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Events Carolina Shine Excursions

Take a Step into the Smokies Ride and Raft

Exploring Swain Co.

The Official Publication of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad


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Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad L ong tunnels, high bridges, and steep grades through the North Carolina Mountains define a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Dense forest lands, quaint turn of the century homesteads, and frequent wild life sightings made this an unforgettable journey. It all combines with southern hospitality and personal service on board our nostalgic rail cars. There is no better way to see this lush beautiful part of America.

Welcome aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. We want you to have the time of your life. Our staff and crew are here to serve you and want to help create a wonderful memory that will last forever. Best wishes, Al & Carol Harper

Inside the Guide Carolina Shine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Railroad Square . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Smoky Mtn. Train Museum . . . 6 Route Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Classes of Service . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Onboard Lunch Menu . . . . . . . 8 Excursions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Railroad Memories . . . . . . . . . . 9 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . 10 Ride & Raft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Around Swain County . . . . . . . 16 Fun in the Smokies . . . . . . . . . 18 The Great Outdoors . . . . . . . 20 速2014/2015 Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. All rights reserved. For more information about the region call Smoky Mountain Host for a free travel guide at 800.432.4678.

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Carolina Shine promises some fun

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ll Aboard the Carolina Shine, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad newest specialty car! With the growing popularity of moonshine and the culture’s colorful manufacturers, it is only natural that the Shine’ comes to the railroad. Debuting May 23, 2014, this newly renovated car features a moonshine experience like no other. Guests will be treated to complimentary samples of some of the best Shine’ in North Carolina, Midnight Moon moonshine, made my NASCAR legend and famous moonshiner, Junior Johnson. This is indeed some of the ‘good stuff’, based off Johnson’s legendary recipe. Handmade in small batches, triple-distilled from corn and bottled with care, it is so smooth it can be taken solo or easily mixed for a fresh cocktail. For those with a taste for something sweeter, enjoy the fruit infused honest to goodness Fruit Moonshine! Midnight Moon Fruit inclusions taste like real fruit, because they are made with real fruit! Apple Pie, Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Blackberry and Cranberry Midnight Moon are all natural flavors. No extracts, color additive or artificial flavors. Along with sampling these premium, flavorful, allnatural spirits, passengers are treated to GMSR’s best of the best BBQ meal. Our pork is cooked overnight to achieve just the right delicacy and melt in your mouth flavor. Accompanying this BBQ feast we have selected 3 specialty BBQ sauces to treat any taste bud. Our Fall brunch will feature some of the best country cooking you’ll be able to find while riding these rails! The ticket purchase also includes an exclusive keepsake Midnight Moon moonshine mason jar souvenir shot glass AND an official GSMR Carolina Shine mason jar drinking glass. It’s gonna be one rowdy rail riding experience!

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Railroad Square

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elcome signs entering Bryson City read “Uncrowded, Unhurried, Unspoiled, Uncommon.� This small mountain town in the Great Smokies of Western North Carolina stays true to that still. Incorporated in 1887 and named in honor of Colonel Thadeus Dillard Bryson, Bryson City connected to the surrounding region with the establishment of the railroad. Before long, trains ran daily between Asheville and Murphy. Bryson City is located in Swain County, which

comprises more than 40 percent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In its hayday the historic Bryson City Depot saw many trains pass through its yard limits with happy engineers and warm and friendly hand waves. Today, the Bryson City Depot makes up the charming Railroad Square. Full of specialty shops, boutiques and fantastic restaurants, you will certainly enjoy your time before or after your visit onboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad! Aaron Morgan photo

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a model train collection that spans the history of LIonel

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he Smoky Mountain Train Museum contains one of the largest private collections of Lionel trains in the United States. There are over five thousand trains on display spanning nearly the entire history of Lionel trains. The museum gives visitors a great history lesson of the railroads that used to crisscross the United States. From the Alaska Railroad to the Wheeling & Lake Erie, the museum has rolling stock from over one hundred different railroads. The collection was started by Tim Cooper Sr. and passed to his son Tim Jr. It is now owned by CEO and owner of GSMR, Allen C. Harper. In addition to the collection of trains on display on the walls, the museum also houses three interactive layouts for the kids to press buttons and make the trains and animations go. The highlight of the

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museum, however, is the giant layout in the very back. The 24’ x 45’ layout is representative of life in the Appalachian Mountains. There are six active tracks on three levels featuring steam engines, diesel engines, passenger and freight cars. For the kids visiting the museum, there is a scavenger hunt sheet, if you find everything on the list, you can get a small prize! Look especially hard for the squirrel in the tree, he is a tricky one! When you are done browsing through the museum, be sure to stop in the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad gift shop. There you will find t-shirts, mugs, baseball caps and a wide variety of souvenirs to commemorate your trip. The museum and gift shop hours vary through the year. You can go to www.gsmr.com for a full listing of days and times the stores are open.


