has awarded the Len Foote Hike Inn with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence.
Georgia’s only backcountry inn is located at the end of a beautiful five-mile journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Parking at the top of the Southeast’s tallest waterfall, inn guests hike a moderate trail that leads to this eco-lodge with only 20 rooms. Dinner and breakfast are included, allowing hikers to carry only their personal items along the trail. A bathhouse with hot showers and composting toilets is centrally located, and meals are served family-style in a colorful dining hall.
Early morning views are beautiful from the east-facing Sunrise Room, and Adirondack chairs are scattered throughout the grounds. The Len Foote Hike Inn is Georgia’s only true eco-lodge and boasts “Gold Level” certification from the Green Building Council. Buildings cascade down the mountainside and sit on stilts, eliminating much effect on the landscape.
Guest rooms are cooled by breezes or warmed by blankets and a small radiant heater. Rainwater is collected in cisterns and used to irrigate the inn’s vegetable and herb garden. Be sure to ask about the resident worms that compost nearly everything, from table scraps to discarded hiking socks.
The Len Foote Hike Inn is owned by the state of Georgia and operated by the not-for-profit Appalachian Education and Recreation Services, Inc. (affiliated with the Appalachian Trail Club). This facility is not the same as the Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park
, a 57-room hotel with restaurant and meeting facilities. This small remote inn, tucked away high in the beautiful North Georgia mountains near the beginning of the Appalachian Trail, can be reached only by a five mile wilderness hike.