Providence Canyon
This 1,003 acre state park
near Lumpkin, Georgia, is
popular with sightseers and
Striking Example of History
The canyons were formed in
the 19th century by erosion
that began when the land
was cleared by early farmers. - Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia - Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia
Providence Canyon State Park - Lumpkin, Georgia
Providence Canyon
These remarkable canyons near Lumpkin, Georgia,
have astounded generations of visitors.
Georgia's Little Grand Canyon
One of the most remarkable natural wonders
and historic sites in Georgia can be found on
Highway 39C just outside the small
community of Lumpkin.

Providence Canyon State Park protects
Providence Canyon, sometimes called
Georgia's Little Grand Canyon. Here, deep in
the South, dramatic canyons and formations
slice through the pines and offer visitors a
striking variety of colors and scenes.

Despite its dramatic appearance, the canyon
is really not that old. During the early 1800s,
this land was occupied by small farms where
early settlers struggled to feed their families.

Conservation techniques were unknown to
most of these individuals and the furrows left
by plows soon grew into gullies. As wind and
rain deepened them, the gullies became
ravines and in just a few decades the ravines
became canyons. The naturally soft soil of
the area contributed to the growth of the
canyons, called "caves" by early residents,
until finally the dramatic vistas seen today
became permanent parts of the landscape.

The canyon takes its name from historic
Providence Methodist Church. Established in
1832 on land donated by Rev. David Walker
Lowe, a prominent early Methodist minister,
the church was an important part of early life
in the area. The current structure, which
stands just north of the main park road, was
built in 1859. The surrounding cemetery
contains the graves of many of the area's
early settlers as well as Confederate
soldiers from as far away as Arkansas.

By the early 19th century, Providence Canyon
had become a popular attraction for visitors.
General George C. Patton, soon to become a
famed hero of World War II, visited while he
served as the commander of Fort Benning
and his signature is among the names
preserved in an early guestbook.

Providence Canyon State Park today
encompasses 1,003 acres and is ranked as
one of the Seven Wonders of Georgia. The
park's visitor center is currently closed due to
state budget constraints, but the trails
leading from the building are still open daily.

From the Visitor Center, the Canyon Loop
hiking trail leads down the steep slow to the
bottom of the canyon where hikers can
explore the dramatic ravines close up. The
trail provides access to the bottoms of
canyons 1 through 9. The total loop is 2.45
miles, but hikers can shorten the distance by
retracing their way back to the Visitor Center.

For those less interested in a long hike,
remarkable views of the canyon can be seen
from the picnic area and overlooks located
along its northern rim.
The overlooks and views from the fence in
the picnic area, in fact, provide the most
spectacular views of the canyon and
photography opportunities galore.

There are no cabins or lodge facilities at
Providence Canyon, but those with a joy of
"roughing it" can make use of two pioneer
and six "backcountry" campsites. A wide
variety of hotel accommodations are
available less than 30 minutes away in
Eufaula, Alabama, and modern facilities are
also available at nearby Florence Marina and
George T. Bagby State Parks.
Please click
here to visit the park's official website.

The entire area surrounding Providence
Canyon is rich in history. The nearby town of
Lumpkin is noted for its historic structures
and the outstanding "living history" village of
Westville, where visitors can explore life in
1850 through a variety of restored structures
and recreated activities.

To the south,
Fort Gaines has been an
occupied settlement since 1816 and features
old forts, a pioneer village and a wide variety
of historic structures.

To the west,
Eufaula, Alabama is one of the
most beautiful places in the South with
museums, historic homes and its popular
annual Spring Pilgrimage.
Stunning Scenery
Providence Canyon today
provides some of the most
dramatic views to be found in
the Deep South.
Visitor Center at Providence
The Visitor Center is currently
closed due to state budget
constraints, but the park is
open daily.
Providence Methodist
This historic structure,
built in 1859, provided the
name for Providence Canyon
and can be seen adjacent to
the main park road.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
The Visitor Center at Providence Canyon is currently closed due to budget constraints,
but the park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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