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nterstate 40, the major interstate in Western North Carolina, connects to other major interstates like I-26 from the South, I-75 from the Midwest, I-81 from the Northeast and I-95, which runs up the entire East Coast. From I-40, take Exit 27 and follow Highway 74 West to Bryson City, Exit 67. From Atlanta, take Highway 441 into the Great Smoky Mountains. The most scenic route to the Railroad is the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, connecting the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to the mountains of Western North Carolina. From the Parkway take the Balsam exit which will take you to Highway 74. Follow Highway 74 West to Bryson City (Exit 67). All trains depart from the Bryson City Depot. GPS / Physical Address: 226 Everett Street Bryson City, NC 28713

Average Driving Times

From Southeastern Cities From Western North Carolina Towns Atlanta, GA Charlotte, NC Chattanooga, TN Columbia, SC Gatlinburg, TN Greenville, SC Knoxville, TN Pigeon Forge, TN Raleigh, NC Winston-Salem, NC

3:20 3:30 3:00 4:00 2:00 2:20 2:50 2:20 5:50 3:50

Andrews Asheville Balsam Boone Brevard Cashiers/Highlands Cherokee Chimney Rock Dillsboro/Sylva Fontana

:55 1:35 :40 3:50 1:55 1:20 :20 2:20 :20 :40

Franklin Hendersonville Linville Maggie Valley Murphy Robbinsville Rutherfordton Waynesville Whittier

:45 1:55 3:35 1:00 1:20 :50 2:20 :45 :10

All times are approximate. Weather, construction, time of year and scenic interests may affect driving time. Wear your seat belts and arrive safely. PAGE 7


Get your tickets! JAN–SEPT & NOV–DEC............ADULT......CHILD .....INFANT • • • • • •

Coach Seating (open/enclosed). . . . . . . . $51 . . . . . . . . $29 . . . . . . . . $0 Crown Seating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $66 . . . . . . . $38 . . . . . . . $10 First Class w/dining (adult only 21+). . . $94 . . . . . . . . N/A. . . . . . . . . N/A Family First Class w/dining . . . . . . . . . $94 . . . . . . . $54 . . . . . . . $20 Carolina Shine (adult only 21+). . . . . . . . . $98 . . . . . . . . N/A. . . . . . . . . N/A Premium Open Air Car w/dining (adult only 21+) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $74 . . . . . . . . N/A. . . . . . . . . N/A

OCTOBER • • • • •

Coach Seating (open/enclosed) . . . . . . . $55 . . . . . . . . $31. . . . . . . . . $0 Crown Seating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $67 . . . . . . . $38 . . . . . . . $10 First Class w/dining (adult only 21+). . . $94 . . . . . . . . N/A. . . . . . . . . N/A Carolina Shine (adult only 21+). . . . . . . . $104 . . . . . . N/A. . . . . . . . . N/A Premium Open Air Car w/dining (adult only). . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $78 . . . . . . . . N/A. . . . . . . . . N/A

ADVENTURE COMBO TRIPS • • • •

Raft n Rail w/Wildwater Ltd. . . . . . $99 . . . . . . . $82 . . . . . . . . N/A Rapid Transit w/NOC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $102 . . . . . . $85 . . . . . . . . N/A Zip & Rail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $119 . . . . . . . $99 . . . . . . . . N/A Rail & Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99 . . . . . . . $74 . . . . . . . . N/A

PRIVATE CABOOSE • Jan.–Sept., Nov. & Dec. ...................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $599 • October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $699 • Locomotive Cab Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $250

VETERANS DAY WEEKEND NOV. 7-9

Upgraded service First Class*

Travel in comfort and style in 1940s-era climate controlled lounge and dining cars that feature seating at wellappointed tables and lounge/restaurant-style chairs. First Class passengers receive an all inclusive, delicious lunch served by the car’s attendant, a souvenir tumbler and an exclusive gift from GSMR.

Family first Class*

New for 2014, April - Sept, Family First Class also includes lunch with the Conductor! This special addition allows for one of our railroad conductors to interact with fans! The conductor will be onboard the Family First Class car meeting and greeting passengers and accompanying Family First Class riders throughout the entirety of the trip!

Premium open air car*

Take in the breath-taking scenery in First Class luxury while riding in an open air car! Enjoy a delicious meal served by the car’s attendant, a souvenir tumbler and an exclusive gift from GSMR!

Crown Class*

These cars date back to the mid 1920s and have been restored and renovated to reflect this nostalgic era. The seating configuration still reflects that of the commuterstyle layout popular in 19th century. Seats are arranged in sets of four with two facing each other. This is wonderful for families or parties who wish to stay grouped together throughout the duration of their ride. *

Limited bar service available for purchase. Menu subject to change.

