Saturday, January 4, 2014

Something Fun on January 1

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you all had a great end to 2013 and have started out 2014 with a bang.  To celebrate the start of the New Year and the end of the hectic holiday season, the Jayhawk and I like to do something fun on January 1.  We aren't big NYE party people, so we always seem to end up doing something fun on New Year's Day instead.  This year was no different.
Nothing like watching the sunrise over the mountains to ring in the New Year.
Up until a week or two ago, we actually didn't have any plans. We tossed around the idea of a Resolution Run or a sunrise hike, but nothing really peaked our interest.  Then we found out that an Inn we've really wanted to visit had a huge cancellation for NYE and reduced all it's rooms. The Jayhawk and I have want to visit the Inn for a longtime and it finally worked out for us this year.
Now, this isn't your normal Inn. The Hike Inn is a 5 mile hike from Amicalola Falls State park and just a few miles from the Georgia start of the Appalachian Trail. In fact, the only way to get there is to hike.  Many hikers use it as a jumping off point for longer Appalachian trail hikes or even thru-hikes on the whole trail. The Inn is completely sustainable with composting toilets, rainwater showers (yes, they have hot water), solar panel electricity, and a worm farm to eat any leftover food.  It is pack-in/pack-out facility with no TV, Internet, or cell phone use. It's a great place to get away from it all and really relax.
We found it!
This description might have a few of you afraid and thinking we were staying in a odd hut in the woods, but the Inn is really nice and a fun visit. The hike to/from the Inn is moderate.  Family style dinner and breakfast are included in your stay, and the food was really quite tasty and plentiful. This hiker had no trouble filling her belly.
Maps and Signs.
We were very lucky in terms of weather.  On the hike out to the Inn, it was 40s and a bit windy in spots, but clear as could be.  From one vista we could actually see all the way back to Atlanta, over 40 miles away.  We followed the Hike Inn trail on our way out to the Inn.  It's a 5 mile rolling trail through Magnolia and wooded forests.
Magnolia forests and the starting line.
Only 2000 miles from home!
On New Year's morning, we chose to take a slightly different route back to the park.  We followed a 1 mile connector trail over to the Approach Trail.  The approach trail starts at Amicalola State park and leads all the way to Springer Mountain, the starting point for the Appalachian Trail.  The connector trail was probably the most challenge part of our two days of hiking.  Though it is only a mile long, it is completely uphill.
Connecting up with the Approach Trail.
The Approach Trail was a nice hike back to the park with a few vistas overlooking the other mountains.  Upon arriving back at the State park, we decided to take a short hike up to see the waterfall, just to get in a bonus mile.
Worth the extra mile.
View from bottom and top of falls.
How was your New Year's Eve and Day?  Did you do anything special to send 2013 off and usher 2014 in?

6 comments:

  1. What a fun place to stay! Sure beats staying somewhere and having to drive to the hike and hoping that you can find a parking space.

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  2. what a great way to start off your new year :)

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  3. Great way to start the new year.

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  4. How cool that the only way you can get there is to hike in. I have never heard of anything like that before.

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  5. That sounds like so much fun. Such a beautiful area to hike and explore!

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