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We reserved group shelter 03 which has access to trails right behind it, electricity, two bathrooms, and plenty of parking room for a large group of people. The canyon was awesome! Dress for walking through mud and water.
It was a great hike to our campsite and the camp site was great had a great view and even though we didn’t get to hike through the canyon due to my girlfriend twisting her ankle after a slip in some mud we recommend this place for hiking and camping the staff was very helpful in getting us back to our vehicle after my girlfriend’s accident and made sure she was ok and gave her an ice pack to put on her ankle til we were able to get it checked out to make sure is was just twisted the map the gave us to get to our camp was was good and they told what to look for and the trial itself is awesome I will say it’s not an easy trial but more of a moderate trail definitely make sure have water with you as the park recommended not to try and filter water due to very fine sediment which was not a problem for us at there was a lite rain so we just collected rain water but I would definitely recommend this state park for a great hiking trail and camping trip
Parked late one afternoon to get a driving break in road trip. Tent camping from dusk till dawn was peaceful. Lots of areas to climb though the trails.
Absolutely beautiful day in Georgia!
I will admit my review is tainted because we were here in July and it was HOT! The saving grace was the big tree in our campsite (116) and the ability to float in the water. Our site was in a cove with limited views of the lake. Much of the camping is pretty open with the ability to see your neighbors.
Providence Canyon State Park, Lumpkin, GA
Providence Canyon State Park is tucked away in the southwest corner of Georgia…but offers a surprising beauty as a result of erosion. As you enter the State Park, it is fairly linear running alongside the roadway. Day use appears to be the high volume.
Two children’s playgrounds, two picnic pavilions and two restrooms are positioned along the upper rim as you head to the visitor center. The visitor center offers location specific clothing, souvenirs and some snack items…along with additional restrooms.
Opposite the first playground, on the right side of the roadway when you enter the park is a Methodist church from 1832 and a small pioneer cemetery that offers a realistic view of the hardships faced by these adventurous folks.
The actual“Georgia Grand Canyon” is barely visible as you make your way to the visitors center. But once you’ve paid the daily use fee($5) and signed in…you can choose the trails you desire to explore. An upper rim trail, fenced by split rail, travels the canyon rim… is easiest and offers a splendid Birdseye view and wonderful photo opportunities..
Hiking down into the shallow canyon affords a worthwhile close-up view and nicer photographs (in my opinion) especially with the backdrop of azure skies. Because the canyon and formations are merely sand and clay, they are fragile. As I briefly climb upon my soapbox, the plethora of posted warning signs are not heeded, so violators climb and scramble for their coveted selfies…defacing the natural beauty and causing more damage. While warning signs make threat of prosecution, without consistent or constant enforcement it will continue.
Once on the canyon floor, you have a few options…but for the best views hang a left and follow the small wooden Canyon 1-5 signs. All the reviews state canyons 4 and 5 are the nicest…and they are…but if you explore the canyons in numerical sequence, each gets better as you go. With fully leafed trees and foliage, viewing is tough in canyons 1-3. Signage is absent as to where the trails end, as past hikers tread further and higher in each canyon. Canyons 4 and 5 offer more prohibitive signage.
The canyon floor is a mixture of wet and dry sand. In areas a steady stream of water flows. It was dry weather on my visit so I can only assume the water would be deeper during or immediately following rains. During my late October visit, water wasn’t deep enough to enter your hiking shoes. Heed the heat and drinking water warnings during hot days, Little to no breeze in the canyon.
I did not travel the longer backcountry trail on this visit, so defer to other reviewers comments on its enjoyment.
Camping: You have two choices…a handful of Backcountry Primitive Camping that require a backpack into the canyon and 3 Pioneer Group Campsites. It’s easy to miss Pioneer Campsites 1& 2, as they are located beyond the gated park and down a two track gravel drive. Unfortunately, from the campsite, the roadway can be seen through the trees and traffic noise is loud when traveling by. During normal sleep hours (midweek) night traffic was sparse, but still disruptive. Because of road construction during my visit, it wasn’t excessive during daylight hours.
Pioneer 1-3 are essentially group sites designed to accommodate larger camping parties. But for one tent and two people $43.00 was an exorbitant price, especially with merely a pit toilet, two picnic tables and a fire ring…NO electric, NO water. But I’ve found Georgia parks a tad steep in cost in comparison to other State’s parks.
Interestingly, time zones shift from Eastern at the visitors center to Central Time at Pioneer Campsites 1& 2…so be cognizant of the switch. Pioneer 1 group site boasts a newer pit latrine with a solar spot light for nighttime…and was amply stocked. Previous campers removed the two large picnic tables from beneath the shed style shelter to the campfire ring area. The picnic tables are large and heavy, so without a group present, you won’t be moving them back to their rightful location.
For a tent camping location…there is negligible flat ground to pitch a tent, but if you are a hammock camper there are plenty of trees. The grounds at Pioneer 1 where strewn with plastic and pop tops, cigarette butts, partially melted plastic ware and snack food wrappers littered the wooded area. Not cool. A lidded plastic garbage can is tethered to the shelter so there is no excuse.
Pioneer site 2 had a grassy field, flatter area for tents and further down into the canyon past Pioneer site 1.
Pioneer site 3 is appears to be the coveted group site with ample flat, grassy field for tents, area for parking and a huge shelter. The long winding gravel two-track is also located immediately to the left upon entering the main entrance so you have the“security” of the park’s front gate being locked at 6:00 p.m.(A pavement sensor permits egress if you need to exit, but you won’t be driving back in til morning when they reopen.)
Overall, if you shared the site as a group, defraying the cost…midweek camping would not be bad. After visiting the canyon for a couple hours, there is not much else to visit in the immediate area, so bring a book.
Wildlife: you’ll likely hear some owls calling out throughout the night and woodpeckers in early morning. Small yellow finch’s were abundant. Mention of wild hogs in the park as well.
Final thoughts: A one time camping visit is sufficient for my tastes. Even at half the price, I’m not sure I’d camp here solo. However, I will likely visit the canyon in the future to see possible changes due to further erosion.