• Veterans and active military. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE

SPECIAL EVENTS SEATING • • • • • •

Crown Seating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $59. . . . . . . $40. . . . . . . $10 Dinosaur Train™ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39 . . . . . . . $30 . . . . . . . $0 Freedom Train starting at . . . . . . . . . . $61 . . . . . . . . $31. . . . . . . . . $0 PEANUTS™ Pumpkin Patch Coach Class. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55 . . . . . . . . $31. . . . . . . . . $0 Crown Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $67 . . . . . . . $38 . . . . . . . $10 Masquerade Ball............................. $99/person+tax & gratuity POLAR EXPRESS Coach Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $40. . . . . . . $26 . . . . . . . . $0 Crown Class. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $50 . . . . . . . $36 . . . . . . . $10 Family First Class . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $60 . . . . . . . $41 . . . . . . . . $15 POLAR EXPRESS (peak dates) Coach Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $46 . . . . . . . . $31. . . . . . . . . $0 Crown Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $56 . . . . . . . . $41 . . . . . . . . $15 Family First Class . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $69 . . . . . . . $46 . . . . . . . $20 Christmas Eve Coach Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $53 . . . . . . . . $35 . . . . . . . . $0 Crown Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $63 . . . . . . . $45 . . . . . . . . $15 Family First Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $74 . . . . . . . $50 . . . . . . $20 *All fares are subject to a 7% historic preservation fee.

ADULT: AGE 13 YEARS AND UP UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED CHILD: AGES 2-12 YEARS • INFANT: 23 MONTHS & YOUNGER 8

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Choo Choo Chew On board lunches ENGINEER’S BBQ LUNCH Slow roasted pork rubbed with our special spices and tossed with Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Accompanied by a bag of chips, Grandma’s Cookie and a fountain drink. $9.00 per adult (includes tax) CONDUCTOR’S Two 100% Beef Angus hotdogs served with fresh buns. Accompanied by a bag of chips, Grandma’s Cookie, and a fountain drink. $9.00 per adult (includes tax) LIL’ CONDUCTOR’S One 100% Beef Angus hotdog served with a fresh bun. Accompanied by a bag of chips, Grandma’s Cookie, and a fountain drink. $9.00 per adult (includes tax)

BRAKEMAN’S VEGETARIAN LUNCH Fresh mixture of cashews, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, edamame, red onion, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, napa cabbage and feta cheese. Wrapped in a tomato basil wrap. Accompanied by a bag of chips, Grandma’s Cookies and a fountain drink. $9.00 per adult (includes tax)

Passengers may visit the Conductor’s Car on the Nantahala Gorge Excursion or the Chessie Caboose on the Tuckasegee River Excursion for snack items such as hot dogs, pretzels, chips, cookies, crackers, candy, Coca-Cola® products, beer, wine, or coffee.

DETAILS: All ticket fares are subject to a 7% Historic Preservation Fee, Reservations require payment in full • MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express accepted • Restrooms are available at depot and onboard • Schedule, price, motive power and equipment subject to change without notice. Smoking is prohibited onboard. • Service animals only, no pets allowed. $5 parking fee at Bryson City Depot. All excursions are general seating. All excursions via diesel unless otherwise noted. Limited disability access (call for more information). Change fees apply: $6 per seat (changes must be made and completed within the 2014 calendar year). Cancellation fees apply: $14 per Adult ticket and $7 per Child ticket and must be notified 48 hours prior to departure time. No refunds will be issued within 48 hours of departure. 72-hour cancellation notice required for Special Event Dinner Trains.


Railroad memories Passage through time

General excursions Nantahala Gorge West Bound

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Tuckasegee River East Bound

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eparting from Bryson City, this four-and-a-half hour excursion carries you 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again. Travel the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers across Fontana Lake and into the magic of the Nantahala Gorge. Enjoy a layover at Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) for sightseeing or lunch by the river from one of the many eateries, and just plain relaxing!

eparting from Bryson City, this four-hour excursion travels 32-miles roundtrip to Dillsboro and back again. The trip includes an hour-and-a-half layover in the historic village where you’ll find more than 50 shops, restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and country inns. There is time to shop, snack, and visit the many unique shops before returning to Bryson City.

DEPARTURES

• • • • • •

• • • •

MARCH 1-29 • 10:30 am Fri. & Sat. APRIL 1-MAY 24 • 10:30 am Tues. – Sat. MAY 25-OCTOBER 2 • 10:30 am DAILY OCTOBER 3-31 • 9 am & 2 pm DAILY

DEPARTURES JUNE 14-AUGUST 9 1 pm Tues. – Sun. OCTOBER 6-23 • 12 pm Mon. – Thurs. NOVEMBER 2-23 • 11 am Wed. – Sun. NOVEMBER 24-25 • 11 am Mon. – Fri. NOVEMBER 29-30 • 11 am Sat. & Sun. DECEMBER 26-30 • 11 am Mon. – Sun. *Schedule subject to change.

Onboard Entertainment

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he Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is proud to present onboard entertainment! Sit back, relax, and listen to Appalachian Stories that are rich in mountain history or enjoy the melodic sound of bluegrass music that is sure to get your feet tapping. (Onboard entertainment offered on certain days and certain excursions)

The milepost guide, Passage Through Time, contains 176 pages of stories, pictures and maps that guide you along the Murphy Branch Line. It is a story of determination and perseverance by strong men and women. The stories are fascinating. The trials and troubles, unbelievable. This book is about a beautiful part of rural America.

