Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Photo by Jerry Mucklow

6 Ways to See Georgia by Train this Fall

This fall, take a break from driving and hop aboard one of Georgia's scenic train rides to take in the brilliant foliage. Feel the power of a locomotive chugging down the track as a cool breeze refreshes your spirit. Here are the best ways to see Georgia's fall foliage in all its splendor via rail.

1. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

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. If you choose the Premier Class (seating for ages 18+), you can relax in reclining seats while you enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and a substantial catered snack (small meal) along with some sweet treats on the return trip. There is a two-hour layover in McCaysville, on the Georgia state line, where you can shop and eat lunch.

Okefenokee Swamp Park Train in Waycross, Georgia. Photo by @tolgy75

Okefenokee Swamp Park Train in Waycross, Georgia. Photo by @tolgy75

2. Okefenokee Swamp Park

Discover South Georgia’s autumn scenery via the Okefenokee Swamp Park Railroad. The Swamp Park train, named the "Lady Suwannee," leaves the station in Waycross and takes riders on a 1.5-mile journey through the swamp, complete with a stop at history-rich Pioneer Island, a re-creation of an early swamp homestead.

Pine Mountain Gold Museum and Scenic Railroad

Pine Mountain Gold Museum and Scenic Railroad in Villa Rica, Georgia

3. Pine Mountain Gold Museum & Scenic Railroad

Kids of all ages will enjoy a scenic trek around the mountain on the Pine Mountain Gold Museum's Golden Nugget engine. The C.P. Huntington Engine #310 travels around the base of Pine Mountain, passing through the ruins of the old mining station and a farm. The train can carry 28 passengers at a time. After your ride, learn about the 1826 gold rush in West Georgia, pan for gold and gemstones, see the farm animal exhibit and explore miles of trails within the 27-acre park in Villa Rica.

SAM Shortline Railroad in Plains, Georgia

SAM Shortline Railroad in Plains, Georgia

4. SAM Shortline Railroad

Riding in air-conditioned, 1949 vintage cars, you'll enjoy a mix of romantic yesteryear with the excitement of today's South. Choose from a variety of seating options, including Deluxe with table seating, Premium with lounge-style seating, and Chairman's, which features a private chef cooking and serving lunch. The Historic SAM Shortline Railroad stops in Cordele, Americus and Plains, small towns filled with fun attractions, restaurants and shopping.

Georgia Coastal Railway in Kingsland, Georgia

Georgia Coastal Railway in Kingsland, Georgia

5. Georgia Coastal Railway

Located just three miles from the Georgia-Florida border, the Georgia Coastal Railway is a privately owned shortline railroad with a fleet of engines, open-air cars and historic coaches offering scenic rides and themed excursions, such as The Wild West Train, The Wine Tasting Special, a Comedy Train and more. Gather the kids for a family-friendly Halloween-themed ride, or check out the Survivor Train, a zombie-themed ride (not recommended for children) with live-action audience participation. Afterward, explore downtown Kingsland's shops and restaurants.

Train at Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park train in Stone Mountain, Georgia

6. Stone Mountain Park

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 Attractions Ticket purchase, as is mini golf. Your sub-one-hour journey will take you through the wooded areas of the park.

Published: April 2024
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