Fun Railroad Tours of the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a number of fun tour packages. It is located in Bryson, NC and is just minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Dinosaur Train will be offered July 17 – 19, 24- 26, 31 and Aug 1-2. Inspired by the Jim Henson program, it consists of a round trip to and from the Bryson City Depot. The train ride lasts 30 – 40 minutes and follows the Tuckasegee River Excursion route to the Nature’s Tracker Area, where riders will disembark to take part in various activities. For the next hour and half or so, visitors will enjoy dino-golf, a fossil dig, temporary tattoos, and a chance to get their picture taken with T. rex.

The Tuckasegee River Excursion is a 4 hour and 32 mile trip to and from Dillsboro, where there will be a layover 1.5 hours long. Dillsboro is a historic town with over 50 bed and breakfasts, shops, country inns and restaurants. On the train, visitors will ride through the countryside and pass the set of the Harrison Ford movie The Fugitive.

The Nantahala Gorge Excursion is a 4.5 hour and 44 mile trip to and from the Nantahala Gorge. Visitors will travel across the Fontana Trestle, a trellis bridge, and into the gorge. They will then stop at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and stay there for an hour. During that time they may go sightseeing or simply relax by the river. The Nantahala Gorge Excursion runs from March through October.

The Moonshine Experience is an adults-only ride that follows the route of the Nantahala Gorge Excursion. The trip will be held in the Carolina Shine, a renovated first-class passenger car. Visitors can learn about the history of moonshine. Later, they will have a dinner consisting of pulled pork barbeque, coleslaw, cornbread – and several types of moonshine. The Moonshine Experience runs from May to Nov. 1.

The Polar Express Train Ride is inspired by the book and is a 1.25 hour train ride. Visitors leave the Bryson City depot for a trip to the North Pole and Santa Claus. They will enjoy hot chocolate and treats on the way. At the North Pole, Santa Claus will board the train and greet each child. He will also give them their own silver sleigh bell, just like in the story. The Polar Express runs from November 13 through January 3, weather permitting.

About the Author: Gary is a guest contributor from Orchard Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast located near the Smoky Mountains.


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