The popular train rides of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad include excursions from the railroad's Bryson City depot and a number of special trips. Diesel-electric and, occasionally, steam locomotives go 44 mi along the Nantahala Gorge to Nantahala Outdoor Center from March through October. The 32-mile Tuckasegee River to Dillsboro and back trip is offered from mid-April to Christmas, with different schedules depending on the day of the week and month. Open-sided cars
or standard coaches are ideal for picture taking as the mountain scenery glides by. There also are refurbished first-class, climate-controlled cars, with deluxe seating and meals. Combination rail excursions and Nantahala River rafting trips are offered in summer and early fall. Also, you can do combo railroad and zip line trips. The railroad also does special-event excursions at various times during the year, including wine and beer tastings and dinner trains. For kids, the railroad offers special excursions, including a Dinosaur Train in summer and Peanuts Pumpkin Patch trip in October. Excursion schedules change frequently so check the railroad's website for the latest information. There are many discount deals available—for seniors, local residents, military, and others. The $75 season pass is the best deal.