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Wednesday, October 01, 2014    
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Len Foote Hike Inn

The Trading Post Visitors Center/Amicalola Falls State Park
240 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd.
Dawsonville, GA 30534

Open year-round.

Rates: (A hearty family-style dinner and breakfast are included.)

$70 per adult/double occupancy —excluding 12% state sales and county lodging taxes. $97 per adult/single occupancy—excluding 12% state sales and county lodging taxes.

Discounted rates apply for children 12 and under.
Additional discounts are available to non-corporate groups reserving the entire Inn.

Reservations are required and accepted up to 11 months in advance (or as late as two days prior to arrival)

No pets
No alcoholic beverages

For a unique, year-round hiking and outdoor adventure, check in at the ego-friendly Len Foote Hike Inn, one of Georgia’s newest state park facilities. Accessible only by hiking along a moderate 5-mile trail located within the Chattahoochee National Forest, the Len Foote Hike Inn is remotely located at the top of Amicalola Falls—away from cell phones, beepers, and PDA’s! 

However, enjoying the wilderness doesn’t have to mean forgoing creature comforts like, pillows, a soft mattress, hot water and hearty family-style meals. But, keep in mind, the comforts offered by the Len Foote Hike Inn do have to be earned by completing a 2-4 hour, 5-mile hike before the day’s end (5 & 6pm each night) to allow time for dinner, a tour of the facility and an evening of educational and entertaining programs.

The 5-mile Len Foote Hike Inn Trail, which is maintained by volunteers from the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club and Friends of the Hike Inn, is located within the scenic Chattahoochee National Forest and Amicalola Falls State Park. Hikers can expect the trail to vary from easy to some moderate climbing, as it winds through the forest, linking briefly with the Approach Trail to Springer Mountain.

Along the way, hikers will encounter small springs, bog bridges, interesting regional flora, birds, and butterflies, in addition to hundreds of seasonal species of southeastern wildflowers indicated by distance markers.

There are also additional hiking adventures available for guests that plan extended stays at the Inn: a 4.5-mile hike to Springer Mountain—the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Alternatively, extended-stay guests can also choose to hike one of the short trails that surround the Inn; the one-third mile Fire Break Trail; or the one-eighth mile Cove Trail that forms a three-quarter mile loop between the main trail north and south of the Inn.

What to pack . . .
Visitors to the Inn need to carry drinking water for the five-mile hike, along with a rain jacket (in case of inclement weather), a trekking pole (if desired), layered clothing, comfortable hiking boots and or shoes, extra socks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, flashlight, and toiletries needed for the number of days spent at the inn.

There are no electrical outlets in the bunk-style guestrooms, and guests are asked not to bring cell phones, beepers, pagers, laptops or other electronic devices in order to offer all of the Inn’s guests a respite from the hustle of everyday life.

The hike begins at . . .
The Trading Post Visitors Center, which is in the Amicalola Falls State Park, and where Len Foote Hike Inn guests are required to register and check in by 2:00 p.m. (which is mandatory so the hike can be completed by nightfall and in time for dinner and a tour of the Inn). After being given a map at the Trading Post, guests are directed to parking and the beginning point of their hike.

Downtime at the Inn includes a horseshoe pit and the restful activity of enjoying the scenic Blue Ridge Mountain views from comfortable Adirondack chairs on the Inn’s porch and t beside the Star Base Celestial Calendar, a “V” shaped rock with a hole in the center—designed by John Burgess of Fernbank Science Center—marking the fall and spring equinoxes. In addition, the Inn’s dining hall and lobby both contain fireplaces. Moreover, the Inn’s Sunrise Community Room has a library and a wood burning stove where guests can gather for reading, puzzles, board games, Appalachian-themed trivia contests, and educational talks on various topics ranging from invasive plant control, identifying trees, conservation of natural resources, local history, regional geology etc.

A family-style breakfast and dinner (included in the lodging rate) is served in the Inn’s dining hall, and overnight guests can buy a brown bag lunch for the return hike out.

Inn facilities include . . .
20 small bunkrooms (six adjoining rooms for convenience of families, and groups of more than three persons) and the minimal amenities include a bunk bed, clean sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels, washcloths, shelves, a stool, a pegged-wall for hanging wardrobe items, and a mirror. The community bathhouse provides bathmats and hand towels as well as shampoo and soap (by dispensers) in the showers.

On a historical note . . .
The Len Foote Inn is named for Leonard E. Foote, a leading conservationist, biologist and nature photographer, who inspired the comic strip “Mark Trail.” Foote, a Georgia resident, worked for 30 years as the southeastern representative for the Wildlife Management Institute and 18 years on the Georgia Game and Fish Commission and the Board of Natural Resources.

Also, The Len Foote Hike Inn has earned a Gold LEED-EB certification in conjunction with  its energy-efficient design and construction, as well as the conservation techniques used throughout the property, like solar panels, composting toilets, and a “pack it in, pack it out” policy. There are no trashcans at the facility, and most of the waste generated at the Inn is treated on-site.
 
Appalachian Education and Recreation Services (AERS)—a non-profit company—operates the Inn in affiliation with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

For reservations, and to obtain full details about the Inn, call 800-581-8032. Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Directions: From 400 North, proceed toward Dawsonville past the North Georgia Premium Outlet. Turn left (west) on Highway 53 at the intersection with 400. Continue on Highway 53 through Dawsonville. Turn right on Highway 183 where it intersects 53. Amicalola Falls will be about 3 miles on the left on Highway 52.


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