Nashville Hiking Meetup Amicalola Falls State Park: Len Foote Hike Inn to Springer Mountain 

Hike from Amicalola Falls State Park in northern Georgia to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain on this 16.2-mile loop.

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Author: Kelly Stewart
Date: 20 Mar 2009 12:00:00 PM
Activity: Hiking
State: Georgia (GA)
Distance: 16.23 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 3324 ft
Total Loss: 3344 ft
Net Change: -19 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
USGS Topo Map: Nimblewill
Tags: Amicalola Falls State Park, Appalachian Trail, Dahlonega, dawsonville, Georgia
Rating:   3 rating(s) Rate it

This memorable, 16.2-mile loop in Chattahoochee National Forest links Amicalola Falls, Len Foote Hike Inn, and the summit of Springer Mountain. Hike it all in one day, or stay at the Hike Inn for a multi-day trip. The route begins in Amicalola Falls State Park and travels northeast to the Hike Inn Trail–Approach Trail junction. Bear right on Hike Inn Trail to begin a counterclockwise loop past creeks, hardwoods, and mountain laurel.

Less than 5 miles in, the trail passes Len Foote Hike Inn, a twenty room, eco-friendly lodge. Spend the night here (hikers must check in at the Visitors Center before 2:00 p.m.) or continue along the trail, heading northwest. Roughly a mile later, turn right at a 3-way junction for a 6.5-mile out-and-back to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Enjoy the views from this 3,780-foot peak before backtracking to the 3-way intersection. From here, the route winds southwest for 3.8 miles and reconnects with the Hike Inn Trail–Approach Trail junction; continue straight to return to the parking area. Finish off the hike with a worthy trip to the 729-foot Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

-Mapped by Kelly Stewart, Nashville Hiking Meetup

TO TRAILHEAD: From Atlanta: GA 400 N to GA 53 W to GA 183 N to GA 52 E. From Chattanooga: I-75 S to GA 53 (Rome/Fairmont exit). Turn left (east) on GA 53 toward Fairmont. Remain on GA 53 thru Jasper, GA, then left on Burnt Mountain Rd. Left onto GA 183 N, then right on GA 52 E.

Position Format: Datum:

Amicalola Falls State Park: Len Foote Hike Inn to Springer Mountain

Distance: 16.23 mi Points: 996
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 34.567481, -84.243456
The trailhead is located at the parking lot just above the 729-foot Amicalola Falls.


Location: 34.568586, -84.242990
Trail crosses road.


Location: 34.569595, -84.241657
Turn right and follow the Hike Inn Trail.


Location: 34.587591, -84.227124
Cross a wooden bridge.


Location: 34.586187, -84.224571
Cross a wooden bridge.


Location: 34.587821, -84.211332
Climb a set of stone steps.


Location: 34.588592, -84.210475
Cross a small log bridge.


Location: 34.592131, -84.208424
Len Foote Hike Inn: This twenty room, eco-friendly lodge within the boundaries of Amicalola Falls State Park is only accessible by foot. (Note: Hikers must check in at the Visitors Center before 2:00 p.m. to stay at the inn.) For reservations, call 800-581-8032 (10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday).


Location: 34.598296, -84.215666
Follow the Ridge Trail on the left.


Location: 34.601687, -84.219067
Bear right toward Springer Mountain at the trail junction.


Location: 34.604403, -84.216306
Trail begins descent.


Location: 34.608455, -84.214367
Trail crosses dirt road and parking area at Nimblewill Gap.


Location: 34.609112, -84.214069
Trail begins ascent.


Location: 34.616505, -84.203114
Trail crosses a spring.


Location: 34.616915, -84.198404
Pass camp shelter and water supply.


Location: 34.626587, -84.193801
Springer Mountain: This mountaintop is also the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. After enjoying the view from Springer Mountain, retrace your steps back to AMI010 and bear right at the junction.


Location: 34.596774, -84.226571
The trail passes a camping area with several fire rings.


Location: 34.586478, -84.238905
A fire ring is located in this clearing.


Location: 34.581602, -84.243615
Pass another fire ring.


Location: 34.571443, -84.241953
Trail crosses a dirt road and approaches a creek crossing.


Location: 34.569616, -84.241774
Continue straight at the trail junction, following signs back to the visitor center.


Location: 34.568663, -84.242958
Cross the road.


Location: 34.567310, -84.244118
Trail ends at Amicalola Falls.

View from Springer Mountain

Location: 34.626843, -84.193994
© Kelly Stewart

Trailhead Sign

Location: 34.567486, -84.243424
© Kelly Stewart

Road Crossing

Location: 34.568480, -84.243062
© Kelly Stewart

Junction: Hike Inn Trail - Approach Trail

Location: 34.569599, -84.241619
© Kelly Stewart

Bridge Crossing

Location: 34.587591, -84.226953
© Kelly Stewart


Location: 34.586178, -84.224399
© Kelly Stewart

Stone Steps

Location: 34.587812, -84.211203
© Kelly Stewart

Log Bridge

Location: 34.588602, -84.210404
© Kelly Stewart

Approaching Len Foote Hike Inn

Location: 34.591981, -84.208832
© Kelly Stewart

Len Foote Hike Inn

Location: 34.592484, -84.208564
© Kelly Stewart

Sign for Springer Mountain

Location: 34.592908, -84.208896
© Kelly Stewart

Ridge Trail

Location: 34.598322, -84.215527
© Kelly Stewart

Trail to Springer Mountain

Location: 34.601704, -84.218938
© Kelly Stewart

Parking Area

Location: 34.608451, -84.214250
© Kelly Stewart

Memorial Plaque

Location: 34.609078, -84.213939
A plaque memorializing victims of a plane crash near this site in 1968. © Kelly Stewart

Camp Shelter/Water Supply

Location: 34.616972, -84.198253
© Kelly Stewart

Camping is discouraged at Springer Summit

Location: 34.626203, -84.193785
© Kelly Stewart

Appalachian Trail Marker

Location: 34.626702, -84.194005
Springer Mountain is the southern terminus of the AT. © Kelly Stewart

AT Caretaker

Location: 34.627002, -84.193994
Enjoy chatting with the AT Caretaker while at Springer Mountain. © Kelly Stewart

Camp Shelter

Location: 34.617281, -84.198639
© Kelly Stewart

Continue Straight

Location: 34.601837, -84.218938
© Kelly Stewart

Camping Area

Location: 34.596777, -84.226384
Camping area with several fire rings. © Kelly Stewart

Clearing with Fire Ring

Location: 34.586487, -84.238744
© Kelly Stewart

Fire Ring

Location: 34.581620, -84.243422
© Kelly Stewart

Trail Signage

Location: 34.571479, -84.242209
© Kelly Stewart

Sign to Visitor Center

Location: 34.569621, -84.241745
© Kelly Stewart

Road Crossing

Location: 34.568667, -84.242920
© Kelly Stewart

Above Amicalola Falls

Location: 34.567229, -84.243832
Hikers take a snack break above Amicalola Falls. © Kelly Stewart

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