BOOK & DVD COMBO:

20

$

Back of Beyond The exciting DVD, Back of Beyond, explores the legend of a train that carries the history of the beautiful Smoky Mountains along its rails. These mountains were the deepest backwoods of a forgotten frontier. The railroad was built as an economic development tool for the whole region and opened up this last frontier. Ask your car attendant or visit our gift shop to purchase this special package. PAGE 9


Special events

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ake a look at all the upcoming special events heading into Bryson City, NC! Find our most up-to-date information on upcoming yearly events with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad on our website www.gsmr.com. Contact our Reservations Office for information regarding these events at 800.872.4681. ————————— 2014 —————————

DINOSAUR TRAIN™ JULY 18-20, 25-27 & AUGUST 1-3 FIRDAYS & SATURDAYS 11:30 A.M. & 3 P.M. SUNDAYS 3 P.M.

BBQ&BREWS JUNE 28, JULY 12, & AUGUST 30 $69 PER ADULT (21+ ONLY) Enjoy a wonderful evening filled with music, BBQ, and a sampling of three craft beers from Heinzelmännchen Brewery.

Families are sure to enjoy this adventure filled train ride with music, stories, Nature Trackers Club Card, and an activities area. Plus, an opportunity to meet their favorite T. rex, Buddy.

CHUGGINGTON NEW! A TRAINTASTIC ADVENTURE

RAILFEST 2014 & MOUNTAIN CRAFT FAIR

SATURDAY JUNE 28 & SUNDAY JUNE 29 11:30 A.M. & 3 P.M. Step onboard and join us in a family fun adventure. Become part of team Coco, Brewster, or Wilson and complete field activities with your group. Enjoy a live puppet show, an activities area with inflatables, and become part of our community outreach program.

FREEDOM TRAIN FRIDAY, JULY 4, 7:30 P.M. Prices start at $61 per Adult and $39 per Child. Includes a BBQ dinner and a Fireworks display in Bryson City!

SEPTEMBER 13 & 14 Railroad enthusiasts and history buffs worldwide will gather for a weekend of railroad fun! Motorcar rides, storytelling, singing, dancing and mountain folk music are all part of this spectacular event. The Mountain Craft Fair showcases authentic handmade crafts, pottery and artwork of the Western North Carolina mountains.

OCTOBER LEAF SEASON

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OCTOBER 1-31 Western North Carolina mountains are ablaze with brilliant fall foliage. View these spectacular fall leaves from the train.

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PEANUTS™: THE GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH EXPRESS

THE POLAR EXPRESS™

OCTOBER 4, 5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26 FRIDAYS 3:30 P.M. SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS 12 P.M. & 3:30 P.M. Meet Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy, and select your own pumpkin. Enjoy wagon rides, live musical entertainment, snacks, storytelling, bouncy house, apple-bobbing, trick-or-treating and fall festivities! And, don’t forget to wear your costumes!

NOVEMBER 7JANUARY 3 The Polar Express™ comes to life when the train departs Bryson City for a journey to the North Pole. Read along with the magical story and meet Santa himself. Enjoy holiday caroling, hot cocoa, a special treat and a memento for each child. Daily departure times vary. See website for full schedule details and pricing www.gsmr.com.

MASQUERADE TRAIN FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 8 P.M. Coming this Halloween! Adults only $99 per person.

NEW!

POLAR EXPRESS™ HOME SCHOOL DAY DECEMBER 4, 11 A.M. Special student rates on the THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train to home-schooled children.

Riverfront Suites

————————— 2015 —————————

TUCKASEGEE RIVER DEPARTURES JANUARY & FEBRUARY, SATURDAYS ONLY, 11AM

PEANUTS™ “BE MY VALENTINE, CHARLIE BROWN” 11 A.M. VALENTINE’S DAY, FEB. 14 Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Lucy, Snoopy and Charlie Brown! Kids can create their own Valentine’s craft and listen to the narrated story. Make this Valentine’s Day special with an upgrade to Family First Class!

NANTAHALA GORGE DEPARTURES MARCH, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS, 10:30 A.M.

PEANUTS™ EASTER BEAGLE EXPRESS APRIL 3 & 4, 2015: Depart from Bryson City to Dillsboro for refreshments, photo opportunities with Snoopy the Easter Beagle and a massive Easter Egg hunt with lots of candy and special prizes! 100-17

Nancy Tut’s

V{Ü|áàÅtá f{ÉÑ since 1969

We carry

DillsboroInn.com 866-586-3898

488 Haywood, Dillsboro NC

828-586-5391 GSMR.com

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Ride and Raft Train + Whitewater Trips

Rapid Transit with Nantahala Outdoor Center The Rapid Transit Package with NOC and the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad promises a full day of fun. Hop aboard the train at the depot in Bryson City for a scenic train ride while enjoying magnificent views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and sparkling mountain streams. The Nantahala Gorge Excursion includes an hour layover at Nantahala Outdoor Center on the Nantahala River, providing a chance to explore the NOC outpost and watch advanced kayakers surf on the outpost’s “Wave” feature. Add some adventure to the ride with NOC’s Rapid Transit trip: a Nantahala Gorge Excursion packaged with lunch and a fullyguided whitewater rafting trip on the exciting Nantahala River. Transportation back to Bryson City included. April – October 2014 Rates: $102 per adult or $85 per child. Fully guided. Inflatable kayaks available on request for an additional $8 per person.

