Len Foote Hike Inn Trail

  • Highlights: Hike-in lodge, wildflowers, great views
  • Distance: 4.9 miles one way
  • Elevation change: 500 feet
  • Difficulty level: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Trailhead Parking: Amicaola State Park, Top of Falls parking area, park entrance fee required 
  • Website: Len Foote Hike Inn
  • Beer Pairings: Sweetwater Brewing—420 Extra Pale Ale & IPA

The Hike:

The Len Foote Hike Inn has been on our to-do list for a while. We had previously stayed at two hike-in lodges: Charit Creek Lodge and the Cabins at Sandy Mush Bald. The Hike Inn has the distinction of being located just a few miles from Springer Mountain—the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. 

The Len Foote Trails begins in Amicaola State Park, home to several scenic waterfalls. The same trailhead serves the Len Foote Trail and the AT Approach Trail. At .3 miles the Len Foote Trail branches off to the right with lime green blazes and the Approach Trail bears left with blue blazes. The trail is well marked and well maintained.

The Len Foote Trail was one of Backpacker magazine’s “36 Best American Hikes”. The trail has some nice views, several stream crossings, and an abundance of wildflowers. Viewpoints at .9 miles and 3.9 miles are fantastic. Normally in mid-April pink lady slippers blanket the forest. On our visit in 2021, the wildflowers were a few weeks behind due to a colder winter. The trail undulates through the forest with several uphill stretches followed by a decline. Several large patches of rhododendron and mountain laurel line the trail.

The Len Foote Trail forms a loop with the AT Approach Trail making for a 10 mile round trip. We strongly suggest planning ahead and making reservations and spend a night or two at the Hike Inn.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

The Hike Inn does not serve alcohol as they are part of the Georgia State Park System. However, discrete use of alcohol in private areas is tolerated. The guest rooms do not have refrigerators, so we suggest packing an insulated cooler bag, several cans of your favorite brew, and icing them down upon arrival. Ice is available in the dining hall. We have always liked Sweetwater Brewing and since they are based in Atlanta, it was a perfect pairing for this Georgia hike.

Sweetwater IPA is brewed with Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe, and Golding hops and then dry hopped with Simcoe and Golding. It is the definition of a classic American-style IPA. 420 Extra Pale Ale is a tasty West Coast style Pale Ale with a healthy dose of Centennial and cascade hops. It is their most popular beer and is the perfect beverage to enjoy while watching the sun set at the Len Foote Hike Inn.

The Len Foote Hike Inn is a backcountry lodge providing meals, private guest rooms, and hot showers in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia. The lodge is only accessible by a 5-mile hike. The lodge practices environmental sustainability from composting toilets to solar panels on the roof. The staff is friendly and helpful, the food is good, and our fellow hiking travelers were fun.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.