BLOG

Six Ways to See Georgia by Train this Fall

  • Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

    Kids of all ages enjoy the view from the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

    oldshoe11d via Flickr

In addition to riding the rails, you can explore the history of trains during festivals throughout the state. Here are the best ways to see Georgia's fall foliage in all its splendor via rail.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Late September through early November, you can ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway on a 26-mile journey alongside the Toccoa River. Cars are either climate controlled or open-air, allowing you to pick the view and style you prefer for your ride. There is a two-hour layover in McCaysville, on the Georgia state line, where you can shop and eat lunch.

Stone Mountain Park

Ride The Rock Line train around the base of Stone Mountain
Ride The Rock Line train around the base of Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain Park is home to a short railway that travels along the base of the giant landform. Great for kids, riding on the railway is included with your Adventure Pass purchase, as is Great Locomotive Chase Adventure Golf. Your sub-one-hour journey will take you through the wooded areas of the park.

Southeastern Railway Museum

Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia
Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia

The Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth exhibits 90 pieces of railway history, including locomotives and Pullman cars. Throughout the year, museum visitors are invited to ride the rails, including during a Christmas-themed program each holiday season.

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Okefenokee Swamp Park Railroad in Waycross, Georgia
Okefenokee Swamp Park Railroad in Waycross, Georgia

Discover South Georgia’s autumn foliage via the Okefenokee Swamp Park Railroad. The Swamp Park train leaves the station in Waycross and takes riders on an hours-long journey, complete with a stop at history-rich Pioneer Island.

Manchester Railroad Days

Expect about 40 CSX trains daily passing by this observation deck in Manchester, Georgia!
Expect about 40 CSX trains daily passing by this observation deck in Manchester, Georgia!

Manchester Railroad Days is set for Oct. 20-21, 2017, just northeast of Columbus. A festival for fans young and old, the event features collection displays, model layouts, and an outdoor display. Plans are still under way for this year's event. Last year, children and adults enjoyed rides by live steamers, which are handmade engines to scale (7.5-inch gauge) and can pull riders behind them. Stop into Manchester any time of year to watch up to 40 CSX trains daily pass by the Manchester Railfan Platform located behind the Main Street shops.

SAM Shortline Excursion Train

Day Out with Thomas and the SAM Shortline in Cordele, Georgia
Day Out with Thomas and the SAM Shortline in Cordele, Georgia

In October, the SAM Shortline Excursion Train welcomes Thomas the Tank Engine for two special weekends. This year, on Oct. 20-22 and 28-29, spend a Day Out with Thomas, including Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway. Trains depart several times each day for 25-minute train rides, and activities like storytelling and crafts will keep your family entertained all day!

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Mentioned in this Post