A couple months ago, our little family went on a 2-week road trip to five different stops in Georgia in North Carolina. I’ve been on some great trips (not to mention thirteen cruises), but I honestly think this one was my favorite ever. So I decided to share some pictures, reflections, and tips, because I highly recommend every single place we visited and I think you would have a great time if you went there too. Each stop was a home run, folks.
Stop 1: Providence Canyon and Florence Marina State Park, GA
Believe it or not, that picture was taken only six hours north of Tampa. Beholding the Grand Canyon is one of my dreams, but west Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon was like a yummy snack to hold me over till I get to enjoy the full meal, whenever that is.
Providence Canyon was formed by accident in the 1800’s due to poor farming practices and erosion. It’s quite consistent with God’s character to make something so beautiful out of what people considered to be a total mistake. #Redemption
Near the end of the 2.5 mile Canyon Loop Trail, we came upon several abandoned cars and trucks from the 50’s. The state decided not to remove the cars because they had now become habitats to various plants and animals. We really enjoyed seeing this piece of history and were delighted to find a cleverly-hidden geocache therein.
The canyon floor was quite enjoyable to explore as well, and my son Stephen even said, “This is so beautiful. It’s like I’m in a dream.” Tiny streams of water weaved in and out of the clay floor and as we looked up at the 150-foot canyon walls, we noticed numerous different shades of red, orange, pink, and light purple. We definitely had to pry the kids away or they would've spent the night in that mud.
Tips if you go:
-The best views are extremely easy to access; you simply park your car near a picnic area or playground and walk out to behold the canyon. If you want to see the old cars, just head backwards on the Canyon Loop Trail because they're near the end of it. Though the trail is fun and good exercise, you’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for great views of the canyon; if you’re short on time or energy but want to do a little hiking, you’d probably be better off exploring the canyon floor instead.
-Unfortunately, the weather feels a bit Floridaesque. It’s very hot, humid, and mosquito-saturated compared to the breezy magic of North Georgia. Prepare accordingly.
-Providence Canyon is located right at the border of Georgia and Alabama; since these states are on different time zones, your phone is going to be very confused. If it’s important that you know the actual time, wear an analog watch.
-If you want a cheap souvenir, go to the park ranger office and ask to fill a bottle of sand. You can scoop in various layers of sand from the canyon, and it’s quite incredible how diverse the colors are.
-The parking fee is $5. Consider getting a Georgia State Parks annual pass, especially if you plan on paying for camping. Our pass paid for itself in two days.
-Providence Canyon is also kind of in the middle of nowhere. This means that the night sky is incredibly gorgeous, but it also means there’s not much to do in the area and the nearest city is Columbus, 45 minutes away. If you’re able, camp at Florence Marina State Park because it’s really beautiful in its own right and also only ten minutes from Providence Canyon.
Florence Marina State Park was a great place to bring our travel-trailer, and of course the pull-through campsite was a major plus.
My favorite thing to do at Florence Marina was ride bikes. The lake was beautiful and we found ourselves on a couple small peninsulas. Exploring is really fun, even when you have to ride through a Halloweenish black tarp that gives you the creeps. The great thing about road trips is you’re already expecting to enjoy the journey with all the randomness and imperfections that come along with it.
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 5, 3, 1, and not-yet-born. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
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Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today