Scenic train rides in Georgia include the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and the SAM Shoreline Excursion Train. The Stone Mountain Railroad winds around the woods and lakes of Stone Mountain Park, which is right outside of Atlanta and is a popular setting for hiking, boating and exploring Civil War monuments. Every Christmas, the train features in the Stone Mountain Christmas celebration, and its narrated 40-minute journey becomes a sing-a-long.
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway originates in Blue Ridge and travels to McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Passengers may get off the train at these twin border towns and do some shopping or exploring before heading back to Blue Ridge. The train follows the Toccoa River as it winds through the mountains on its four-hour round trip. Special train rides include the October Leaf Excursions and the Santa Express trips from mid-November to mid-December. No trains run in January or February.
The SAM Shortline operates out of Cordele, Georgia, and winds its way to Plains, Georgia, the hometown of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. This train stops at the towns of Leslie and Americus and at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park. Its route is very similar to that of the old Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railroad, which is the source of its name.