This journey begins with a walk in the woods. Like a moving meditation, the rhythm of footsteps, breath, and pulse brings us to a place where days stretch out like childhood summers. Hot showers, good food, and comfortable beds await at the end of the trail, but we must earn these backcountry luxuries. There's only one way to reach the Hike Inn at Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville, Georgia: a moderate uphill hike on a 5-mile trail.
It's worth it. After a day on the trail, food tastes better, air seems fresher, and the rustic bunks feel like beds at The Ritz-Carlton. "People always come up the hill with smiles on their faces," says volunteer staffer Mary Sproat.