Raft & Rail® with Wildwater Southern Living magazine calls this the “ideal adventure for families, first-timers, young or old.” Spend a beautiful day in the Nantahala Gorge with Wildwater and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Departs from downtown Bryson City at the train depot with a twohour railroad excursion including crossing the Fontana Lake Trestle and into the Nantahala Gorge. As you travel on the train, watch paddlers challenge the rapids you will soon be rafting. Disembark the train and travel a short distance to the launch site. After a paddling orientation your group will raft the entire 8 miles of the Nantahala River on a fully guided trip. A picnic lunch is included, as well as changing facilities with hot showers and transportation back to your car at the train depot. April – October 2014 Rates: $99 per adult or $82 per child. Fully guided. Children must weigh at least 60 lbs or be 7 years old.

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Historic Inn features spacious 4-room suites with Private Entrances, Private Baths with Jacuzzi tubs, Fully Equipped Kitchens, Pillow top beds, long range mountain views, 2 blocks from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train depot and downtown Bryson City and 2 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance.

225 Everett Street • Bryson City, NC 828.488.1700 or 828.488.0873

Calhoun House Inn & Suites Since 1920

828-788-0505 ed@CalhounHouse.com www.CalhounHouse.com

100-03

Family Vacation Adventure Center Enjoy family fun and excitement on the Nantahala River and/or the Ocoee River! Certified guides available. Call now for: • Nantahala and Ocoee River Rafting • Vacation Lodging • Gemstone Mining • Horseback Riding • Scenic Train Tours • Canopy Tours 12121 HWY. 19 W. • BRYSON CITY • 828-488-6345 14

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Visit us anytime GSMR.COM


Sleep Inn Bryson City 1/2 Mile to Bryson City Railroad Depot RATED 4 OUT OF 5 STARS

BRYSON CITY

• 100% Smoke Free Rooms • Pet-Friendly Rooms • FREE Breakfast with Fresh Baked Waffels • FREE Long Distance Calls

500 VETERANS BLVD. BRYSON CITY, NC TOLL FREE: 866-939-0998 LOCAL: 828-488-0326

• Bus Parking

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Packages Available

Free WiFi In Every Room!

For Reservations 828.488.7900 • www.MicrotelInn.com

Close to: Harrah’s Casino, Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Sequoyah National Golf Club, Fly Fishing Excursions, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Downtown Bryson City.

GSMR.com

All guests will enjoy free hot breakfast buffet, brand new 32” flat panel LCD televisions, free wireless internet, seasonal outdoor swimming pool and access to on-site coin laundry facilities.

We also offer packages to ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, or to go rafting at Nantahala Outdoor Center (please book in advance). We also offer the train and rafting tickets individually.

www.sleepinnbrysoncitync.com

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Explore Bryson City, Swain County Attractions

• Calhoun Country Inn — In the heart of Bryson City, the Calhoun Inn is said to be one of Horace Kephart’s resting places — literally that is. He and friend Granville Calhoun, whom he met upon moving to the mountains in 1904, spent time talking and rocking in chairs on the inn’s front porch. Today, the inn features period antiques, handmade quilts and the original pine floors. 135 Everett St. 828.488.1234. • Darnell Farms — A true agri-tourism business, Darnell Farms offers pick-your-own seasonal produce, most notably strawberries during the early summer months. In addition to fruits and veggies, the farm offers live music on the weekends and the occasional fiddlin’ or pickin’ competition. Open all day, every

day through October. An old-fashioned corn maze opens on the farm in late August. Located just outside of Bryson City on U.S. 19 headed toward Cherokee. • Fontana Dam — At 480 feet, the dam that created Lake Fontana is the highest dam in eastern America. Several marinas and boat landings provide water access. The dam generates hydroelectric power and tours of the facility are available from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 828.498.2226. • Fryemont Inn — Overlooking the National Park, this rustic inn remains rooted in a bygone era of enormous stone fireplaces and gleaming hardwood floors. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s also full service dining and a cozy bar for outside visitors. 828.488.2159.

Visitors’ Center • The visitors’ center, operated by the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, is located at 210 Main Street. 828.488.3681 or www.greatsmokies.com.

