If you don’t then you should. No idea what I’m talking about? Then I’m about to clue you in. You’re welcome.
The Len Foote Hike Inn is one of the few backcountry Inns located in the Appalachian mountains. Len Foote is located a couple of hours north of Atlanta in the Amicalola State Park, and even the most tested long-distance hikers couldn’t scoff at a place like this. And if they did, they’d be missing out.
The Inn is committed to making experiencing nature easy, and helping protect it through education and recreation. And that is exactly what you get when you visit this gem. You start out at the top of Amicalola Falls, and after a five mile hike, a beautiful building slowly creeps into view from up ahead on the trail. You literally hike onto their doorstep and into their lobby/welcome room/library where someone is smiling and ready to greet you. After they give you all the details, you are lead to your bunks and left to relax.
One of the Inn’s strictest, and I think most valuable, rules is that they prohibit the use of electronic devices. Ok, maybe not “prohibit” but they strongly discourage it. Let’s just say that if you’re talking on your cell, things are about to get really uncomfortable for you. It may seem harsh at first, but it actually turned out to be my favorite rule there. It really allowed me to experience my surroundings, enjoy my time with the people around me, and live in the moment instead of on the phone. It made my time at the Inn precious.
The staff offers a walking tour of the Inn, and though it may sound geeky, it is totally worth it. The Inn was designed to have as little environmental impact as possible, and the staff works hard to make sure their practices reflect that as well. You’d learn that on the walking tour… so sorry for the spoiler. But they take you around the building, explaining their day-to-day practices, and how they are constantly pursuing a more environmentally friendly way of living. They have beautiful gardens that contain only plant species that are natural to the area- some being very rare. It truly is inspirational.
Their food, you ask? Well if the hike, the solitude, and the experience aren’t enough to get you up here, than the food will do it. You are served two meals, breakfast and dinner, and they’re both served family-style. That means interacting with other people– crazy, I know. It really adds to the experience, though, because it allows you to get to know the people you are with. Maybe you’ll hear some stories that you would have never been able to hear otherwise. Oh and did I mention that it’s all homemade? No? Well it is, and it’s making my mouth water thinking about it right now. Not only do they make it all there, but they do their best to eliminate waste. They actually weigh any food left on the table and keep a record of how much waste they had. They’re not messing around.
Overall Len Foote Hike Inn, you’ve definitely won me over. Even though it may be a more comfortable way of “camping,” it’s the experience that really brings people back. I know I’ll be hiking inn again soon.