Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City

3.5
#1 of 6 in Museums in Bryson City
Board Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to see mountains, gorges, valleys, and tunnels from a fully restored vintage trains. The railroad tracks cover 85 km (53 mi). You can admire Fontana Lake, see the rushing rapids of the Nantahala River, and spot hundreds of indigenous species of plants and animals. Historically, the railroad played a pivotal role in developing the area and connecting local communities. Today, it lets visitors enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Check online for reservations and details about ongoing excursions. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Bryson City Edition.
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Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
2,398 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Came up for the fall foliage train ride. Sat in the open air first class car. Steve was our attendant. Very knowledgeable about the area & good story teller. Definitely recommend taking this tour  more »
  • We opted for the open air car and did not regret it one bit! The ride offered fantastic views, the weather was outstanding (obviously not something they could control), and the meal on the train was p...  more »
  • We have been visiting Bryson City for years and have been on the train trip several times. Last time was May 2016 and as always was very enjoyable. Great way to spend part of a day.  more »
Google
  • I was not expecting much and did not even want to go on this train. However after getting dragged on by other people who bought the tickets. I had a great time. The food was great, the staff was ultra friendly and fun. I think his name was Steve, he mentioned he was on auction hunter TV show if that helps. If you can get him you are in luck. He is very knowledgeable about the area and quite funny. We are already planning to come back net year.
  • We took the railroad during July 4th weekend 2017 and had a great time. Paying extra for the air-conditioned car was worth it on such a hot, muggy day. The ride was long enough to be enjoyable, but not so long as to be boring. The cars and seats are well maintained, clean and comfortable. Highly recommended to do at least once. Not much likely changes from trip to trip, so I don't know that we'd pay to do it again.
  • You definitely don't get what you pay for. The 4 hour train ride is actually a little over an hour one way, then a 1.5 hour layover, then a little over an hour back. I didn't see that posted anywhere and wasn't told about the layover when buying the tickets. The view during the ride is surprisingly bad. You do have a view of the river through some overgrowth, but most of the trip is only trailer parks and farms. Very little mountain views. Driving any road provides a far better view (and is totally free...try driving 64 for much better views). Absolutely no narration was provided during the trip. Overall very disappointing for how expensive the tickets are. Wouldn't recommend.
  • This attraction is very overpriced for the experience. We booked our tickets over the phone. The agent told us it would be a 2 hour 20 minute drive from Pigeon Forge, TN. It only took us 1 1/2 hours so we left the cabin very early. You would think that the parking would be free with the amount they charge for a ticket, but you also have to pay a $5 parking ticket. The views were horrible. Very few scenic views. We were told that we would have mountain views, but there were very little mountain views. Mostly run down trailers and vegetation. We also asked which side of the train would have the better views and were told both sides had equal views. Not so, the side facing the station when you leave has the better views. Nobody narrated for you and the couple of times there was a narration over the speaker, you couldn't understand anything that was said. It was a very long, disappointing day for the $230 we spent for the four of us to go. Something we were very excited about doing, but turned out to be our most expensive and most disappointing event in the Smoky Mountains.
  • I attempted to book online and somehow ended up with tickets for the wrong day. My family was not able to stay an extra day to go on the SMR. I called and emailed for two days unable to contact anyone. I finally made contact with someone today who refused to refund us our money. Beware of their outdated website that makes booking errors! And not being able to contact anyone for days! They will not refund you your money. So sad a family attraction like this takes honest people's money and refuses to refund after their website made an error. Will NOT be coming back again. I read many reviews about this attraction being boring and a waste of time. I guess I should have chose something else to waste my money on.

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Where to stay in Bryson City

Private mountain cabins, lofts, and condos are situated within Bryson and near the city limits. This is a comfortable way to enjoy a rustic holiday in the mountains. Camping is another popular activity in the area, and many shops in town sell camping supplies. For those less interested in rustic living, choose a bed and breakfast or country inn for local hospitality and comfort.
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