Canoe, kayak launch dock ready in time for Paddlefest

Boaters use a new 12-by-24-foot canoe and kayak launch dock near the Augusta Canal headgates. The floating dock was completed in time for Saturday's Paddlefest on the Savannah River.

Paddlers who enjoy the Savannah River’s rocky shoals near the Augusta Canal headgates will have easier access with a new launching dock completed in time for Saturday’s sixth annual Paddlefest.

The dock, at the base of the stairway from the towpath to the river near the headgates pedestrian bridge, cost about $5,000 and was built by Canal National Heritage Area employees led by park ranger Brian Edmonds.

The 12-by-24-foot floating platform at the river’s edge is accessed by a hinged walkway that will accommodate the river’s fluctuating water levels.

The area has become more popular with canoers and kayakers and is also a launch site for this weekend’s Paddlefest, an event created by Savannah Riverkeeper as a way to bring more people out on the river to raise awareness about its conservation, recreational use and heritage. The event’s proceeds benefit Savannah Riverkeeper Inc.