Tuckasegee River Excursion

Join us for a relaxing ride through quiet countryside on your way to small-town life in Western North Carolina on the Tuckasegee River Excursion. Departing from Bryson City, this 4-hour excursion travels 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back to the Bryson City Depot. Pass by the famous movie set of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford!

About This Trip

The Tuckasegee (tuck-uh-SEE-jee) River Excursion includes an 1 hour and 20 minute layover in the historic town of Dillsboro, where you’ll find more than 50 shops, restaurants, a brewery, and country inns. There is time to shop, snack, and visit the many unique shops before returning to Bryson City. Please refer to the map below for a layout of Dillsboro. 

Things To Do

  1. Innovation Station – Experience one of Western Carolina’s finest breweries at Innovation Station. Have a craft beer while sitting alongside the Tuckasegee River or grabbing a bite from one of the rotating food truck vendors. See the entire brewing process and even chat with the Brewmaster to see what it’s all about!
  2. Forager’s Canteen – Stop by Forager’s Canteen for Chef Kevin Faini’s take on Farm to Table cuisine with an eclectic mix of Southern heritage dishes mixed with world cuisines. LOCALS TIP: Order Piggy Planks to-go and take them over to Innovation for a best of both worlds experience!
  3. Haywood Smokehouse – Eat Authentic Texas Style BBQ at Haywood Smokehouse. With 3 locations across Western North Carolina, this is a local’s fav. Featuring Briskets smoked around 20 hours, their bbq is cooked to perfection! Come Hungry!
  4. Dogwood Crafters – A craft cooperative since 1976, Dogwood showcases the handmade treasures created by regional artisans who continue the old-time Appalachian craft traditions. You’ll also find some modern translations of these arts and crafts in unique gifts, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, paintings, home decor and more.
  5. Quick Birds Treehouse Bistro & Front Street Takeout – Quirky Birds Treehouse & Bistro offers live music, indoor and outdoor dining, and a Quirky, Cozy atmosphere with soulful fare. Sharing their kitchen with Front Street Takeout, visitors can enjoy your Front Street favorites with your favorite Spirits!
  6. Front Porch General Store Antiques & Vintage Home Goods – This general store is chock full of vintage good and antiques with some dating as far back as the 1800’s. They have something for every budget & every taste! Find the perfect gift or souvenir to mark your visit to Dillsboro and Western NC. 
  7. Nancy Tut’s Christmas Shop – Swing by Nancy Tut’s and their 9 rooms full of Christmas ornaments, decor and souvenirs to get you ready for everything Christmas and commemorate your time with us. 
  8. Tunnel Mountain Crafts – This shop offers the works of over 60 artisans and every item in the shops is handmade by a local artist. Visitors can find a wide range of work including woodwork, oil painting, watercolors, acrylics, pottery, iron work, painted gourds, fabric items, crocheted and knitted scarves, greeting cards, postcards, and children’s books.
  9. Horse Feathers Boutique – Horse Feathers is a wonderfully eclectic storefront featuring clothing, jewelry, home decor and furniture. Every piece is heavily curated and hand selected. They also feature Heart Coffee Company inside so you can grab a cup of Joe or a craft latte while you shop!
  10. Dillsboro Chocolate Factory – In business since 1999, this family owned and operated establishment serves some of the best chocolate this side of the Smokies! From their many flavors and styles of fudge to hand dipped chocolate or cocktail infusion shooters, there is something for every sweets lover!


Below is an outline of this train’s excursion. Please refer to this train’s schedule for exact departure times.

30m before departureBoarding begins at Bryson City Depot
See schedule for departure timeDepart Bryson City, NC
1h 30mArrive at Dillsboro, NC
1h 30m—2h 50mLayover
2h 50mDepart Dillsboro, NC
4h 00mArrive at Bryson City Depot
Time from DepartureActivity

Given the nature of railroading, durations are approximate and subject to change without notice.

