Itinerary: Real Life Rail Adventure

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The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train excursions depart from downtown Bryson City and takes passengers on journeys across valleys and through river gorges in the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains region. One of the best ways to take in the natural beauty of Bryson City and Swain County is by taking a train excursion.


These round-trip excursions in the beautiful western North Carolina mountains offers a wide array of ever-changing lake and mountain views, fantastic landscapes and whitewater scenes. Choose a box lunch while onboard the train, or check out the menu selections in the First Class and Premium cars, or visit a restaurant at your stopover destination.

Looking for an authentic local experience? Try the Uncorked Wine Excursion or the Carolina Shine Moonshine Experience.

Half Day

Most trains depart in the morning with the round trip excursion lasting approximately 4.5 hours. See the full schedule.

Full Day

For a day full of fun and adventure, add these activities to your afternoon itinerary:

  • Admission to the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum is complimentary with any train ticket purchase! With its collection of 7,000 Lionel™ engines, cars and accessories, impressive operating layout, children’s activity center, and gift/toy shop, you can feel like a kid again!

  • Combine the Great Smoky Mountains Railroads trip with the Waterfall Jeep® tour.

  • The train and canopy combo trip includes a fully guided zip line tour.

  • The original Raft & Rail© since 1988 - a Nantahala River whitewater trip with a guide in every boat


Late Afternoon

Top off your late afternoon or evening with a relaxing stroll in Byrson City’s charming downtown. Choose from a wide variety of restaurants and food trucks, or visit a brewery or brew pub for some great local eats and craft beers.

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