March 8, 2014

The Len Foote Hike Inn

"A Unique Destination"

Recently, I had the pleasure of a two-night stay at the Len Foote Hike Inn with the Chattanooga Hiking Club.This is an annual event for the club, usually in late February, when the rates are discounted by 50 percent on weekdays. I recommend an overnight stay to enjoy all it has to offer, however, one can enjoy a beautiful day hike to the inn on one of two trails (see trail maps below).  According to their website, "The Hike Inn is a sustainably-designed Georgia State Park facility nestled in the Chattahoochee National Forest, just a few hours north of Atlanta. Its four main buildings offer twenty private guest rooms, hot showers, fresh linens, and home-cooked meals. Here is their website. 

Let's take a look around. 

Access to the Len Foote Hike Inn is through Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville, Georgia.

You must have reservations to stay overnight at the inn.  Registration is at the park
visitor's center.  A special parking permit is provided at registration after which you are directed to the Top of the Falls parking area. 

At the Top of the Falls parking area, the Hike Inn trailhead is easy to find.  If you are day hiking to the inn, this is where you should park. As the name suggests, you must hike to the Hike Inn.  Sorry, no valet parking. 

There is no vehicle access which means there are no bellhops or mules to carry luggage. Most visitors carry minimal clothes and only essential toiletries.   It is a "pack in pack out" facility which means no trashcans.  

Most visitors use the Hike Inn trail, but you can access via the longer approach trail to the Appalachian Trail (AT).  I prefer to go in on the Hike Inn Trail (green) and depart via the AT approach trail (blue).  This is also my recommendation for a day hike.  
What a welcome sight after hiking 4.8 miles with a heavy backpack. 

A great place to sit down and take a load off your feet.   Day hikers are also welcome at the inn. 

Don't forget to clean your hiking boots before entering the Bunkhouse to pick up room key and linens.

The registration desk where only Hike Inn paraphernalia may be purchased.  You may also purchase such necessary items as chocolate and earplugs. 

A friendly Hike Inn staff member will greet and present you with a room key and a cloth bag containing bed and bath linens. 

A nearby sign in the Bunkhouse provides the day's events.
Another view of the Bunkhouse facility which is a pleasant place to mingle with other hikers.  It is also a great place to sit and read from one of the many wonderful books available on Georgia's beautiful outdoors. 

More Hike Inn items for sale in the Bunkhouse. 

Breezeway access to the guest rooms. 

It's important to remember your room number in case of a middle-of-the-night visit to the Bathhouse. 

Rooms are small but utilitarian. 

Surely a hiker doesn't mind climbing up to the top bunk.  

Knobs for hanging your personal items and a mirror for putting on lipstick. 

Minimal clothes equal minimal closet. 
Yes the showers and toilets are in a separate Bath House. 
There are separate shower facilities for men and women. 

In the women's facility, there are two private showers and four sinks. I suspect it's the same for men. 
Composting toilets are also available for day hikers.  

No further explanation needed.

Breakfast and dinner, which is included in the room charge, are served in the separate dining hall   A sack lunch may be purchased by inn guests only for an extra charge.  Day hikers are welcome to use the dining hall facility, but must bring their own food.  Lemonade, tea, coffee, and desserts are available to day hikers for a much-appreciated tip. 

Meals are served family style and visitors are encouraged to take all they want, but eat all they take.  Food waste is tracked by inn personnel. 

The Sunrise Room, with its wonderful wraparound porch, faces east to take advantage of the beautiful sunrises.  On a clear morning, a Hike Inn staff member walks around the lodge beating a drum indicating a beautiful sunrise in the next 15 minutes.  

The Sunrise Room is always a great place to hang out. There are puzzles, board games, decks of cards, and plenty of fun for everyone.  No ABC, CNN, A&E to spoil the natural surroundings! 

It would be a shame to lay in bed and miss such a beautiful sunrise.

You can also enjoy the wraparound porch of the Sunrise Room to view the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. 

Even if you are not a hiker, anyone would enjoy this view. 

Checkout is 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Soiled linens are to be returned to hampers which are conveniently located close to the Bath House.

Before you depart, tips for the hourly-paid staff are appreciated.

Whether you stay overnight or enjoy a day hike, the Len Foote Hike Inn is a beautiful place to enjoy the north Georgia Mountains.  "Keep On Hiking." 



  1. That is so different from what I had visualized. Thanks for an excellent blog post.

    1. Don, since you and your wife enjoy hiking, you should surprise her with an overnight stay. The trail to and from the inn is pretty during any season. Better yet, perhaps you two could join the Chattanooga Hiking Club on its annual visit. Lots of fun with a large group.