Classes of Service

First Class

Tuckasegee River Excursion offers First Class only during January, February, March, November, and December. First Class features assigned seating at a dining table in a climate controlled car with large picture windows, and are served a meal by the car’s attendant. Everyone receives a souvenir travel mug with free refills of soda, coffee, and iced tea all day. Limited bar service available.

Adult (21+ Only)$114$121$124$131$135
Under 21Not Permitted
First ClassDieselSteam

Crown Class

Crown Class features assigned seating in a climate controlled car with large picture windows. Everyone over the age of 2 years old receives a souvenir tumbler with free refills of soda, coffee, and iced tea all day! Beer and wine available. Beer and wine available. Don’t forget to preorder your boxed lunch!

Adult (13+ yrs)$87$94$97$104$108
Child (2-12 yrs)$61$66$71$76$81
Infant (0-23 mos)$19$19$19$19$19
Crown ClassDieselSteam

Coach Class

Coach Class features open seating in an enclosed car, windows that can be opened for fresh air and taking photos, and are heated and have ceiling fans. Don’t forget to preorder your boxed lunch!

Adult (13+ yrs)$59$66$69$76$80
Child (2-12 yrs)$35$40$45$50$55
Infant (0-23 mos)$0$0$0$0$0

Open Air Gondola

Open Air Gondolas feature open seating in a car with unobstructed views, half-height walls, and a roof above to protect passengers from the elements. Add an official Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Fleece Blanket to your reservation for just $32! At 54″ x 84″ it’s the perfect size for two to keep warm during our cool mornings. Don’t forget to preorder your boxed lunch!

Adult (13+ yrs)$64$71$74$81$85
Child (2-12 yrs)$40$45$50$55$60
Infant (0-23 mos)$0$0$0$0$0
Open AirDieselSteam

Class Comparison

Classes of Service Table
AmenitiesFirst ClassPremium Open Air GondolaCrown ClassCoach PlusCoach ClassOpen Air Gondola
Meal Included
Lunch Available
Restrooms Available
Air Conditioning
Assigned Seating
Souvenir Travel Mug
Large Picture Windows
Windows Open/Close
Ceiling Fans
Ideal for Photography
Outward Facing Seats
Padded Seats



How to Purchase

We always recommend booking reservations well in advance! Book online or call our reservations department at (800) 872-4681. No matter how you purchase tickets, you’ll receive your boarding passes via email. Or, you can purchase your tickets the day of in the Bryson City Depot. Check out our complete train schedule to see all our options.

Ticket fares subject to 7% Historic Preservation Fee. Schedules, fares, motive power, equipment, seat selection, and meals are subject to change without notice. We guarantee the class of service you select. You will be notified if a change in schedule or motive power affects your reservation. Payment in full at booking by major credit card is required to finalize a reservation. You may cancel your reservation in full or in part and receive a refund less a $14.00 fee per adult ticket and $7.00 fee per child ticket as late as 5 days before departure, except for The Polar Express Train Ride; The Polar Express Train Ride is as late as 60 days before departure. Within 5 days of the departure, or 60 days in the case of the Polar Express Train Ride, the reservation becomes nonrefundable.  You may reschedule any time prior to your originally scheduled departure with a $7.00 fee per ticket for another date within the same calendar year. You may not reschedule a reservation after the scheduled departure.

You agree that GSMR General Excursions and Events for which you purchased tickets and/or attended is a public event, that your appearance and actions inside and outside the venue where the Excursion/Event occurs are public in nature, and that you have no expectation of privacy with regard to your actions or conduct at the Event. You hereby irrevocably grant permission to the host railroad, licensor, sponsor(s) and/or their assigns to use, copy, display, distribute, exhibit and utilize your name, image, digital image, likeness, acts, poses, voice, appearance, movements and statements in any live or recorded audio, video or photographic display or other transmission, exhibition, publication or reproduction of same, including at the Excursion/ Event (regardless of whether before, during or after the Excursion/ Event) for any purpose, in any manner, in any medium or context now known or hereafter developed without further authorization from or any compensation to you or anyone acting or entitled to act on your behalf.