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Great Smoky Mountain Railroads Fall Train Rides

The Joys of Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in the Fall Season

One of the most unique offerings in the Bryson City area of the Smokies is the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.  While there are many events and excursions offered throughout the year by the train, the fall offers some of the most spectacular special events.  When visiting Bryson City, we would highly suggest staying in Bryson City Cabin Rentals and riding the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad to make the most out of your trip!

The following are the top recommended train rides during the fall season.  It is very advisable to book your cabin accommodations and train tickets early in the year, as this is western North Carolinas prime vacation season.  It IS worth the hype, so do not miss out on your chance of a lifetime to take in the breathtaking sights of Bryson City.


The Nantahala Gorge Excursion

This excursion, which departs from Bryson City, takes you and the family on a 44 mile trip that lasts about 4.5 hours. Along the way, you will enjoy gorgeous views of the Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers. You will get to cross the Trellis Bridge over Fontana Lake. Enjoy the one hour stop at Nantahala Outdoor Center, where you will be able to enjoy time on the river, eat a picnic lunch, and tour the scenic area. Along the way on this excursion, you will enjoy stories about the Appalachian area and bluegrass music from local performers.


The Tuckasegee River Excursion

This trip also departs from Bryson City and travels to Dillsboro before looping back. This excursion lasts about 4 hours including a 1.5 hour stop in Dillsboro where you can enjoy shops, dining establishments, and more in the historic town. Along the way on this train ride, you will pass the set of the Harrison Ford movie, the Fugitive.


Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express

During the month of October, the Great Smoky Mountain Railway turns into a trip to the pumpkin patch with the whole Peanuts gang. During the train ride, children enjoy hearing a reading of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Once the train arrives at the Great Pumpkin Patch there will be a meet and greet with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy.  Bring your cameras, but you will be able to take many pictures.  You and your family will have a 1.5 hours to enjoy the many activities other than picking out their own pumpkin including: campfire marshmallows, trick or treating, hayrides, bouncing in a bouncy house, and live music.  Kids are welcome to wear their Halloween costumes.

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The Polar Express

Although it is not a fall excursion, this is a must mention in the fall because you should secure your tickets to this magical event (at latest) during the fall season.  During the Christmas Season, the Polar Express is a 1.5 hour trip that takes children to the "North Pole.  Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies, Christmas caroling, a narrative of The Polar Express, Santa Clause and more.  Detailed write-up to come, but do not hesitate, this is the trains most popular event so secure your cabin with Bryson City Cabin Rentals and the Polar Express before both are booked solid!


Photo Credits as Follows: 

-Fall train photo #1 - Courtesy of Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

-Fall train photo #2 - by J.R vanLienden

-Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express photo - Courtesy of Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

-Polar Express photos - by Charles Snodgrass

-All photos on this page are courtesy of the Bryson City/Swain County Chamber of Commerce