If you can’t make the trip out west to the Grand Canyon, Georgia has the next best option. Although, its only 1/30th the size, this Little Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of Georgia, and its a wonder we didn’t visit sooner. Providence Canyon State Park is an amazing adventure and only about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta, so you’ll definitely want to add it to your list as a day trip if you are visiting the city.
Address: 8930 Canyon Rd, Lumpkin, GA 31815
Admission: $5 per vehicle, free with Georgia Park Pass
Park Hours: September 15–April 14: 7 a.m.–6 p.m, April 15–September 14: 7 a.m.–9 p.m.
Unlike the Grand Canyon, Providence Canyon has not been around for millions of years. It formed within the last 200 years, and is a warning to what can happen when proper soil and erosion control is not put into the place. The farming practices of the eroded the soil, causing the great canyons and gullies seen today. They have continued to erode to this day, currently to depths of over 150 feet.
The park is now a great destination for an afternoon in the sun, or a more strenuous trip to the bottom of the canyon. But, the canyon walls and formations are fragile, so it is imperative to stay on the trails, and definitely avoid any climbing or marking on the walls. Plan to wear your hiking boots for heading down into the canyon, because you are likely to encounter muddy patches, puddles, and running water, all left over reminders of how the canyon came to be.
If you are looking for the views without the stress of climbing back out of the canyon, there is a rim trail that offers stunning views of the area. The rim trail is mostly accessible, but does have some rocky areas that would make it hard for anyone unsteady on their feet, or utilizing a mobility aid. The total trail is 2.5 miles long to encircle the whole canyon.
Providence Canyon is dog friendly, so be sure to bring them along for this adventure. Remember to bring bags to pick up any waste, and they must always remain on a 6 foot leash.
Due to Georgia’s mild temperatures, the canyon remains open year round, rarely seeing snow. Arguably fall is the best season to visit the canyon. With the over 40 different shades of soil ranging from light orange, red, white and purple, the fall colors of the trees echo the canyon walls and create a truly magical color palate. In addition the fall weather should be mild, unlike the summer months where the canyon can reach unpleasant temperatures.
Check out our vlog on YouTube to join us for our trip to Providence Canyon State Park.