3 Best Sights in Bryson City, The North Carolina Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

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Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
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Bryson City's historic train station is the departure point for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Diesel or steam locomotives take you on a 32-mile journey along the Tuckasegee River or a 44-mile trip passing through the Nantahala Gorge. Open-sided cars or standard coaches are ideal for picture-taking as the mountain scenery glides by. Trips are offered year-round, but with very limited schedules January to March. There's a café on board serving basic fare like pizza and hot dogs. Your ticket gives you free admission to the nearby Smoky Mountain Trains Museum and its room-size functional model train dioramas.   During the holiday season, the town booms as pajama-clad families arrive for Polar Express–themed rides. 

Swain County Heritage Museum

Located in the gold-domed Swain County Courthouse dating from 1908, this charming museum has displays on the history of settlers of this mountain area, including a one-room schoolhouse and a log cabin. It also serves as a visitor information center for both Bryson City, Swain County, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Tsali Recreation Area

Regarded as one of the top mountain biking trail systems in the eastern United States, the four loop trails at Tsali offer ride opportunities from 4 to 14 miles. There's a campground and restrooms. Bike rentals are available from Tsali Cycles in Bryson City ( www.tsalicycles.com).

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