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USA 10 Top Fall Foliage Trains

3  Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City,,North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad rolls through the brilliant Fall colors of Eastern North Carolina's Smoky Mountains. Photo: © Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, North Carolina

Thanks to its high elevations, the Smokies experience a pageant of Autumn foliage usually found only farther north. Colors are in brilliant array as the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad's half-day excursion to Nantahala Gorge unfolds. Tracing the Little Tennessee and Nantahala rivers and crossing Fontana Lake, spectacular Appalachian panoramas form a stunning backdrop.

The excursion's timetable makes time for lunch or exploring the Gorge with a one-hour layover. Open-air gondolas are a must for anyone able to shrug off Autumn's nip. A shorter Tuckasegee River round trip to Dillsboro is also a hit.

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