If you’re a garden junkie like me, you will miss the green and blooms of summer, however I think we can all agree we are ready for cooler weather. I have found a way to squeeze in a day trip or make an overnighter that is perfect for relaxing and enjoying a fall day. From Sept. 24 through Nov. 8 you can enjoy the fall foliage train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
Originally built starting in Marietta, Georgia the tracks were to reach Blue Ridge and east to Copperhill, Tennessee. Freight trains continued to use the tracks through 1987. In 1990 the community of Blue Ridge, Georgia started working toward restoring the railroad. In 1998, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway opened for excursions from Blue Ridge to McCaysville, Georgia. Currently it continues to tour the original 26-mile round trip from Blue Ridge, along the Toccoa River.
Hop aboard and ride along the Toccoa River and through the Chattahoochee National Forest to see the mountains during its most glorious time. Passengers will have an opportunity to enjoy the small towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee during a two-hour layover. There is plenty of time to grab a bite, shop for crafts and antiques, or enjoy walking along the river.
After checking on possible changes to their scheduling, I did discover that within the month of October, the 3 p.m. evening ride will only be a two-hour express ride and will not stop for the layovers. This might be a great option if you want to plan some other activities during the day. Of course there are a few changes for COVID-19 accommodations. They recommend masks and will be providing rides at half capacity. Even more reason to plan your trip early! Ticket prices range from $52 up to $92 depending on open air or closed coach cars. There are discounts for seniors, military, children and first-responders.
Although it could be a long day trip, Blue Ridge is about a four-hour drive from Statesboro, so I recommend planning to stay one evening. Train rides run at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 p.m. There is plenty of lodging in the area; cabin rentals, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and it will be perfect weather for camping!
Toccoa Valley Campground and Whispering Pines are nearby. Tocca Valley has campsites starting at $25 and Whispering Pines has rustic cabin rentals for a budget-friendly option!
If you have a railway enthusiast in the family or just need a different getaway without long lines and a lot of planning, this is it. What could be better than entertaining your family while sitting back and enjoying the “clickity clack” of a train ride?
Definitely order tickets ahead of arrival. These fall trips are extremely popular. The railway runs year round with special themed events during the holidays, New Year’s events, and summer adventures as well. If you haven’t been to North Georgia during the fall, I recommend you don’t wait another year to see the palette of colors our southeast mountains have to offer.
You can order tickets online:
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
241 Depot Street
Blue Ridge, GA 30513