Little Grand Canyon hike

One of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders, Providence Canyon was actually created in the 1800s by local farmers whose irresponsible practices led to major erosion, eventually creating what would come to be a 1,000 acre state park.  

I've lived in Georgia for 18 years, but only recently found out about this place, nicknamed the "little grand canyon."  Last week, my fiance and I decided that instead of celebrating Valentine's this past weekend in the usual way, we would do what we are best at-go on an adventure!!!

Me and my Valentine, my Adventure Buddy for Life!
Early Sunday morning, we loaded up the car with our back packs, warm clothes, and hiking boots, and set out west.  Two and a half hours, hundred of cows, and zero places to eat later, we found ourselves in Lumpkin, Georgia.  Starving, we drove through the downtown area (about a half mile square) three times before finally finding the town's one of two restaurants, Snooky's (the other being a bbq place that wasn't open for breakfast).  Small and unassuming, but tastefully decorated, Snooky's did not disappoint. We both had a made-to-order omelet, with the freshest, most delicious ham and bacon we had ever put in our mouths. Folks in south Georgia know how to cook, y'all, especially when their name is Snooky.

No longer hangry, we arrived at Providence Canyon State Park about 10:15. There were a handful of cars there, and we were excited to start on what looked like would be a quiet, romantic, albeit chilly hike.

A short walk brought us to the creek bed at the bottom of the canyon. From there, you can hop on your choice of a 3 or 7 mile trail, or follow the creek beds into canyons 1-9.  Fortunately, we were prepared, but we quickly found that hiking boots are a MUST in Providence Canyon. The creek bed that leads to each of the canyons was a sandy, soggy mess about six inches deep of water. Fun in hiking boots, but tennis shoes would have been cold and miserable!

We began by exploring canyons 1-5. Our timing was impeccable, as the sun was just peaking over the tops of the canyon. I had so much fun trying to frame the jagged silhouettes of the canyons just perfectly against the rising sun and deep, blue sky.

After awhile, the canyons began to get more crowded, so we set out on the 7 mile hike. There wasn't a whole lot to see on the hike, but the woods were beautiful and peaceful. The trail was well-marked and appeared to be well-traveled, although it seemed to us that not many visitors ventured on this longer hike. There was one steep section, but nothing too difficult. Nearing the end of the trail, we were treated with sneak peaks of the canyons beyond the trees.

After a few hours, we found ourselves back on the 3 mile trail. By now, it was packed!!! We finished up by checking out canyons 6-9, and then hiked our way back out to the visitor's center. We were shocked at how busy the place had gotten. Hundreds of visitors had parked their cars anywhere they could, lining the roadways on both sides for the mile entrance way. We were so glad we had gotten there early.

In short, we loved the park! It is a great place to bring your family, as it is a fairly easy hike with very rewarding views. We hope to return and possibly camp in one of the back country sites.

Moon over the canyon


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