Augusta's lakes and rivers are an excellent source of outdoor fun for beginner kayakers and boaters. Many of these waterways feature calm currents and beautiful scenic shorelines that are perfect for those new to the sport of paddling.
If it weren't for Portland's reputation as a center for ocean shipping commerce, Augusta would easily be considered Maine's commercial and historical hub. Maine's capital city was a major pioneering outpost during America's colonial era. It was at the crossroads of the complicated fur trading networks and alliances that existed between American settlers, British entrepreneurs, French trappers and Native American peoples. During the French and Indian War in the 1750s, Augusta was among those frontier communities that were the first line of defense against invading French and Indian armies from Canada. During the American Revolution, Augusta was a launching point for American incursions into Canada (many of which were led by general turned traitor Benedict Arnold).
Later, the city played a major role in the tense diplomatic tug of war between Great Britain and the new United States in establishing boundaries between the two countries. Augusta and neighboring communities such as Waterville and Skowhegan helped launch America's Industrial Revolution by giving birth to the lumber, railroad and fishing industries that supplied resources for the growing U.S. commercial appetite. Today, Augusta is helping to lead Maine's ambitious forays into high technology, health care and new knowledge-based industries.