Tucked into the charming mountain village of Blue Ridge, Georgia in the lush Chattahoochee National Forest, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is here to take you on the trip of a lifetime. The area is known as the “antique capital” of Georgia with friendly folks and an old time atmosphere.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Our regular 4 hour, 26 mile round trip winds along the beautiful Toccoa River for one hour in vintage climate controlled or open air railcars.

The relaxing ride starts at the historic depot, built in 1905 in downtown Blue Ridge, then stops for a layover in the quaint sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee.

Copperhill/McCaysville is one town with two names because it is split by the GA/TN State Line, where visitors have a two hour layover (except 1.5 hours on Sunday); plenty of time to eat lunch, shop for unique crafts and antiques, snack on ice cream, or walk across the old bridge in town to view the river. Then, reboard the train for the one hour return trip.

Riding the Railroad

We love a good train ride and The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway qualifies as one of the best. Although the engines are diesel (steam was never used on this portion of the track), it doesn’t detract from the ride, which follows existing track along the Toccoa River from Blue Ridge, Georgia through the McCaysville Basin to the city of the same name.

Blue Ridge is a small town in north-central Georgia that, until 1998, was most famous for its growing antique shopping area. Then a group of north Georgia residents decided to resurrect the railroad. Using an all volunteer work force, and trains brought or leased from such well-known places as the Southeastern Railway Museum, Duluth, Georgia, and the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway opened a ticket office in the restored Blue Ridge depot in June, 1998.

An immediate success, the train carried more than 17,000 passengers during the first year of operation. Supported by the local businessmen and government, the train has dramatically increased business in the downtown areas of both Blue Ridge and McCaysville. The Historic High Country Travel Association considers it one of four “must see” attractions in the northwest corner of the state.

Riding the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

Train schedules vary depending on the day and time of season. We rode the train on a Saturday in early September and it was beautiful. A light fog covered the mountains on the trip to McCaysville, occasionally opening for a dramatic view of the nearby Toccoa River. During the trip highlights are pointed out over a speaker system that runs through all the cars. The open car’s conductor enhanced the presentation with his own enjoyable narrative. You’ll see the “Two Sisters,” gardeners who gladly wave at the train as it passes, or the old mule who awaits his carrot as the train passes. In McCaysville, the train comes to a stop at the depot and you get 45 minutes to visit the town on the Tennessee border. Local ladies were selling snacks by the depot, and all the great local shops were open. While it is possible to eat during this break we would recommend against it. By the time we got our food we were rushed to make it back to the train on time.

There are many photographic opportunites, and some interesting shops in the area of the train depot.

 Blue Ridge, Georgia is home to some of the best antique shops in the state and is a gateway city to the North Georgia Mountains. Its central location, plentiful accommodations and reputation for abundant outdoor recreation activities make it a great place to spend a few days or a lifetime!

Lots to do at – http://www.vacation-home-rentalcabin.com/vacation-home-accommodations.html

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