The Great Smoky Mountains wind through Tennessee and North Carolina attracting countless visitors and captivate those who drive the scenic route each year. If you’re looking for a unique way to this natural wonder, why not hop on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and step back in time? Once a working rail line, the railroad has been transformed into a popular tourist attraction. It’s one of our favorite recommendations for guests seeking the perfect blend of history, beauty, and fun! Request our free Vacation Guide for more ideas for what to do on your trip to Western North Carolina!
Why You’ll Love Taking a Ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
A Brief History of the Railroad
The installment of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad transformed Asheville in 1880. Before modern transportation, though, living in these mountainous areas made life isolated for its residents. The rail line, though slow moving at only 10 miles per hour, was faster than a horse-drawn wagon and opened up a world of opportunity for Asheville’s residents. The rail line allowed people to travel to and from the Blue Ridge area faster, brought modern items like factory-made cloth, and gave salesmen a larger market. The railroad made life easier, modern and helped usher in a new world for the residents of Asheville.
What You’ll See on Your Ride Through the Seasons
The Smoky Mountains are known for their beauty. With hundreds of miles of paved expressway and an elevation of 6,644 feet, these green, foggy mountains are a true beauty to behold. There are many ways to venture through them including driving and hiking, but the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad offers the best view. Book your ticket on this locomotive to experience almost 100 miles of warm-colored foliage and a full view of the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers on the railroad’s round-trip excursions. Each season offers riders different, yet beautiful views from the lush, green summers to white, snowy winters! If you just can’t get enough of North Carolina’s beauty after your ride, consider experiencing it on these hiking trails!
Countless Activites and Packages to Choose From
As if the panoramic views of water, land, and mountainside weren’t enough, the railroad also offers ride enhancements for adults like their Uncorked event and their Beer Tastin’ at the Station package. Nothing pairs better with great views of the North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains than a glass of wine or a fresh brew.
Are you planning to celebrate the holidays in Western N.C.?Consider one of the railroad’s seasonal packages like Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express and The Polar Express™ Train Ride. You can never outgrow holiday magic an cheer, but these packages are ideal for couples traveling with children. If you’re looking for a romantic, scenic getaway or planning a family trip to the mountains, the railroad offers something for everyone!
Come Back to The Orchard Inn
It’s only 1 1/2 hours from the Orchard Inn to the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, which makes it easy to experience this day trip during your stay. If you want even more mountain scenery, the Smokies aren’t your only option! Explore these other North Carolina mountains with great views during your stay.
Our inn has a variety of accommodations for couples, families, and friends including rooms and cottages. Our personal recommendation is The Keeping Room. This room is the perfect place to reflect on a day’s worth of beauty complete with a Jacuzzi tub and in-room fireplace. Browse a full list of our accommodations for yourself and book today!