5 Things to Know Before Visiting Providence Canyon State Park
More famously known as the “Little Grand Canyon” Providence Canyon is give or take about a 2 hour drive from Atlanta, GA and 45 minutes from Columbus, GA.
1. DO NOT camp overnight at the Canyon
At first you think camping at The Canyons would be a beautiful idea. Because what sounds better than waking up to the beautiful sounds of nature with The Canyons? Well, unfortunately this location has become a tourist filled area. So, while you could rent a campsite for the day (Yes, thats right, a DAY. You have to be out by 5:45pm. Which if you think about it, isn’t really worth your time OR money) you are better off at a campsite about 30 minutes away. 30 minutes sounds like it would be a drive, but honestly, its about 2/3 roads, 2/3 turns, and you’re there within what feels like half the time!
We stayed at Lakepoint State Park and we are already planning another trip back! A few things worth mentioning:
CHECK IN: Check in is located at the Marina: Store and Grill. This was a bit confusing. The GPS will take you across the street to where the campgrounds are located, however there is no entry way or road.. it’s just trees! So, you look across the street to see a huge sign that says “LAKEPOINT RESORT STATE PARK” and make your way in! It looks like you should make your first left into a building that is the welcome center, but no. You continue straight down the road and about 0.3mi down you’ll turn right where you‘ll see a sign pointing you in the direction of the Lodge, Marina, Park, etc. You’ll continue straight around the traffic circle until you run right into the Marina: Store and Grill. Here you will be able to check in, buy ice, wood, drinks, snacks, you name it.
SAFETY: The campgrounds have their own entrance that unless you’ve camped there before, you would’ve never been able to find it unless you had the map that the park provides. To get into the campground you also need a gate code. This was HUGE for us considering we are two women in our 20’s camping alone and do NOT carry a gun or any weapon but our car keys to set the car alarm off IF something were to happen. I am happy to say that nothing did happen either. The campsite was stunning, water view from every angle no matter which site you stayed at, I mean seriously, you HAVE to stay here.
Heres a picture of the sunset from the Barbour Loop Campsite:
We stayed at the Clark Loop Campsite and loved it. Clark Loop looks like it may be for most Fishermen. Across the street from the bathrooms was a fish gutting station and there was also a small boat ramp to get your fishing boats out onto the water. We’ve also heard that the Deer Court Campsite is amazing. From what I’ve heard there’s a playground for the kids, its bigger, and from looking at the map it looks like theres a beach there as well! We will definitely be staying there next time.
PRICING: We paid $25/night which I felt was reasonable for how beautiful and safe the area was.
RATING: We would 10/10 recommend this campground to any and everyone. From cleanliness, to safety, and how many options there were. You could camp, stay in a cabin, or stay at their lodge/resort.
2. Get there when they open or you’ll be forced to wait in a line in your car on the road for 30+ minutes
This is something we didn’t personally experience however when walking the top of The Canyons we met a Boy Scout Troop Leader and he said they had a campsite here and everything and STILL had to wait 30+ minutes to get let in again because like I mentioned in the beginning, it’s become a tourist attraction.
3. $5 per car entry fee
If you forget cash thats okay. They take card at the shop towards the end of the park. I recommend letting someone out of the car to pay and grab the pass while someone else finds a parking space (because it really is that packed). But try to pack your car full of people to avoid that second $5 fee on a second car.
4. Bring snacks, water, Gatorade, to keep hydrated
Unlike me, you probably don’t pass out as often and easily as I do, but please bring a backpack and some food and drinks because you wont regret it. Who knows, you might run into someone that is in dyer need for a drink because they forgot one too.
Dogs are allowed as long as they are kept on a 6’ leash! So bring some water for your furry friend too!
5. Find an alternate route in the canyons so you aren’t swarmed by people
We went on a Saturday. So I am unsure what the weekdays could possibly look like, but speaking for a Saturday, I wish we started on the back of the trail. The back of the trail is by the entrance you originally came in, its a little wooded path that says its about a 3mi walk. This will bring you in towards the end of the canyons which I believe is canyons 6-9? Start there if you can. There’s way less people and you get a lot of it to yourself before you get to canyons 1-5.
6. WEAR WATERPROOF BOOTS
It doesn’t matter if it hasn’t rained in days, the canyon floor will be wet and to get to each canyon you must walk through the water. It’s not much water, probably about an inch at most, but just don’t wear flip flops because your toes will be FREEZING!
Here are a few photos of our trip:
If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments!
Make it a Great Day!