If you’ve considered visiting Blue Ridge, Georgia, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. This attraction is always on the lists of top destinations in the North Georgia Mountains — and for good reason, too.
With family-friendly activities, beautiful scenery, and pit stops in some of the quaintest areas of North Georgia, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway offers something for everybody. Here’s everything you need to know about this popular attraction.
When and where to find the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
The ride starts in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia, at the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway historic depot. As for when to catch it, the railway departs at 11:00 am during March, April, and May weekends as well as every day between the beginning of June and mid-August. In the fall, you can catch an 11:00 am ride during September weekends and either a 10:00 am or 3:00 pm ride on most October and November weekends. The railway also offers 1-hour holiday rides at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm during the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s recommended that riders show up at least 30 minutes before departure.
Apart from the holiday rides, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a 4-hour trip that covers 26 miles. Beginning in downtown Blue Ridge, the ride goes through the Chattahoochee National Forest and stops for a 2-hour layover in McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. This layover allows visitors to stop for lunch, shop the many local antique stores, walk around the quaint towns, and even visit the model railroad layout.
After the layover, riders re-board the train for the 1-hour long return trip, which winds along the Toccoa River and through some of the best sights the North Georgia Mountains has to offer.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway pricing (and discounts!)
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway offers a wide variety of prices depending on when you depart and which class you choose. Standard ticket prices (which includes most 4-hour rides throughout the year) are as follows:
- Adults (age 13-64): $44 for standard seating / $79 for premier seating
- Seniors (age 65+): $40 for standard seating / $75 for premier seating
- Military & first responders: $38 for standard seating / $71 for premier seating
- Children (ages 2-12): $29
- Children (ages 0-23 months): Free (ticket still required)
The railway offers discounts to military and first responder personnel for all regular trips. To obtain the discount, you need to bring your military ID card, veterans driver’s license, a copy of DD 214, or a valid work ID.
Riders can also obtain discounts in the form of season passes, which exclude special holiday trips and chartered trips. Season pass prices are as follows:
- Adults (age 13-64): $157 for standard season pass / $282 for premier season pass
- Seniors (age 65+): $104 for standard season pass / $268 for premier season pass
- Military & first responders: $136 for standard season pass / $253 for premier season pass
- Children (age 2-12): $104 for season pass
You can also purchase group tickets and receive a 15% discount if the group has 15 or more people. You’ll either pay the full group price upon making the reservation or make a $100 deposit and pay the full amount 7 days before the trip.
Special events on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
One reason so many people love this attraction is the fact that it offers special events throughout the year. In the spring, you can take part in the Easter Eggspress, which is a 1-hour trip that includes a trip to Farmer Brown’s field for Easter egg hunting.
In late June, the railway offers the Firecracker Special, a 4-hour trip that includes a fireworks display from the Copper Basin. Fall is a popular time for the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway as it offers views of the fall foliage and, in late October, the Pumpkin Express trip offers a trip to pick a souvenir pumpkin from Farmer Brown’s field.
Finally, the Santa Express offers 1-hour rides between Thanksgiving and includes a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” singing Christmas carols, and visiting Santa. Each child on the trip receives a special memento, a Christmas activity book, and a candy cane.
Where to find more information
Information such as employment opportunities and how to notify the office about special arrangements (such as wheelchairs, walkers, and oxygen) can be viewed on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway website. You can also visit this page to get more info on each ride offered and to purchase tickets.
Whether you’re visiting the North Georgia Mountains to take a ride on the railway or you’re coming to explore all that North Georgia has to offer, we hope that you enjoy your stay and have a great time!