Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - Blue Ridge

ctechbob

Active member

Cost: Varies (Between $50-$100 per person)
Pets: Service Dogs only
Visited: 09/2022

We rode in the autumn when temps were still plenty warm and sat in one of the open cars near the locomotive (They will provide you with ear plus if you want, the horn is LOUD when you're near the front). We did this as a spur-of-the-moment thing as we were supposed to go tubing and decided not to and we were glad we did. We both enjoy a good train ride and this lived up to it. It is not spectacular, or super long, but it is a great way to spend part of your day. Blue Ridge is a cute little town that is showing signs of rejuvenation and significant injections of money, as there are a lot of new things that have been built and opened since the last time I was in the area over a decade ago.

The trip takes you from Blue Ridge to Copperhill/McCaysville(TN) with a layover so that you can get out and walk around. It is a pretty trip through mostly forest along the river. The twin towns of Copperhill McCaysville are nice places to walk around and enjoy lunch in if you choose, with a handful of local stores to explore.

Recommended if you're into trains, scenery, and walking around small local towns.

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So many things we have to do!

There's actually a fair few scenic railways in the southeast. We've been on a couple of them and there's a few more that we want to do.

There's the Blue Ridge.

One out of Bryson City, NC, the Great Smokey Mountains Railway: https://www.gsmr.com/
(There's also a FANTASTIC model train museum attached to it. It was one of those things that the wife thought 'ehh' and then we did it and it completely changed her mind).

The Tennesee Valley Railway - https://www.tvrail.com/ - This one goes over the Hiawassee loop, which seems like it would be pretty cool. We're going to try and do this sometime in 2024 on a weekend trip.
 
The Coperhill/Ducktown area of the country has its own interesting history as well. Copper mining/smelting, at one time, pretty much completely denuded the area of all vegetation. (They cut down the trees to power the furnaces, and the sulfuric acid killed the rest) It has only been in my lifetime that the area has begun to recover to almost normal. I visited as a teen and it was still plainly visible, they still keep a section of the land as it was, without remediation, although even that is growing over.

This is what the area once looked like (No, this part of the country doesn't have any desert, it should be green)

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You can see the spot they left untouched. Thirty years ago when I was there, it was much more desert like.

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