I was finally able to accomplish a huge goal of mine. I have been wanting to go to the Len Foote Hike inn for years. I convinced my friend to do it with me. The hike Inn trail head is at the top of Amicalola Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is only accessible through a 5 mile hike that is part of the approach trail to Springer Mountain and the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The Inn itself is more like a hostel with 4 separate buildings. The main office attached the the bunk house, followed by the bath house, then the dining hall and last but not least the sunrise room. Most of our time spent indoors was in the sunrise room. That building has an incredible view and a wrap around porch filled with rockers and adirondack chairs. It is the social spot for hikers staying at the inn. Included with your stay is a family style dinner served promptly at 6pm (the dinner bells signals when it is time) and a breakfast at 8 am. Coffee is on at 6 am in time for the best view of the sunrise in this part of the state. I am not going to lie...the sunrise was cold but well worth the chill. We were the first to arrive Saturday for the night. We checked in, received our linens and made up our beds. Each room is the same..very basic with bunk beds but clean. Then I proceeded to clean up and drink about 90 cups of coffee before we ventured out to hike again. We got about 10 miles in on our first day.
My new rainbow Merrells did me right! Seriously the best running and hiking shoes on the market.
Dinner consisted of Pork Loin w/ gravy, rice pilaf, broccoli, salad and rolls with chocolate cake for dessert. Breakfast was eggs, bacon, grits and peach spoon bread which was to die for. Shortly after breakfast we hit the trails again. We hit Amicalola Falls, High Shoals Baptist church and ventured to an unmarked, extremely strenuous hike to a hidden water fall nearby- Bearden Falls.
26 creek crossing there and back. Only 5 makeshift trail markers. This was the most challenging trail I have hiked yet.
Our first glance at Bearden Falls...and the challenge we faced trying to climb to the top.
If you attempt to find the trail do not believe google maps and its reviews. It is NOT 1.6 miles, It is NOT only 3 creek crossings and the trail head is not where you think it is by the parking area. You will find however a ton of great camping spots. If I come back I will bring spray paint and create a real set of markers. You will have to climb if you want to get anywhere near the falls. I imagine this would not be very good in the spring and summer due to the heavy overgrowth. Overall we did about 20 miles in 36 hours.
Nature is my church.