georgia.

The name originates with a band of
Shawnee Indians that invaded the Augusta
area during the 1680s. They were called the
Savannah by the English.

The Augusta Riverwalk is a great place to
enjoy a stroll along the banks of the sparkling
river and learn about the history of the area
while enjoying stunning views of the river

Free to visit, the Augusta Riverwalk can be
accessed at numerous points between 4th
Street and 10th Street in downtown Augusta.