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Arizona's Grand Canyon is indeed grand; most other canyons in the world seem little by comparison. But little doesn't mean that they are necessarily less dramatic or beautiful. Georgia's Providence Canyon is known as Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon" and is considered one of the most stunning natural features of the state.

The canyon is regarded as one of the prettiest places in Georgia - and is enhanced by the canyon's pink, orange, red, and purple hues. The "Little Grand Canyon" should be on anyone's itinerary for a great two-week road trip through the American southeast. It is located in the southwestern part of the state, close to the state line with Alabama.


The "Little Grand Canyon" Is Actually Man-Made

Whereas the Grand Canyon has been gouged out over millions of years, Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon" is a human creation. The Grand Canyon is so large that even though it is popular, there are many places in the Grand Canyon to explore that are rarely visited.

Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon" is a testament to the power of man's impact on the land. The massive gullies one sees today resulted from poor farming practices during the 1800s.

The farm practices that formed the canyon likely happened after 1825, when the Treaty of Indian Springs forced the Creek Indians to cede all their lands east of the Chattahoochee River. Following the treaty, there was a large influx of settlers into Steward County.

It just goes to show how sometimes environmental disasters can result in stunning new environments. Another man-made disaster is the Salton Sea in California, with its remarkable story of how it happened, how it became a refuge for birds and a tourist resort, and then again, the environmental disaster it is today.

  • Depth: Up To 150 Feet
  • Formed: From Poor 19th Century Farming Practices

The gullies that have been carved into the earth are as deep as 150 feet.

Related: These Are The Best Spots For Scenic Views In The Grand Canyon

Trails Of Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon"

There are hiking trails in the "Little Grand Canyon." There are around 10 miles of trails in the canyon - all of them begin and end at the visitor's center.

Hike the Canyon Loop Trail and admire a canyon that is barely 150 years old. The trail stays behind fences away from the fragile canyon edge. Hikers are instructed to stay on the trails and behind the fences due to the danger of the canyon edges collapsing. For much of the hike, hikers are protected in the shady forest.

Canyon Loop Trail:

  • What: Circles Nine Of The Canyons
  • Duration: It Takes Around 2 Hours
  • Distance: Almost Five Miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

It is also possible to hike into the deepest parts of the canyons (although hikers will find a thin layer of water along those trails). Canyon 8 is one of the most stunning of the canyons, with its towering walls and well-defined pinnacles.

Canyon 8 Trail:

  • Distance: 2.75 Miles
  • Tip: Wear Waterproof Hiking Boots

If one would like to stay there, camping is permitted along the backcountry trail. There are six backcountry campsites and three pioneer campsites. The backcountry trail snakes its way through mixed forest and is a stunning trail to explore. Alternatively, there are cottages and camping nearby outside of the state park.

  • Pets: Permitted on A Leash
  • Trails: 10 Miles Of Hiking Trails

It should be notable that carving or climbing on the canyon walls is prohibited, and offenders will be fined. Pets are permitted, so bring along Scuffles, but you need to be on a 6-foot leash.

Related: These Grand Canyon Glampsites Are Ready To Elevate Your Camping Experience

Part Of The Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area

The Providence Canyon is protected in the Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area. It is located in southwest Georgia.

  • Size: 1.003 acres or 405 ha

One of the odder attractions of the state park is an old and abandoned homestead; additionally, there are a number of rusty old 1950s-era cars and trucks about the place. Removing them was considered but dismissed due to fears of the environmental damage that would cause.

  • Fees: $5 For Parking
  • Visitor Center Hours: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm

Park Hours:

  • September 15 to April 14: 7.00 am to 6.00 pm
  • April 15 to September 14: 7.00 am to 9.00 pm

Another notable attraction of the Providence Canyon is the rare Plumleaf Azalea that grows in the area. Go during July and August to see it in bloom.