We repeat: One day only.
Advertisement

Train aficionados, Saturday, March 28th is the day to mark your calendars for a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through the verdant countryside of western North Carolina from Dillsboro through Bryson City and the Nantahala Gorge.

Come the 28th of March, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum will sponsor their annual spring train excursion following the route of the former Southern Railway’s Murphy Branch Line, established in 1891. According to the organization's press release, the trip will depart Johnson City, Tennessee, by motor coach at 8:15 am from the parking lot of Liberty Bell Middle School. There will also be a passenger pick-up at 9:00 am in the Asheville/Weaverville area for passengers who find that location more convenient, or you can drive directly to Dillsboro in your own vehicle.

Once you make it to Dillsboro, travelers will have the chance to check out the Jarrett House, a hotel landmark built in 1884, and peruse shops and restaurants before boarding the train at 1:00 p.m. for the 4.5-hour trip. Much of the scenic route hugs the banks of the Tuckasegee, Little Tennessee, and Nantahala Rivers, affording passengers breathtaking views of spring scenery. Once the train reaches the end of the line, the train will park at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. From there, passengers will board buses for their trips home. Expected arrival times are Dillsboro at 5:50 p.m., Weaverville at 7:15 p.m., and Johnson City at 8:00 p.m..

Coach tickets cost $85 per adult and $69 for children two-to-12, and you also have the option of pre-purchasing an on-board dining car experience and boxed lunches. (Worth noting: small coolers are allowed if you'd like to bring your own food with you onto the train.) For more information and to buy tickets, click here.  As of January 22nd, First and "Crown" class tickets have already sold out, so you'll want to be sure to reserve your tickets ASAP if you're interested.

Will we see you aboard the train? We're already dreaming of the sweeping vistas of forests, rivers, lakes, and Smoky Mountain magic.