Martinez is home to the start of the Augusta Canal. Built back in 1845, the headgates harnessed the power of the Savannah River, providing water and transportation to the city. The dam also powered the many factories that sprung up along the canal, propelling Augusta to a city of recognition in the South. Today, you can find the history of the canal as well as other artifacts in the Columbia County Visitor’s Center, located in the renovated Lockkeeper’s Cottage. At the center, visitors can find ample information about the Central Savannah River Area and the entire state of Georgia, as well as viewing a re-creation of the lockkeeper’s bedroom. Step out from the cottage to find the original renovated Dance Pavilion circa 1880, the Dining Shed circa 1935, the BBQ pit circa 1880, and the Savannah Rapids Pavilion, perfect for parties and conferences. If a more active experience is what you’re seeking, jog the canal trail all the way into downtown Augusta, rent a canoe, or jump aboard the canal boat tour! Only a few short miles away from the headgates, you will find Reed Creek Wetlands and Interpretative Center. Enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk while observing regional foliage and wildlife. Bring your family to one of Reed Creek’s public programs, such as the Wilderness Survival Class, the Frog Call Survey, and the Nurturing Nature Walk!