LUMPKIN, GA (WTXL) — Some call it the little grand canyon of Georgia, but did you know it was created by accident?
Covered in red rock and clay and at 150 feet deep, Park Manager of Providence Canyon State Park Mikayla Murphy said you won't find this anywhere else in the state of Georgia.
In 1830, this land was first used for farming.
"And instead of going with the contours of the canyon, they decided to go up and down which then had soil erosion," Murphy said. "By the 1850s, so about 20 years later they started to see four to five foot Golis at the bottom."
This only continued to expand until the bottom reached sea level and the canyon became 300 feet wide.
Water runs through the inside flowing to the Chattahoochee River, while 43 different sands are seen through the canyon walls.
In 1970, Jimmy Carter established this as a 1,000 conservation area.
The canyon took over 100 years to develop and it's still expanding.
"We're going to lose 3 to 4 feet every year, so it's just going to keep expanding until we lose it all," Murphy said. "Fences had to be moved, our brand-new visitors center had to be moved back and eventually we'll have to move the road back and everything as well."
Murphy predicts will be 20 years from now.
She said through word of mouth and now Instagram, the park has become very popular over the years.
"We see about 300,000 people every year," Murphy said.
She said it is about 1,500 each day on the weekend.
Murphy said she hopes all visitors and their furry friends, enjoy the beauty of this state park, while still being mindful of conserving the area.
"We do not allow people to climb on the canyon because that just speeds up the erosion process, and the more it speeds up the less people will be able to enjoy it in the future," Murphy said.
Next time you pay a visit to Providence Canyon State Park remember:
- You're not allowed to climb the walls
- Don't carve into the clay or sand
- Don't spray paint anything with graffiti
- Stay within the fenced-in boundaries.
Doing this will allow the park to continue to be a beautiful hike for decades to come.