Georgia's Most Unique State Park: Providence Canyon
By Shelby DeCusati, Girls Who Hike Georgia Ambassador
Looking for another adventure to add to your hiking bucket list? Well, I have the perfect hike for you and this is what I consider to be Georgia’s most unique state park, Providence Canyon. It’s located about 150 miles southwest of Atlanta, just south of Columbus, and about 7 miles outside of a tiny town called Lumpkin.
Providence Canyon is considered Georgia’s “little Grand Canyon.” It’s only been around since the 1800s and was originally created because of poor farming practices when farmers were not taking the proper steps to avoid soil erosion. Over the year’s constant moving water within the sandstone have naturally carved out these awe-inspiring sandstone canyons.
This makes a beautiful fall or winter hike because it is much cooler and less humid in Southwest Georgia. There are 10 miles of hiking trails that encompass this state park. There is a back country trail that is open on weekends for camping, though it does not take hikers into any of the canyons, but instead goes around the perimeter of the canyon.
The most popular trail is the White Blaze Canyon Loop trail, which is around 5 miles and considered a moderate hiking trail. The Canyon Loop trail wanders through 9 of the extraordinary canyons, a sandy riverbed of constant moving water along portions of the canyon floors, through a shady forest, and back up to the top where you can peer into the canyon at various overlooks along the edge of the canyon. As you hike into the canyons you will notice how each are dramatically shaped and one of a kind due to the carvings of the constant moving water. These canyons are different from the Grand Canyon though, because Providence Canyon’s walls are made of fragile crumbling sandstone.