Great Smoky Mountain Train Tours

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad offers a variety of scenic excursions through the mountains of western North Carolina. The following are some of the most popular excursions that Carolina Outfitters can book for you:

Nantahala River Gorge Excursion

This 4 ½ hour round trip excursion departs from Bryson City and travels 44 miles to the scenic Nantahala River Gorge. This trip crosses Fontana Lake on a 100 foot high Trestle Bridge that spans almost 800 feet across the Lake. It winds through the scenic western North Carolina mountains into the Nantahala Gorge. There is a 1 hour layover at the Nantahala River depot for lunch, sightseeing, shopping and relaxing. Guests can enjoy the scenic splendor of the Nantahala Gorge and view the fun and exciting whitewater rafting activities on the Nantahala River on this trip! The train goes along the river through the Nantahala Gorge giving guests a great view of the high cliffs and rugged terrain that the Cherokee called "The Land of The Noonday Sun".

Tuckasegee River Excursion

Trains depart from the historic Bryson City depot. This 4 hour, 32 mile round-trip travels along the Tuckasegee River, through the historic Cowee Tunnel, and past The Fugitive film site. Arrive in the quaint village of Dillsboro for a 1 ½ hour layover for shopping and dining.

Nantahala Rafting and Railroading Options:

We suggest one of the following:

Option A: We will book your whitewater rafting with Carolina Outfitters and your scenic railway trip with Great Smoky Mountains Railroad on two seperate days. Both are major adventures! (You enjoy the full train trip both to the Nantahala Gorge and then back to Bryson City, and you raft the full river on the Nantahala on two separate days.)

Option B: We will book your scenic railway trip with Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in the morning and your whitewater rafting with Carolina Outfitters in the afternoon. You enjoy the full railway trip from Bryson City into the Nantahala Gorge and then back to Bryson City. (The return trip from the Nantahala Gorge to Bryson City is a very enjoyable part of the trip, and this way you won't miss it!) You then drive from Bryson City to Carolina Outfitters Rafting (about a 30 minute drive) and go on a (full river) whitewater rafting trip down the Nantahala River with Carolina Outfitters!

Pricing

Nantahala and Tuckasegee River Excursions
January-March
Adults Children
(age 2-12)
Children
(under age 2)
Coach Class: $51.00 $29.00 Free
Crown Class: $66.00 $38.00 $10.00
First Class 21+: $94.00 N/A N/A
Family First Class: $94.00 $54.00 $20.00
First Class Open Car: $77.00 N/A N/A
October      
Coach Class (open/enclosed): $55.00 $31.00 Free
Crown Class: $66.00 $38.00 $10.00
First Class 21+: $94.00 N/A N/A
First Class Open Car (Nantahala): $79.00 N/A N/A
First Class Open Car (Tuckasegee): $94.00 N/A N/A
Other Trains      
Polar Express™      
Coach Class $40.00 $26.00 Free
Coach Class Premium $46.00 $31.00 Free
Crown Class $49.00 $36.00 $10.00
Crown Class Premium $50.00 $36.00 $15.00
First Class $60.00 $41.00 $15.00
First Class Premium $69.00 $46.00 $20.00
Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express: $55.00 $31.00 Free

Rates for October and special trip dates are higher. Change fee is $6.00 per seat Cancellation fee is $14.00 per adult ticket and $7.00 per child ticket and requires a minimum 48 hours notice prior to departure time. No refunds will be issued within 48 hours of departure. 72-hour cancellation notice is required for Special Event or Dinner Trains.

All Aboard 2018!

Fontana Trestle Train Featuring BBQ & Brews

BBQ-Brews.pngMay 26 - Hoppy Trout Brewing Company of Andrews, NC
June 16 - Lazy Hiker Brewing of Franklin, NC
July 21 - Steam Powered - Hoppy Trout Brewing Company of Andrews, NC
August 18 - Nantahala Brewing Company of Bryson City, NC
Sept 1-Steam Powered- Innovation Brewing of Sylva, NC

Back by popular demand our BBQ & Brews now featured on the Fontana Trestle Train!
Featuring slow-cooked pork BBQ & ribs in Sweet Baby Rays sauce, alongside craft beer or craft root beer tastings! Family friendly & Adult only (21+) seating is be available on this experience!

Departing from Bryson City at 7 pm for a 2 hour excursion traveling to the beautiful Fontana Trestle arriving just around sunset for a spectacular view! Ticket prices include a souvenir tasting glass for samples of the hand crafted selections.Skilled and knowledgeable brewery employees will be on hand throughout the train ride to educate about the process required for crafting each brew! Additional beer will be available for purchase!


Freedom Train

stars-and-stripes.jpgJuly 4 departing 7 pm

Independence Day, the day to celebrate our freedom and enjoy a long weekend with family and friends. If you're looking for a relaxing evening with no rushing or traffic worries, hop onboard the Freedom Train to enjoy American classics like a BBQ picnic-style dinner, a slice of apple pie, spectacular sunset views on the Fontana Trestle, and a visit from Uncle Sam himself!

The Freedom train will depart from the Bryson City Depot on July 4th at 7 pm and will follow the Nantahala Gorge Excursion route to the Fontana Trestle. Once at the trestle, the train will pause for some remarkable lake views and then will make its way back to Bryson City.

