On Saturday, a group of Sure Foot Hikers met at Amicalola Falls State Park for a Leave No Trace-themed Educational Day Hike to the Len Foote Hike Inn, a LEED-certified green building in the Blue Ridge near Springer Mountain.
The group was composed of first-time hikers, returning hikers, and well-seasoned hikers and was led by Sure Foot’s Catie Beaulieu.
The group began the ascent to the Inn as Catie told the history of Len Foote Hike Inn and explained its application of Leave-No-Trace (LNT) principles. While LNT was a theme throughout, the hiking group quickly bonded through telling stories, cooling off in the stream crossings, observing snails basking in the sun, and identifying flowers about to bloom.
Pacing and patience were key to our success: pace in our stride and patience in our pride. Despite having never met, we were talking like old friends by the time we reached the Inn. After being welcomed to the Hike Inn with ice cold tea and chocolate, pecan, and peach cobbler pies, we relaxed and ate our lunch. Next we took the sustainability tour at the Inn, which introduced us, first-hand, to the creative and innovative ways the Hike Inn has developed to recycle everything— food, water, energy, and humanure (seriously!)
The hike down from the Inn was peaceful as we were content, happy, and more aware of our surroundings. We observed several bright green and blue dragonflies flying through the tunnel of rhododendron and butterflies landing on petals right in front of us.
In all, we conquered ten miles in seven hours. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.