Resources • Marianna Black Library — Free Internet access is available on nine public access computers to all library visitors with a current photo ID. Access time is limited on busy days and is on a first come, first served basis. Open Mon. and Wed. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tues. and Thurs. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 33 Freymont St. 828.488.3030. • Urgent Care — There is not an urgent care center in Bryson City. The Swain County Hospital is located at 45 Plateau St. 828.488.2155. ALL ABOARD 2014 16

e’re glad you came to Bryson City to experience the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, and hope you’ve had a wonderful time while aboard the train. While you’re in Bryson City, we’d also encourage you to explore the region. Travelers looking for a home base from which to explore the mountains need look no further as Bryson City is a prime location, with its forested seclusion still providing access to some of the area’s best attractions. While the town of Bryson City itself is small, it boasts a surprisingly large amount of activity. Be sure to browse our art galleries and unique retail shops. Fine dining also abounds. Thirteen Moons at the head of the Nantahala Gorge offers upscale outdoor eating with mountain views. Relia’s Garden Restaurant at Nantahala Outdoor Center specializes in handcrafted Southern cuisine. In Bryson City, grab a famous burger at Jimmy Mac’s. The menu has 20 to choose from. The Cork and Bean offers organic, fair-trade, gourmet espresso and coffees along with a great wine list. The restaurants offers breakfast, lunch and deserts in the evening. Mountain Perks offers a cozy and quite place to grab a coffee drink. Interested in a pint of handcrafted beer? Check out Nantahala Brewing Company. How about a glass of wine by the fire? Fryemont Inn’s bar and dining room offer river rock fireplaces with quaint mountain elegance. Among a long list of other dining options is The Filling Station Deli & Sub Shop, Everett Street Diner and Guayabito’s Mexican Restaurant. For a complete list of local easting establishments, visit www.greatsmokies.com/business, the website for the Swain County Chamber of Commerce.


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Exit 67 in Bryson City opened in 1911. Historic Courthouse — Built in 1908. Bennett’s Drug Store — Founded in 1905 by A.M. Bennett. Tuckasegee River — Gazebo located here to enjoy river. Island Park — Wooded island reached by footbridge, great for picnics or exploring. Old Pillar Building — Old bank building opened in 1915. The Station Mall — Built in 1915 and strategically located alongside railroad track. GSMRR Train Depot — Dates to 1885, hub for today’s excursion trips on the railroad. Lakeshore Drive — Scenic road out of town and into Great Smoky Mountains National Park with views of Fontana Lake. GSMR.com

To Nantahala Gorge Fontana Lake & Tsali Recreation Area Andrews, Murphy & Robbinsville Joyce Kilmer Forest PAGE 17


adventure in the smokies

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he Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located just outside of Bryson City, encompasses more than 500,00 acres, making it the largest national park in the East. An auto tour of the park offers panoramic views, tumbling mountain streams, weathered historic buildings and uninterrupted forest stretching to the horizon. The North Carolina side of the park is considered by locals the more pristine, tranquil, natural park experience. It is less heavily used and has everything the Tennessee side has but is much more off the beaten path. Visitors do not have to dodge a barrage of fudge shops, wax museum and other distractions that clutter many of the gateway communities on the Tennessee side of the park.

Deep Creek Just a few miles outside of Bryson City, visitors can find a microcosm of family outdoor activities. Swim, hike to waterfalls, float in inner tubes, fish, picnic, and mountain bike all along this picturesque mountain stream known as Deep Creek. And best of all, enjoying Deep Creek — a recreation area within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — is free other than a few dollars a day to rent a tube for a little whitewater adventure. • Tubing — Floating down the cool and exciting waters of Deep Creek is by far one of the favorite pastimes for families. Tote your tube up the wide, gentle trail following the creek, then float back down again and again. There are several places to launch, both above the more challenging rapids and below 18

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for those who want a more peaceful drift down the stream. • Mountain biking — Deep Creek is one of the few places in Great Smoky Mountains National Park where mountain biking is allowed. Bikes are permitted on Deep Creek and Indian Creek trails on the old roadbeds to the trail heads. The rides are easy and great for children and families. Check the outdoors directory for bike rental locations. • Hike to waterfalls — Three hikes will take you to awesome Smokies waterfalls in Deep Creek. And best of all, the hikes are easy trips — even for kids. The trails all start from the parking area. Juney Whank Falls is a little more than a half mile. Three Waterfalls Loop is 2.4 miles. Deep Creek-Indian Creek Loop, the longest, is 4.4 miles. Deep Creek is also a jumping off point for longer hikes in to the

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a vast wilderness with 800 miles of backcountry trails waiting to be explored. • Fishing — Anglers need a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license to fish within the national park. You can get one at in Bryson City at an outfitters. Deep Creek offers great spots to spend the day with a rod. • Picnicking — A picnic area open yearround offers plenty of tables, grills, restrooms and changing areas. • Camping — Deep Creek campground is open from April to late October. Group camping is available. 877.444.6777. Directions: To get there from Bryson City, head toward the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad depot, turn right on Depot Street, turn left on Deep Creek Road. Look for brown signs with Deep Creek in white letters.


a few highlights of the National Park Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Clingmans Dome

Along with knowledgeable rangers who can help you plan your time in the park, fabulous exhibits will take you back in time among the early settlers and Cherokee who called these mountains home. The visitor center chronicles the culture and history of the Smokies, from exhibits on the Civil War in the Smokies to moonshine making. Located on U.S. 441 at the North Carolina entrance to the park, north of Cherokee and near the terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 828.497.1904.

