Family Weekender: Atlanta

Len Foote Inn
By Hiram Rogers
Go Guide: Len Foote Inn

Getting there: The access trail starts in Amicalola Falls State Park on GA 52 about halfway between Dahlonega and Elljay.

Contact: Amicalola Falls State Park, (706) 265-4703. For reservations, call (800) 864-7275, or (770) 389-7275.  

Extra treats:"Must-see" spots bookend the trail. At the start is Amicalola Falls, where 700 feet of tumbling water form the highest waterfalls in the east. Another 3.5 miles beyond the lodge is the summit of Springer Mountain, where the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail starts.


What family wouldn't love a private cabin high in the mountains, surrounded by frothing cascades and enticing hiking trails right outside the front door? Len Foote Inn can't promise you total privacy, but with only 20 rooms at this backcountry lodge there's more than enough wilderness for everyone. The inn runs on a unique system: Rooms aren't heated, meals are served family style, and the parking area's a long walk away — five miles, in fact.

Len Foote was designed as hike-in only and provides a perfect backwoods adventure for families not quite ready for full-blown camping or backpacking. The lodge is named for Leonard E. Foote, the real-life model for the kids' comic strip"Mark Trail," and is operated by a group dedicated to environmental education and preservation.

The access trail is marked with interpretive signs, giving hikers large and small their proper excuse for taking a break.


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