The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will take you on a journey through the Carolina Mountains and some of the most beautiful landscapes in America. The Carolina Mountains border the entire western edge of North Carolina, comprising some 52 percent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The region also includes the southern crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pisgah, Cherokee, and Nantahala National Forests. Hundreds of years ago, glacial and volcanic movement left etchings still visible on the land. In more recent times, roads and flood controls have opened the area to commerce and tourism. Early in the 20th century, the railway played a major part of the story of the development of the region.
With 53 miles of track, two tunnels and 25 bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) will take you on a memorable journey through a remote and beautiful corner of North Carolina. Ride with us into river gorges, across valleys and through tunnels carved out of majestic mountains.The Railroad offers a variety of scenic, round-trip excursions departing from Bryson City. Trips range from 3 ½ hours to a full day of fun and adventure.
Our most popular scenic excursion is the Nantahala Gorge excursion. This route carries you 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again. Travel the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers across Fontana Lake and into the magic of the Nantahala Gorge.
A scenic route displaying the farmlands with a local feel is the Tuckasegee River excursion. This route travels 32-mile roundtrip along the Tuckasegee River through old railroad towns and scenic meadows!
We are located in the heart of Bryson City, North Carolina. This delightful mountain vacationland is like a nature conservancy in which small towns, rushing rivers, and ancient mountains reside. Railroad depots are located in three historic towns; Dillsboro (no current departures), a village of shops and crafts; Bryson City, located on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and Andrews (no current departures), a scenic valley in the Snowbird Mountains. All were founded in the 1800s and have retained some of their original character, adding to their historic charm.