A paved half-mile trail leads to a soaring lookout tower atop the highest peak in the Smokies. At 6,643 feet, the panoramic view offers spectacular scenery and is one of the best examples of the region’s famed blue mountain ridges marching endlessly across the horizon. The tower features a spiraling 375 foot ramp to the top. From the same parking area, a jaunt on the Forney Ridge Trail follows the rocky ridge line for two miles to a high elevation grassy bald, graced with a showy display of Catawba rhododendron and flame azalea in mid-June. From Cherokee, take U.S. 441 north into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From the park entrance, travel 18 miles along a scenic park road that winds up the massive Newfound mountain range. At the top, turn left on Clingmans Dome Road and go for seven miles to dead-end at the parking area.

Mountain Farm Museum This stroll through an historic Appalachian farm offers a window on the ingenuity and self-reliance of early mountain people and Cherokee. A blacksmith shop to make everything from barn door hinges to horseshoes, a spring house to keep milk and butter cool, and sundry buildings for storing the food they raised, from corn cribs to apple houses to smoke houses. The outhouse is a guaranteed eye-opener for kids. Located at the entrance to the park on U.S. 441 just north of Cherokee.

Mingus Mill The rumble of mill stones, the whistle of corn meal sliding down the wooden shoot, the slap-slapslap of water falling over the giant paddle wheel. Since the 1880s, Mingus Mill has been harnessing the power of a mountain stream to grind corn meal for corn bread, a staple of the early settlers. Explore this historic site just one mile from the park entrance on U.S. 441 north of Cherokee. GSMR.com

Cataloochee Valley History and nature intersect in this picturesque meadow, a long, narrow valley cradled by mountains on all sides. An elk herd has been reintroduced into the park and calls the valley home. Elk were once common here but were overhunted in the early 1800s to extinction in the eastern states. Cataloochee Valley is home to a former mountain settlement, with intact farmhouses, churches, schoolhouse and cemeteries that can be toured by car and short walks. Pick up an interpretive brochure at the campground on the left after you get down to the valley floor that describes the historic buildings. From Maggie Valley, take U.S. 276 north toward I-40, but just before the interstate turn left on Cove Creek Road, which leads up and over the Cataloochee Divide and winds down into the valley. Beware the narrow, gravel road. PAGE 19


The Great outdoors

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ryson City and Swain County is a great staging area for outdoor adventures geared for every skill — and thrill — level. From world-class mountain biking and paddling to zipline canopy tours, birding and fishing in pure mountain waters, this is one base camp you’ll want to call home.

Fishing From backcountry fly-fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to a lazy day of lake fishing, anglers visiting Swain County can wet their hooks with the finest brook and rainbow trout, bass, and walleye in these pristine mountain waters. Bass tournaments on Fontana Lake and flyfishing tournaments on mountain rivers draw some of the best anglers in the country.www.greatsmokiescom.

Rafting and paddling Getting out on the water is a big draw at the Base Camp of the Smokies and a top ingredient of your memorymaking vacation. Head to the Nantahala Gorge, jump aboard a raft and hang on for a guided trip down the river. Professional outfitters cater to every group type and skill level, even if you’ve never held a paddle. You’ll be surrounded by some of the top paddlers in the world, who both work in the Gorge or travel here for challenging Nantahala River. Paddling clinics are also offered, from beginners to experts honing their skills. www.greatsmokies.com

Hiking If a walk in the woods is what your after, then look no farther than Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has 800 miles of hiking trails with everything from a short jaunt to scenic overlooks to days of backcountry trekking. Its biodiversity is some of the richest in the world and creatures you won’t see at home such as elk, black bears and endangered salamanders populate the woods and streams. Short kid-friendly hikes to waterfalls will get you in the great outdoors without much hassle. You might also want to take a stroll down part of America’s most famous path, the Appalachian Trail. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a dime. 20

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Mountain biking Riders travel from around the country to enjoy the mountain biking trails at Tsali Recreation Area. With 40 miles of trails and four loops to chose from, it’s rated as one of the top 10 places to ride in the U.S. Views of Fontana Lake, single-track and wide gravel roads make this a great ride of the whole family. Follow U.S. 19-74 bypass west out of Bryson City until it intersections with N.C. 28. Turn right and it’s about 3 miles to Tsali Recreation Area turn, also to the right. Well-marked signage is on N.C. 28. There’s also custom-built mountain biking trails at nearby Nantahala Outdoor Center and Fontana Village Resort. Local outfitters rent mountain bikes, as well as bikes for kids and bike trailers for small children. Group rides for road and mountain biking enthusiasts are held weekly.

Fontana Lake Getting out on the water doesn’t have to mean the thrills, and possibly spills, of whitewater. From pontoon boat history tours to gripping jet boat rides, Fontana Lake is a great way to spend the day. Fontana is one of the most scenic lakes in the mountains. The lush, unspoiled slopes and majestic peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park cradle the deep blue water. Keep an eye out: A pair of nesting bald eagles call the shores of Fontana home. There are several options for boat rentals, from fishing boats to pontoons and even house boats. Nearby, a swimming area at Finger Lake swimming area offers cool respite after a hike. Bring a raft to relax for the day or just a towel for a quick dip — and muster the courage to try one of the rope swings off the shore.

