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Backpacker Magazine – March 2010

Luxury Hikes: Amicalola Falls SP, GA

Trek to an off-the-grid bunkhouse.

by: Shannon Davis



The tarp-and-alcohol-stove set will be steaming when they spy your tiny daypack. That’s all you’ll need for this posh overnighter near Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. From the parking area at the top of Amicalola Falls, follow green blazes five miles—crossing oak- and pine-topped ridges and trickling creeks—on gentle grades to the Len Foote Hike Inn.

This solar-powered haven has 20 rooms, each with a bunk and bedding. Dinner (family style) is served nightly at five and six. And there are two main rules: Check in at the visitor center before 2 p.m., and—our favorite—no cell phones or iPods allowed. Make it an 11-mile loop by returning via the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail, one mile west from the Inn.

Recharge
Hit the Sunrise Room to browse its library, play a board game, warm up by the fire, or sit in on a program on green techniques like composting. ($70/person/night year-round; hikeinn.com)

The Way
From Atlanta, head north linking GA 400, US 19, GA 9, GA 136, and GA 52 69 miles to Top of the Falls Rd. Turn right to reach the visitor center in .5 mile.


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