The loop trail only takes 1.6 miles to complete on a leave road which follows the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal from the Fort Argyle Rod until the Ogeechee River. The canal was opened for transport and trade in 1831 after seven years of building it. The canal was used mainly to transport goods and was a significant route for transporting crops from the plantations in the surrounding area to the market. The most common products transported were lumber, cotton, bricks, guano, rice, and corn. Trading and commerce in the locality was evident and the place was prosperous from 1840 to 1860.
In 1870, the canal started to lose its trading fame as it fell into bankruptcy where even several attempts to revive this route failed. It was greatly affected by heavy rains that damaged the canal. Moreover, the yellow fever epidemic in 1876 inflicted approximately a thousand people in the area. By the year 1992, the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal Society created a linear park from the Ogeechee River to the port of Savannah which stretches a 16-mile path. Several other parks are also found within that stretch of land. The trailhead is found near the museum where you will find an interpretive marker near the Lock #5.
The Savannah And Ogeechee Canal Loop Trail offers several outdoor activities such as nature hiking, picnicking, and camping. Other amenities include bathrooms, picnic areas with grills and a campground. There is also a museum for a quick look back in history. The museum offers an exhibit of the Canal’s history, archeological information on this trail, and some local attractions in the area. The trail is open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 5 PM which is good for a day hike.
Proceed south along the tow path as it parallels the canal. The path is lined with large cypress trees as it proceeds to a marsh where several bird species and some tortoises can be found. Traverse over a long boardwalk until it ends at the base of the sandhill. This is a portion of Georgia wetland walks which is included in the coastal birding trail. At the end of the trail, a gazebo surrounded by trees provides a break for hikers. This marks the end of the trail although you can still take the other trails nearby like the Laurel Ridge Trail, Heel Path, Tow Path, Holly Trail, and the Popcorn Trail. To find your way back, just follow the same path looping towards the trail head.
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