Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by Julie Mendez
Julie Mendez

Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by Julie Mendez.

Providence Canyon: A Must-See in Winter

Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area offers a fascinating look at the nature that makes this region unique, and winter is the perfect time to see it all. In the absence of hardwood foliage and vegetation, visitors experience a landscape like nowhere else in the state. One of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders, the colorful rock formations of Providence earned the nickname, “Little Grand Canyon.”

Hiking in Providence Canyon

The three-mile trail exploring Providence Canyon begins at the interpretive center and quickly descends along shaded switchbacks. The first few canyons on the trail are wooded, with trees obstructing some of the views. However, moving toward canyons four and five, the trees thin, revealing the striking beauty of the colorful canyon walls. Providence Canyon is one of four sites included in Georgia State Parks' Canyon Climbers Club

Read more about our experience completing the Canyon Climbers Club at Providence Canyon.

Hiking in Providence Canyon in winter. Photo by Ludwig Lory
Hiking in Providence Canyon in winter. Photo by Ludwig Lory

View from the Rim

The trail winds along the fragile edge where visitors get the big picture of this canyon carved by erosion. These views are simply amazing and make a great place to witness a glorious sunset. Notice the safety rail has been moved back as the canyon continues to widen, and beware of the fragile nature of the area.


We opted to camp at nearby Florence Marina State Park, which boasts the can't-miss Kirbo Interpretive Center and a modern campground set among Spanish-moss draped trees. The campground includes tent and RV sites complete with water, electricity and bathhouse.

Adventurous backpackers are welcome to arrange camps at one of six secluded, primitive sites along the seven-mile Providence Canyon backcountry trail. For visitor information and to make reservations for backcountry camping, visit the Georgia State Parks website.

Published: January 2020
Written by: Candy Cook