Despite celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the Len Foote Hike Inn remains an undiscovered gem of a lodging facility tucked 5 miles into Georgia's Amicalola Falls State Park. The Hike Inn has a Gold LEED-EB certification because of its energy-efficient design and construction as well as the conservation techniques used throughout the property like its solar panels, composting toilets, and "pack it in, pack it out" policy since there are no trash cans.
I brought my oldest daughter, all of 4 1/2 years old, along with me for our night at the Hike Inn. The 5-mile hike from the parking area to the Inn is not easy for little ones as the trip there is more uphill than down. My daughter is very active, and she did great, but it took some cajoling and a few bribes to keep her motivated. It took us about 3.5 hours with a half dozen breaks to rest, drink juice/water, and snack.
Once we checked in, I unloaded our pack in the room and made up our beds (guests are given clean sheets and pillowcase at check-in). We then had some time to explore the property before Stan Krajeski, the General Manager/Innkeeper, led us on a 5pm tour of the facility and explained its conservation features.
Dinner is at 6pm and served family-style. We enjoyed a fantastic meal of pork, rice, sweet corn, rolls, salad, brussels sprouts with carrot cake for dessert. Guests are asked to only take what they can eat, and scraps are weighed in an effort to reduce waste.
After dinner we played horseshoes in the horseshoe pit before retiring to the Sunrise Room to watch bees at work in an active hive (bees travel up to an enclosed hive via a PVC pipe under the room), complete a puzzle, and read a few books. We then showered in the Bathhouse before heading off to our room.
Each room has bunk beds, an open mini-closet, a stool, a fan for summer, and a heating panel for winter. The Hike Inn is at 3300 feet, so despite a daytime high in the mid-80's, it got down to the low 60's at night so air conditioning was completely unnecessary.
We got up around 7:30am with plenty of time to get dressed, and wash up before the 8:00am breakfast bell. Once again the food was awesome, and we were served blueberry walnut coffee cake, eggs, bacon, grits, and cereal.
Check-out time is at 10:00am, so we did some more exploring the property before packing up, dropping off our room key, picking up our Len Foote Hike Inn shirts, and making the hike back to our vehicle.
My daughter's favorite part of the trip was getting to sleep in the top bunk while mine was the feeling of "getting away from it all" while enjoying a special moment with my daughter that I'll never forget. This was the first of many trips to the Hike Inn.
- Also Known As:
- Len Foote Hike Hotel Dawsonville