Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Tours
Explore Western North Carolina in style with a ride on the historic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. These railroad excursions offer plenty to visitors. Sit back and relax while enjoying some beautiful scenery on two scenic excursions and a variety of fun event trains.
There are two scenic, narrated trains that run on the regular schedule. Both the steam-powered and the diesel-powered trains run on the Nantahala Gorge Excursion and the Tuckasegee River Excursion.
About the Steam-Powered Train
This particular steam-powered train dates back to 1942. The original plan for the train was a commissioned World War II Steam Engine plan. It is one of only two remaining of these types of steam engines in the United States, making a ride on one a unique and thrilling experience. Before the journey, guests can get a close-up look at the fully-restored engine and take photos with the crew. The steam engine runs on the Nantahala Gorge Excursion and the Tuckasegee River Excursion and offers plenty of seating options.
About the Nantahala Gorge Excursion
Whether you embark upon the Nantahala Gorge Excursion via steam or diesel locomotive, it is sure to be an amazing time. Starting off from Bryson City Depot, this excursion lasts approximately 4.5 hours and takes place over 44 miles. Head out to the gorgeous Nantahala Gorge and along the Nantahala River. Some of the sights you'll see along the way include the Fontana Trestle, Fontana Lake, and the Nantahala Outdoor Center where you'll spend an hour enjoying the sights along the river. There are several class options to choose from, so no matter what kind of experience you are wishing for, you are sure to find something to your liking.
About the Tuckasegee River Excursion
This relaxing journey takes guests through the sprawling countryside on a gorgeous excursion. The ride begins at Bryson City Depot and travels 32 miles to Dillsboro and back. The entire experience lasts approximately 4 hours. Guests will be able to see places such as the Tuckasegee River and the movie set of Harrison Ford's The Fugitive. Your trip also includes a 1.5-hour layover stop at Dillsboro which is home to 50 shops and restaurants that you can explore before your return trip.
As well as these two amazing trips, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad also offers various event excursions throughout the year.
About the Moonshine Experience
This adult-only experience is sure to be a blast, especially for those who love Moonshine! Climb aboard The Carolina Shine where you'll be whisked away for a fantastic trip to the Nantahala Gorge. The tour takes place on the first-class moonshine car where guests will be able to learn about the traditions of moonshining while enjoying a delicious meal featuring pulled-pork, cornbread, coleslaw and Moonshiners' Mud Pie. Along the way, guests will also be able to sample various flavors of Moonshine while enjoying all of the sights available on the Nantahala Gorge Excursion.
About the Fontana Trestle Train ft. BBQ & Brews
Combining awesome scenery with delicious BBQ and beer samplings, the Fontana Trestle Train ft BBQ & Brews tour is sure to be a blast. Head out from Bryson City Depot where you'll be whisked off to the beautiful Fontana Trestle for a sunset view. Guests will also be able to enjoy a BBQ dinner featuring Southern-style hand-pulled pork, ribs, and sides. Top it all off with a decadent apple cobbler. Adults will receive a GSMR glass and 3 different Western North Carolina beers to sample while the kiddos will get their very own exclusive GSMR cup and a Hoppy Trout Brewing Company Root Beer. It's sure to be a wonderful time, so do not miss out!
About the Uncorked Wine Tour
Another adult-only ride can be had with the Uncorked excursion. Guests will be able to relax in first class while enjoying delicious wine sampling. Also included is a sampling of cheeses as well as a mouthwatering surf-and-turf meal featuring baked Atlantic salmon and tender beef slices topped with a port wine.
About the PEANUTS™ the Great Pumpkin Patch Express
See the stunning fall foliage and gorgeous colors of the Great Smoky Mountains on this unforgettable Halloween-themed adventure. This family-friendly excursion includes an awesome narration of 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' and takes visitors to a fun pumpkin patch. Guests will then be able to meet with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy to take pictures and can enjoy a variety of activities during a 1.5-hour layover. Kiddos can enjoy roasting marshmallows, trick-or-treating, embarking on a hayride, or playing on a bouncy house. Plus, the excursion is costume friendly to truly embrace the holiday spirit. Kiddos will also be able to bring their own pumpkin home with them!
About the POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Celebrate the holidays with one of the most beloved stories. On the POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, guests of all ages can experience Christmas magic. The round-trip excursion lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and allows guests to journey through relaxing woods to the North Pole! Along the way, riders will be treated to sounds from the famous movie as well as delicious hot cocoa and a special treat. Once at the North Pole, Santa will hop aboard for pictures and a meet-and-greet with the kiddos. Christmas carols truly get the Christmas spirit going on the way back to Bryson City Depot.
No matter if you embark upon one of the regular routes or celebrate different holidays and seasons with one of the event train rides, these excursions are sure to be a wonderful addition to your vacation. Don't miss out on all the fun with one of these Great Smoky Mountain Railroad trips!
|Fontana Trestle Train Ft. BBQ & Brews Diesel Train Dinner Tour|
|Available 3/16/2019 until 3/16/2019 View Detailed Schedule|
|The Fontana Trestle Train ft BBQ & Brews on the diesel train is sure to be a great time. The tour includes a delicious meal of slow-cooked bbq and amazing beer tastings. Guests will travel to the Fontana Trestle to see some amazing views. Adults will receive a souvenir glass can and three samplings of Western North Carolina beer. Kiddos won't be left out - they'll get a souvenir cup as well with Hoppy Trout Brewing Root Beer.|
|Tuckasegee River Excursion Diesel Train Coach / Open Seating|
|Available 2/23/2019 until 3/30/2019 View Detailed Schedule|
|The Tuckasegee River Excursion on the diesel train is sure to be a great time. This tour lasts approximately 4 hours and features gorgeous points of interest such as Dillsboro and The Fugitive movie set. With Coach/Open Seating, guests will enjoy open seating in an enclosed car. The windows are open-and-closeable, the car is heated, and it features ceiling fans.|
|Tuckasegee River Excursion Diesel Train Crown Class Seating|
|Available 2/23/2019 until 3/30/2019 View Detailed Schedule|
|See all of the gorgeous views on the Tuckasegee River Excursion on the diesel train. Guests who choose Crown Class seating will be assigned to seats in a climate-controlled car. Each person over 2 years of age receives a souvenir tumbler with free soft drink refills. Beer and wine is also available for purchase.|