Great Smoky Railway Excursion Trips
1. THE TUCKASEEGEE RIVER EXCURSION
A 34-mile long, 3.5 hr Dillsboro - Bryson City round trip that follows the Tuckaseegee River past the spot where the trainwreck in The Fugitive was filmed. Also takes you through the Cowee tunnel (836 feet long) and over many trestles. 45 minute layover in Bryson City to shop or whatever. FARE: $15 (adults) and $7 (kids of 12 & younger) for diesel-electric, and $20 and $7 for steam trip.
2. NANTAHALA GORGE EXCURSION (the one I did)
From Bryson City, a 44-mile, 4.5 hr roundtrip that takes you through the Nantahala Gorge, that was created by the Nantahala R which is one of NC's prime spots for canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting. Enroute you will cross Fontana Lake on a trestle that is 791 feet long, on piers that are 180 feet tall. There is a one-hour layover in the Gorge for eating and viewing the whitewater activity. The fare is $17 for adults, $7 for kids by diesel-electric; $22 for adults and $7 for kids by steam.
3. THE RED MARBLE GAP EXCURSION
A 38-mile, 4.5 hr trip from Andrews, climbing eastward toward Red Marble Mountain. It passes through the hand dug Will Sandlin Tunnel, crosses the 400 ft long Hawksnest Trestle and descends a 4-plus % grade from Topton down to Nantahala. You have an hour layover for eating and/or whitewater viewing. The mountain scenery on this excursion is particularly spectacular. FARES: $17 & $7 for diesel-electric, $22 and $7 for steam.
4. VALLEY RIVER EXCURSION
30-mile, 4 hr R/T from Murphy to Andrews follows the Trail of Tears path to Andrews. This broad, green valley is flanked by the Snowbird Mountains on the NW and the Valley River Mountains on the SW. A 1.5 hr layover in Dillsboro where you can inspect many crafts stores. There's also a rail museum there. FARES: $15 and $7 for diesel-electric, and $20 and $7 for steam.
Author: Gayle Swanson
Copyright 1998 - Gayle Swanson, RailroadInfo.Com
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