The train will return in just enough time to disembark in Bryson City and enjoy Bryson City's Freedom Fest for a fantastic fireworks show! NO RUSHING, NO TRAFFIC WORRIES, just the enjoyment of this patriotic celebration.

Seating is limited.


Uncorked

uncorked.pngA wine and rail pairing experience

April 21 @ 10:30 am on the Nantahala Gorge Route
June 9 @ 10:30 am on the Nantahala Gorge Route
September 22@ 10:30am on the Nantahala Gorge Route
November 3 @ 11 am on the Tuckasegee River Route
December 31 @ 11 STEAM Powered on the Tuckasegee River Route

Passengers will enjoy a full service All-Adult First Class ride in our First Class cars with a private attendant and plush, well-appointed dining seating. This 3 hour excursion travels to the Fontana Trestle.
A narrator will accompany the ride to present each pour to guests and share knowledge of the wine and history of the five wines selected. Passengers on this specialty car will enjoy an exclusive sampling of cheeses, their
choice of a freshly made entrée, and a chef-selected dessert.
All passengers will receive a GSMR souvenir stemless wine glass.

Tickets for this experience are $120 per person ( Adults 21+ only). Due to the exclusivity of this train event, tickets will be selling fast so make sure to reserve your seat today!


Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express

peanuts.gifOctober 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28
Fridays at 4 pm
Saturdays and Sundays at Noon and 4 pm

Guests will hear a narration of Schulz's "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" as the train travels to the Pumpkin Patch. Upon arrival, passengers will be greeted and have a photo opportunity with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy. During your 1 hour and 45 minute layover, your activities to enjoy at The Great Pumpkin Patch will include:campfire marshmallows, coloring station, temporary tattoos, trick or treating, bouncy house, and hayrides! Don't forget to wear your Halloween costumes! To end your adventure filled day each child will also select their own pumpkin from The Great Pumpkin Patch to take home.

There will be plenty of PEANUTS™ merchandise at the Smoky Mountain Trains gift shop!


The Polar Express

polarexpress.jpgNovember 9- December 31
December 31, 2016 (Steam Powered)

The 1¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special
visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children's faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

Enjoy the POLAR EXPRESS via steam powered locomotive exclusive to December 31st departures! Enjoy all the same amenities and activities while enjoying your ride with the historic #1702 Steam Engine!

Train Schedule

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RESERVATION REQUEST FORM FOR GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD TRIP

Prices and schedules are subject to change

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR SCHOOL GROUPS AND SCOUT GROUPS

Special discounts are available for School Groups and Scout Groups at $13.00 per person on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. For every 10 in the group 2 staff members will receive the $13.00 per person discount price, and additional adults would pay only $22.00 per person. (ie: for 20 in the group 4 staff members could go for $13.00 each and additionals at $22.00 etc.) Bus drivers for schools always get a complimentary ticket.

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD TRAIN CAR TYPES:

First Class* 21+

  • Champion, Mac Neil, Dixie Flyer & Silver Meteor Cars

Travel in comfort and style in 1940s-era bar, lounge and dining cars that feature seating at well-appointed tables and lounge/restaurant style chairs.
First Class passengers receive an all inclusive, delicious lunch served by the car's private attendant, a souvenir tumbler with a fountain soda and an embroidered tote bag gift from GSMR. These First Class Cars are climate controlled with restrooms available. Age 21 and over only. *Cocktail and bar service available for purchase.

Family First Class*
June, July & August

  • Champion, Mac Neil, Dixie Flyer & Silver Meteor Cars


Adults and children can ride and dine first class! First Class passengers enjoy a delicious lunch served by the car's private attendant, a souvenir tumbler with a fountain soda and an embroidered tote bag gift from GSMR. Children receive special child's meal and their own child souvenir.

Crown Class
Relax in restored coaches dating from 1925, featuring larger windows for better viewing and climate controlled for passenger comfort. Crown Class passengers receive their own souvenir tumbler to pick up and fill with a fountain soda in the Conductor's Cafe Car.

Coach Class
April - September. November & December.

Fall Foliage - October
Restored vintage coaches that date back as early as 1920, feature windows that open for fresh-air viewing, ceiling fans and heat for cooler days.

Open Air Gondola *Not available in October
April - September. November - December.
Created from retired baggage and flatbed cars, these open cars feature long padded outward-facing seats, perfect for the panoramic views. A great car for capturing the scents and sounds of the forest, or that special photo to remember your trip.

RESTROOMS:
Restrooms are available at depots and on board the trains. Limited disability access is available.

(Prices are subject to change.)

We will email you a confirmation number for your train trip. (We will notify you of any change in price or availability prior to your confirmation)

RESERVATION REQUEST FORM FOR GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD TRIP

We can help you fit the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad trip into your vacation schedule as well as whitewater rafting with Carolina Outfitters on the Nantahala River, gemstone mining at Nantahala River Gem Mine, bicycle rentals for a variety of scenic bike path options, and horseback riding on the scenic back-country trails of the Nantahala River Gorge or other scenic trails. In addition, we offer a variety of vacation cabin rental lodging options!