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Great Smoky Mountains Railroad!


By Glenn Arnette, lll

​Last week we had the pleasure of touring with two German guests visiting the United States for a few weeks.  It was our pleasure to introduce them to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and the quaint village of Bryson City, North Carolina. 

Believe me when I say, “If you have not experienced the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, you have miss one of the most enjoyable experiences you will ever encounter in the mountains.”  From a departure time of around 10:30 AM until around 3 PM you will enjoy spectacular views of forests, lakes, rivers and so much more.

Our day started as we arrived a little early in Bryson City and decided to find a restaurant to have ourselves breakfast.  Well let me tell you about The Iron Skillet Restaurant!  My suggestion is to enjoy their specialty; i.e., egg, cheese and bacon biscuit and a hot cup of coffee!  What a fun place and the staff could not have been nicer.

After a quick breakfast, you cross the street and head to the Depot.  At the ticket office you will be greeted with smiles and a big welcome to the Smoky Mountain Railroad by members of the staff who will set you in the right direction to enjoy your day.  And now the journey begins.  So settle back and experience nature!

You can travel in many styles with The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, one being First Class!  You have the comfort of the days gone by and a delicious meal with full service throughout the trip.  Matt was extremely knowledgable and certainly kept everything flowing throughout the trip.

There are many other train cars including the open air experience and the new moonshine experience!  Yes, “Shine and Dine” in the Carolina Shine serving up some of the best moonshine made in North Carolina!  Believe me there is a different experience in each and every car.  People are fun!

The trip to the Nantahala Gorge is just breathtaking and fun all the way, including the one hour layover to enjoy all of the opportunities at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.  What a wonderful place to rest along the river and watch the rafting and kayaking or just take in the sun!

Many special events are available by The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad including the following: 

Masquerade Train

Join us this Halloween for some spooky fun! All Aboard our brand new Masquerade Train!  Enjoy an evening of dining and dancing with delicous drink concoctions and a fantastic spread of food! Costumes are a MUST onboard this Masquerade Train! 

PEANUTS™ Pumpkin Patch Express

The leaves are turning this October and the pumpkins are ready to be carved! The PEANUTS gang returns to the GSMR Pumpkin Patch this October. Ready for some family fun? PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express returns to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for 2015!

Pottery Train

Enjoy a full day in the Mountains by riding the Tuckasegee River Excursion and include a visit to the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival during the 2-hour layover in Dillsboro on Saturday November 1st


NEWS BULLETIN!  Get ready for the annual POLAR EXPRESS ADVENTURE!  Be one of the lucky families to have the eyes of your children sparking with visions of sugar plums as they ride the POLAR EXPRESS for a special visit to the “North Pole!”


This is only the beginning of the many things planned throughout the year.  Contact them directly at their RESERVATION LINE:  1-800-872-4681.  Remember they are located in Bryson City, North Carolina just down the road from Cherokee, North Carolina.

 This can be a full family day of fun and something to remember forever.  Don’t forget the FALL FOLIGE 2015.  Plan now as seats fill up fast!  You will never see the mountains any better than this!  Additional information can be found at:                                        www.gsmr.com