The Len Foote Hike Inn is a unique backcountry retreat and learning resource center inspiring a love for hiking, nature, environmental stewardship and sustainability - a place where everyone belongs. Our mission is to protect Georgia's natural resources through education and recreation.
The Outside School is the Hike Inn's community outreach program providing opportunities for youth to enjoy, explore, learn about and protect the natural world. The Outside School program helps co-sponsor school and youth groups for overnight experiential educational trips to the Inn. We provide youth and community leaders support in safe outdoor recreation and education, learning environmental science and sustainability practices, and engaging in leadership development with options of place-based service-learning.
During the hike, students may learn about hiking safety, Leave No Trace Principals, the history of the Appalachian Trail and public lands, species identification, natural history and ecological processes of the Southern Appalachian forests. During their time at the Inn, students experience direct investigation and hands-on application of green building and sustainability practices and conservation of resources. The program focus is on solar energy generation with photovoltaic and thermal panels, water conservation with composting toilets, rain catchment and native garden design, soil enhancement with out vermiculture beds, and participation with our food waste reduction goals during the meals. A variety of topics are available for the evening education program.
The goal of the program is to help youth discover the beauty and joy of hiking in wild public lands. We hope to guide youth to the understanding of natural systems, human systems, and the relations between them while promoting the conservation of resources. Time outdoors has been linked to improvement in youth health and well-being, as well as environmental attitudes and intentions. We simply want to help get more kids outside on the trail and foster a lifelong appreciation and relationship with nature! We believe hiking is a fun path to healthy living, developing environmental awareness and fostering a conservation ethic.
Each year the Outside School brings several hundred students from Georgia to the Hike Inn for an unforgettable learning experience. Many of the youth are urban or from rural communtities and have never been on a long hike before. The Hike Inn is proud of our role and contributions to the community as a unique resource learning center encouraging our youth to enjoy the outdoors and take care of the environment. Owned by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The Len Foote Hike Inn is operated by the non-profit, Len Foote Hike Inn, inc., and our youth education program relies directly on funding from grants, individual donations, and volunteer support.
Your gift will help us reach out to more of Georgia’s youth and support our stewards of tomorrow.
Thank you for your donation!