Green lodging in Georgia

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Arthur Frommer
has nothing on me. There are few destinations where people can travel, stay at a beautiful mountain retreat, enjoy a hearty family-style dinner and breakfast, and do so for less than $90. The Len Foote Hike Inn is an hour and a half drive from downtown Atlanta and located in the Amicalola Falls State Park. There is also a 5-mile hike to get to the Hike Inn--there are no roads leading to this property. And they ask that guests bring no cell phones, pagers, or radios... so I'm guessing that also excludes my Blackberry and iPod.

The Hike Inn is the first lodging property in the country to receive the Gold Level Certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for an Existing Building (Gold LEED - EB) by the United States Green Building Council. Given its remote location, the Hike Inn is all about conservation, from the composting toilets and solar panels to its policy of "pack it in, pack it out" since there are no trash cans at the Hike Inn!

This weekend will be my first stay at the Hike Inn, and I have but one concern: my 4 1/2 year old daughter I'm taking with me. I'm scheduling two hours for the 5-mile hike and am planning on packing as light as possible in the event I have to carry her on my shoulders part of the way. Once we get there, I know she'll have a blast. Each of the 20 guest rooms have bunk beds, and she's already claimed the top bunk.

Become a Friend of the Hike Inn for just $15, and you'll recoup this fee through the end of August as the Hike Inn is running a 30% discount for members. Other benefits of joining Friends of the Hike Inn are discounts on merchandise (only available at the Hike Inn) as well as the ability to serve as a volunteer at the Hike Inn.