Sunday, November 18, 2012

Providence Canyon State Park

 Near the Georgia Alabama state line in Lumpkin, GA you will find this wonderful state park. You need to be wanting to get there to find it as it is not a location you would happen upon. It was well worth the visit, however. It is called the "Little Grand Canyon of Georgia". While the canyons were formed due to erosion from poor farming practices, it is still a beauty to behold.

You walk in a creek bed to get to the canyons, so wear appropriate shoes. There is even a shoe cleaner up near the visitor center (which is seldom open due to budget). It had rained the night before I visited, but my socks still did not get wet through my shoes. I guess there might be times that there is more water in the creek bed, however.

 The colors of the earth in the canyons is so pretty. It was overcast on the November day I visited which meant that I did not have to deal with strong shadows in my photos, but also meant the sky was not a pretty blue color like we often see in autumn. The cool air was perfect for the walk down into the canyon. There is also a seven mile hike and a three mile loop that you can take. Begin on the loop to reach the trails to the canyons themselves. They are numbered. I visited 1-5 and I highly recommend 4 & 5. I did not have time to go on to 6-9. There is no cell service there, so if you are depending on your cell phone for navigation, keep that in mind.
 The white color in the canyons is Kaolin or china clay, a mineral that is mined in a strip across the middle of Georgia. It is used in making paper, plastics, rubber, paints, among many other things. "Sugar Bear", Honey Boo Boo's dad mines for husband is going to groan at that reference! The name "kaolin" comes from the Chinese word for it, Kao-ling. It is the mineral that gives slick magazine pages their "slickness".

 As you can see, there are many colors, including a pretty lavender. The red reminds me of the red rocks of Sedona. The fall foliage was beautiful with the colors of the canyons.

 One of the nicest surprises was to find a few blooms left on the wild plum leaf azaleas. These rare azaleas only grow in an area along the state line and this state park is the best place to see them. They bloom in July and August. I plan on going back one summer just to see them in full bloom. There are different colors but only this pink was blooming in mid November.

 You can see the layers of the sediments. The surface has a sandstone feel to it and unfortunately, some knuckleheads feel the need to carve their names in the sides of the canyons, one of my pet peeves! No climbing is allowed.

 Sorry, this photo loaded twice and I can't make one of them go away, but then you will be on this path twice, going down to the canyon and then coming back!
 You can see the canyon from the parking lot and get some very nice photos there. The walk into the canyon is worth the time and effort though.

 This photo was taken from the picnic area on the north rim and you can see a couple of hikers in the canyon. That gives you a perspective on the size.
The name of the Canyon comes from a nearby church. The day I went there was one school group and a few individuals, but it generally is not crowded. When I was in the canyons, I was the only person in that particular canyon at the time, which was great for photographs. One note of interest is that General Patton did visit Providence Canyon while he was commanding nearby at Fort Benning.

I will definitely be going back to this park!


Becky said...

Holly, these photos are spectacular! I would love to visit this area but am afraid my fear of mountains and heights would not allow it, lol...I barely made it onto the Blue Ridge Parkway for a short distance....hope all is well with you and your family. It's getting close to time for the granddaughter to make her appearance, isn't it? Looking forward to pictures!!!

Holly's Hobbies said...

Becky, I think you would be fine with your fear of heights except at the rim. Down in the canyon, it is all above you and just feels normal. I actually climbed over the fence at the rim (a no no) but was careful. Now at the real Grand Canyon, I did feel some fear!
Harper Grace is due Thursday on my birthday, so we will see! Supposed to take some photos this afternoon of the three of them before baby comes! Good to hear from you!

Holly's Hobbies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Castle said...

WOW Holly...what a beautiful site to photograph. I know, I know...if there's a site around, you will find it! TFS
Paper Hugs,

Anonymous said...

These are beyond beautiful photos! I'd never heard of the Park but I sure want to visit! Thank you so much for sharing.