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Departures from Etowah

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Hiwassee River Rail Adventure service is in addition to Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s many excursions and special events offered from Etowah, Tennessee. View the Hiwassee Route Map.

  1. Hiwassee River Rail Route Details
  2. Train Trips
    1. Hiwassee Loop Trip
    2. Copperhill Special Trip
  3. Special Train Trips
    1. Hiwassee Holiday Train Ride
  4. History of our Equipment

Hiwassee River Rail Route Details

Ride with us on the historic Hiwassee River Rail Adventure scenic rail excursion through the unspoiled Cherokee National Forest, along with beautiful and scenic Hiwassee River, and through the secluded Hiwassee River Gorge. All trips include riding around an engineering marvel: The Great Hiwassee Loop. At the top, you'll be passing over a bridge 62 feet above the tracks on which you've just traveled, as the rails negotiate a spiraling formation.

The Loop track has been known by many names, Great Hiwassee Loop and Bald Mountain Loop to name a few, but you'll call it amazing! All trips begin at the restored L&N Depot & Museum in Etowah, Tennessee. Passengers take a short shuttle ride to the train boarding location before transferring to the train. Once on board, the trip begins with a ride along the river until crossing in Reliance. Thus begins the circuitous route nestled between hillsides and the scenic river.

In warm weather, you’ll enjoy waving at recreationists riding in canoes, kayaks, rafts, and tubes as they drift with the current. When autumn arrives, the forest bursts forth in orange, yellow, and red hues. To round out the seasons, as the leaves fall from trees, the scenic vistas are opened up allowing views of the surrounding country as well as a glimpse of Apalachia Dam which is situated just across the North Carolina border.

For those riders choosing a trip to Copperhill, the route continues beyond Farner, through Turtletown and Ducktown to the border towns of Copperhill, Tennessee and McCaysville, Georgia. Aboard the Hiwassee River Rail Adventure, you’ll enjoy traveling on one of the Southeast’s most scenic railroads. To learn more about the history of Hiwassee click here.

Special rates available for groups of 25 or more, and charter trips can be arranged for groups of 80 or more. Please contact the TVRM office at 423.894.8028 ext. 1017 or complete our Group Information Form for more information on trips, dates, pricing, and routes.

Be sure to check out the Premium seating options featuring high-level dome viewing!

NOTE: Two trips available (Loop or Copperhill) and vary by date - please see the schedule.

Hiwassee Loop

Enjoy a 50-mile round trip up the beautiful lower Hiwassee River gorge.

This 4-hour trip will take you to the top of the famous "Hiwassee Loop" where the tracks cross over themselves as they corkscrew up the mountain near Farner, Tennessee.

For more information about Hiwassee Loop train trips

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Copperhill Special

Take an extended day-trip excursion through the lower Hiwassee River Gorge, over the Hiwassee Loop, and on to the joint cities of Copperhill, TN, and McCaysville, GA. Total 94 miles roundtrip.

For more information about Copperhill Specialtrain trips


Special Train Trips

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is home to numerous special events including:


Santa's Hiwassee Holiday Train

This is the second year for Santa's Hiwassee Holiday Train with departures from Etowah, TN. Tickets include light refreshments and a keepsake souvenir for each passenger. The ride will travel approximately 15 miles and last for 75 minutes.

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