With our family’s safety, not to mention travel restrictions, varying by day I was still determined to find a big adventure within a survivable mom sanity drive. Because we live by the phrase “stories are worth more,” road trips have become my children’s wings to adventure. This year, we were off to Providence State Park in Georgia, also known as the “Little Grand Canyon.”
For planning, it’s an eight-hour drive from Palm Beach. We rented a “Pioneer Campsite” which are the only sites I would recommend for families with children. For eighty dollars per night, we arrived at a private gated driveway. As we drove down we entered a large private field with a covered and enclosed hall, men and women’s restrooms, electricity, two tub sinks, a huge brick oven, a massive fire pit, and a picnic table. Of course, I made my husband call immediately to find where we should set up because this place could fit well over ten plus tents and forty people. No way could this all be ours for such a low price and clearly, he missed a detail when booking. But, it was for his win we found out it was all ours!
With a backpack and shoes for stream walking, we headed down the mountain to the canyon floor. Our eight-year-olds were capable of the descent and my three-year-old made it too. There we splashed, climbed, and explored the canyon’s red clay water trickling floors, their little eyes full of wonder. Gazing upon the prodigious canyon walls you felt as if you were on a different planet and the nickname “Little Grand Canyon” only appeared to be grand.
On the last morning we set out on the intermediate canyon perimeter trail called the “backcountry trail.” My three year old had to stay in the backpack until the last mile due to the undulating terrain being too tough. Though it was challenging, my two 8-year-olds made it without any “Are we there yets?!” It was well worth the 3 hour hike. The nature around us was nothing like the canyon and you were surrounded by towering trees and plenty of shade. I do recommend a few bottles of water and snacks for this hike.
Do plan on wet clay shoes though, in trade, you’ll get a trip of physical challenges your kids will accomplish, educational opportunities, campfire laughter, and under the stars tent sleeping. Remember travel is the one thing you pay for that pays you back.