On Sunday, October 8, 2023, the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) and George L. Carter Railroad Museum will sponsor a “FALL EXCURSION” to The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through the beautiful Nantahala Gorge in Western North Carolina.
The trip will start from ETSU’s parking lot 9 (a-d) at the corner of State of Franklin Road and University Parkway. Passengers will board motor coaches departing no later than 7:45am for Bryson City, N.C. Upon arrival, passengers will have time to enjoy the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum (admission included with the train ticket), shopping, sight-seeing, and dining in Bryson City before our 1:30pm train departure. Afterward, we will depart Bryson City at 8:00pm and return to ETSU at approximately 10:30pm. Detailed itinerary and trip information will be included in your ticket confirmation letter.
The route travels the banks of the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers and crosses the Fontana Lake Trestle standing 100 feet above the lake and spanning 780 feet before entering the gorge. The total train ride is 44 miles round trip from Bryson City and lasts 4 ½ hours, which includes a one-hour layover in Nantahala Outdoor Center.