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Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad | Bryson City, NC

Bryson City NC - Train

Photo credit: Photo courtesy Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Sometimes, it’s all about the journey. And if you have enough years on you to remember taking the train to see Grandma, or on vacation, this is one adventure that will satisfy your soul.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers scenic rail excursions that begin in Bryson City and take riders from the historic depot through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina. With 53 miles of track, two tunnels and 25 bridges, the sights just keep coming at you. What’s more, you have choices.

Glide beside the Nantahala River on their Nantahala Gorge Excursion. For 4½ hours you’ll pass beautiful scenery, and enjoy a bit of bluegrass and storytelling along the way. The historic Trellis Bridge carries you across Fontana Lake and, from there, to the gorge. A one-hour layover at the Nantahala Outdoor Center offers time for more sightseeing.

The Tuckasegee River Excursion offers a relaxing ride for 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back. With a 1½ hour layover, you’ll have trouble deciding which of the 50+ shops deserve your attention and your credit card – a delightful dilemma, for sure.

There are special train events, seasonal excursions, but do consider the first-class riding experience, in vintage railway cars (all adults, please). Talk about a journey back in time. (Want to include the family? No problem during the months of June-September, when there is the option of Family First Class.)

WOW Factor: The scenery and the rhythm of the train share star billing here. The wow is upped considerably be combining a train ride with a canopy experience on Wildwater’s Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours. (Afraid of heights? Remember, these folks are pros. Your safety is their top priority.) If you’re a movie or TV enthusiast, ask about the railroad’s resume, which includes The Fugitive, Forces of Nature, Digging to China, and even a segment of Good Eats from the Food Network.

Hint: Consider this scenic trip through time as a great gift possibility. And remember, all seasons offer something to see and enjoy, from dogwood and mountain laurel in the spring, to the fabulous fall foliage of autumn.

Learn more: • 800.872.4681

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