MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Grand Canyon is closer than you think. In fact, it only takes a half tank of gas and an hour's time.
Just off of Highway 587 in Marion County is the spot deemed "Mississippi's Grand Canyon."
As a novice hiker, this trail seemed a little ambitious, but in four hours I traveled down it, through it and back up, discovering breathtaking views in my own backyard.
To get through this trip, I enlisted the help of Rob Stine. Stine is a graduate student at USM that leads outdoor excursions for the university's students. He said this is one of his favorite trails in the area.
"It's really calming," said Stine. "It's nice to get away and kind of decompress from everything for a little while and just collect your thoughts."
We started off the hike by walking where I adapted a sliding technique down the canyon. At the base of the canyon is a creek, with small sediments eroded from the the canyon. After visiting the creek, we took a small detour and were greeted by Pearl River. There we stopped for a quick break.
Next, we went back through the creek, where we fell into quicksand more times than I'd like to admit. The final stretch of our hike was climbing back up the canyon.
Once in the depth of the canyon, we stopped to take in the views. It was truly remarkable. The view at the top was even better, because you felt like you really accomplished something.
"It can be a little physically demanding for some people," said Stine. "I think at the end of the day, everyone's going to have a really good time."