“Augusta: We Feel Good”
This slogan is not intended to replace the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s slogan, which is “I Played Augusta”. (If you’ve walked down Reynolds Street past Fort Discovery, you’ve seen signs with that slogan on them.) Instead, says City Administrator Fred Russell, the two slogans are complementary.
I personally feel that the Augusta Canal should be a major focus of any push for tourism. There should be guided tours (hiking and bicycle) along the Augusta Canal trail/tow path/New Bartram trail, perhaps including tours of Sibley Mill. The boat tours are great, but the trails are fantastic and I think more active tourists would really appreciate them. According to AugustaCanal.com’s FAQ, guided walking tours can be arranged through the Canal’s park ranger, but these apparently aren’t regularly organized, and they certainly aren’t played up the way the Petersburg boat tours are, and I’m not sure what parts of the trail the walking tours cover. (I may look into this further, because it might be fun to take a walking tour!)
You know what else would be cool? A helicopter tour of the Canal. This would be disturbing to residents, so I would only have them once a week at most, but it would really be a unique way to see the Canal. There’s a historical 10 minute video shown at the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center before you take the boat tour, and at the end there’s a beautiful aerial shot swooping up over the headgates…imagine taking that flight in person!
The construction of The Village at Riverwatch may also open new opportunities for Canal tourism, as I noted here.
And finally, while I’m on this “promote the Augusta Canal” kick, I’d like to say that I don’t like their logo. I mean, look at it:
“Who made that logo?” I asked the lady at the Interpretive Center.
“I don’t know,” she responded.
“It’s a water wheel!”
Sure, okay, a water wheel. Where exactly are the water wheels on the Augusta Canal? A steamboat wouldn’t fit there, not that we even have one in Augusta anymore. I presume water wheels (or some modern apparatus) are used to capture water power for the mills (one of them still gets 60% of its electricity from the Canal), but I didn’t actually see any water wheels on the tour.
Visually, I don’t find the squiggly lines going into a circle appealing. They put me in mind of a spider, not a beautiful nature preserve. And what are they supposed to represent? Little streams dumping into the canal? The circular nature of the design makes this ambiguous. I don’t know, I just don’t like it.