North Georgia’s Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawson County, GA. is home to this truly unique backcountry Inn. The Len Foote Hike Inn is only accessible to the public by foot along its own hiking trail that travels through the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest.
From the moment that you step into the lobby you can begin to feel the stress free environment that the Hike Inn promotes. From the wood burning stove centered in the floor to the hiking gear artifacts hanging around the walls to the section dedicated to the history of the Inn and its namesake, Leonard E. Foote.
Mr. Foote, a Georgia native, was a leading conservationist, biologist and nature photographer that dedicated his work to preserving the beauty of the outdoors. To this day these are still the beliefs that the Hike Inn continues to operate on, such as obtaining their electricity from Photo-voltaic solar panels and odor free composting toilets.
The Inn is a 20 room facility with a dining hall, hot showers and an abundance of porches to relax on and take in the beautiful mountain view’s or socialize with fellow hikers and friends.
The sign marked trailhead (as seen in picture below) is located at the top of the Falls parking lot. This is where the adventure begins as the trail meanders through a lush forest, laurel lined tunnels and several small stream crossings with foot bridges. Midway through the trail you'll find a beautiful vista looking to the east with a bench which makes for great place to take a break and enjoy the view. I would rate this trail as moderate and makes for a 5-mile trek (10 miles out & back). I would consider this one of the most enjoyable trails that you’ll find in the North Georgia area.
For those who choose to stay overnight and would like to add to your hiking miles, you can continue past the Hike Inn until it intersects with the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail. From here continue North for another 5 miles (10 miles out & back) to reach Springer Mountain, the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail. This makes for a great day hike while getting to enjoy a little piece of history.
Whether you’re a diehard hiker or just a family looking to “Unplug” for the weekend this is a must visit destination. (For parking and directions see map below.)