On foot Wesser to Fontana on the AT This 30-mile hike along the Appalachian Trails is full of ups and downs. There are shelters along the way, and you can start at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Or do the hike in reverse and start at Fontana Dam. To learn more about the Appalachian Trail and sections of the trail visit www.appalachiantrail.org.

Oconaluftee River Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee This flat, easy 3-mile roundtrip trail follows the wide, flowing Oconaluftee River. A series of well-done bulletin boards share Cherokee history, culture and mythology along the way, along with benches overlooking the river. The reward is even sweeter than most hikes: the trail emerges from the national park just a stone’s throw from ice cream, fudge and souvenir shops in Cherokee. Check out the Mountain Farm Museum and the Smokies visitor center exhibits before or after the hike. Directions: From Cherokee, take U.S. 441 north. Just inside the entrance to the national park, turn into the visitor center parking lot. Trail begins to the left of the visitor center.

Pinnacle Park, Sylva Whether you make it all the way to the Pinnacle, hiking this 1,100 acre preserve just outside Sylva is a great nearby hike. The 7-mile roundtrip trail follows Fisher Creek up the side of the mountain, for a nearly constant uphill slog. But take it slow and steady, enjoying the cascading stream, and you’ll eventually reach the ridge and the rocky summit that gives the Pinnacle its name and affords stunning views. A small pond and dam near the bottom is evidence of the tract’s history as a drinking water source for the town of Sylva. It takes more than 2,500 feet of climbing to reach the Pinnacle, which itself sits above 5,000 feet. If headed for the top, turn left when the trail forks about 2/3 of the way to the top. Directions: From downtown Sylva, take Skyland Drive east and turn left onto Fisher Creek Road. Parking area is at the end of Fisher Creek Road.

Hazel Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City This hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park leads from the shore of Fontana Lake through a remote, backcountry wilderness, pocked by historic sites such as family cemeteries left over from Appalachian settlements that existed here prior to the park’s creation. Perhaps the best part about the hike is getting there by taking a boat shuttle across the lake, saving what would otherwise be an overnight backpacking trip. The trail is also the site of a once-bustling logging town in the early 1900s. A few traces of its existence still linger as well, such as the site of one of the saw mills and the ruins of a drying kiln. Hike in as far as you like — whether 2 miles or 8 miles — and then just turn back. The trail is gradual. Or for about $50 you can get a roundtrip shuttle on a boat across Fontana Lake from Fontana Marina. 828.498.2129.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Robbinsville The 2-mile “figure eight” loop goes through a magnificent stand of giant, old-growth trees that soar like a forested cathedral. The 1.25 mile lower loop passed the Joyce Kilmer Memorial plaque; the upper 0.75 mile loop passes through Poplar cove, a stand of tulip poplar that are over 100 feet tall and up to 20 feet in circumference. Directions: Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is approximately 15 miles west of Robbinsville. From Robbinsville, take US 129 North for 1.5 miles. Turn left on N.C. 143 and go approximately 5 miles. Turn right to continue on N.C. 143 for another 7.3 miles. Turn right on Joyce Kilmer Road and continue on go 2.5 miles to the entrance of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. PAGE 21


Full Steam Ahead

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SMR’s famous engine #1702 is well on its way to being back on the track! A cooperative effort between The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR), Swain County Board of Commissioners and TDA, is moving forward with the restoration project. In April of 2012, by vote of the County Commissioners, overnight lodging taxes were raised nominally, allocating a portion of the increase to fund the renovation of the historic GSMR steam locomotive Engine #1702, and the construction of a locomotive turn table. Because of this innovative public/private partnership plans to put the steam engine back on the railroad line are now being put to action. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has constructed a new engine repair shop facility located in Dillsboro NC. This new building will be exclusive to the renovation and repair of the engine during the next 18 months and work can proceed without interruption of weather or other elements. Soon Engine #1702 will be carefully transferred to the repair shop to begin the entire project of restoration which is expected to take anywhere from 1218 months. It has been over nine years since steam locomotive #1702 operated on the Murphy Branch Line. The historical value of the railway and steam locomotive is tremendous asset to the region. Although #1702 operations did not originate on the historic Murphy Branch Line, it is the first scenic excursion steam engine to delight hundred of thousands of passengers since the creation of GSMR in 1991 22

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continuing up to 2004. Owner and CEO, Allen C. Harper is energized by this partnership and excited for the progress saying, “The Swain County Commission is probably one of the most visionary and creative public groups I have

ever worked with. In essence they have formed a joint venture in the rebuilding of Steam Engine 1702. Bringing historic steam engine service back to Swain County and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad not only will dramatically increase the potential for more visitors to the community, but creates new jobs.

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Working with the Swain County Commission has been and continues to be a great experience and the area residents should be proud of their leadership.”

Steam fans can anticipate the engine to be fully restored to its’ former glory! GSMR is using their social media outlets to keep fans updated on the great progress of the engine and turn table. Visit GSMR’s official Facebook page to keep up or join the official restoration blog restoring1702.wordpress.com for postings from the shop engineers themselves!


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