Learn more about Hiwassee Loop Train Ride.
Discover the Thrilling Hiwassee Loop Train Ride in Delano, Tennessee
A Scenic Adventure Awaits You
Embark on an unforgettable journey through the picturesque landscapes of Delano, Tennessee. The Hiwassee Loop Train Ride is a must-visit attraction for train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Hiwassee River Gorge, cross the historic Bald Mountain Loop, and immerse yourself in the rich history of the region.
Enjoy a 50-mile roundtrip through the beautiful lower Hiwassee River gorge. This 5-hour round trip takes you to the top of the famous Hiwassee Loop, where the tracks cross over themselves as they corkscrew up the mountain near Farner, Tennessee. There are only 6 of these loops in North America and this is the only one ever East of the Mississippi River. There is no layover on this excursion so you will be on the train for the duration of the trip.
The railroad over which Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum trains travel on its Hiwassee River Rail Adventures was formerly part of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad’s Atlanta Division stretching between Etowah, Tennessee, and Marietta, Georgia.
Hiwassee Loop trips are on Fridays and Sundays. Copperhill Special trips are on Saturdays.
NOTE: Pricing varies for Fall Premium dates (October – first two weeks of November)
6/25/2023, 6/30/2023, 7/2/2023, 7/3/2023, 7/7/2023, 7/9/2023, 7/14/2023, 7/16/2023, 7/21/2023, 7/23/2023, 7/28/2023, 7/30/2023, 8/6/2023, 8/13/2023, 8/20/2023, 8/27/2023, 9/1/2023, 9/3/2023, 9/8/2023, 9/10/2023, 9/15/2023, 9/17/2023, 9/22/2023, 9/24/2023, 9/29/2023, 10/1/2023, 10/8/2023, 10/15/2023, 10/22/2023, 10/29/2023, 11/5/2023, 11/12/2023, 11/19/2023, 11/26/2023
- Adult coach seating: $48
- Child coach seating: $34
- Dome seating (all ages): $93
- Observation seating (all ages): $78
NOTE: Ticket prices may differ for Fall Premium dates (October to the first two weeks of November).
Hiwassee Loop History
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's Hiwassee River Rail Adventures take place on a stretch of railroad that was once part of the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad's Atlanta Division, running between Etowah, TN and Marietta, Georgia.
When the line was first built in 1890, it featured a series of switchbacks in the tracks to navigate the mountainous terrain. However, these proved to be inefficient, and the railroad soon sought a better solution. The decision was made to loop the tracks around Bald Mountain, creating one of only three points in the United States where railroad tracks loop over themselves to gain elevation in limited space, this loop was completed in 1898. This loop, coupled with a double “S” curve near Jasper, GA, earned the old line the nickname of the Hook and Eye Line.
In the early 1900s, the L&N obtained a new, more efficient right-of-way that bypassed the Hook and Eye Line. The Hook and Eye Line became the old line, but it was still used for mining operations in Copperhill, TN. When the mining business ceased in 2001, the railroad (now CSX Transportation) abandoned that portion of the tracks. In 2002, the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association, a nonprofit organization, purchased the tracks for preservation, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum became the sole operator of historic passenger trains on the old Hook and Eye Line.
Passengers can enjoy views of the Hiwassee River, waterfalls, wildlife, mountains, and the ruins of historic settlements during the trip.
About Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum:
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a railway museum located in Chattanooga and Delano, Tennessee. It was established in 1961 to preserve and operate historic railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of future generations. The museum features a variety of vintage trains and railcars, including steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars. Visitors can experience the history of rail travel through excursions, exhibits, and hands-on activities. The museum operates on a historic rail line, offering scenic rides through the Hiwassee Loop and providing a unique perspective on the region's history and culture. With its rich heritage, educational programs, and engaging events, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-visit destination for railway enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
We had such a wonderful time riding the Hiwassee Loop, the crew was so personal and engaging and made the trip so informative and enjoyable. I highly recommend taking this trip or any trip the TVR offers, you won’t be disappointed! James B - Google Review
We road on the Hiwassee loop train out of Delano. It was a great experience. The volunteers and staff are all very pleasant and knowledgeable. The trip back with the banjo playing and singing was the cherry on top of a perfect day...... We didn't get to the museum in Chattanooga yet but we hope we can soon .....thank you and keep up the great work of preserving history. David C - Google Review
What a wonderful experience. We wanted to see the changing of the leaves and we were not disappointed. The scenery was like traveling through a Monet painting. The train trip was quite an adventure. We spotted a bald eagle that flew along beside the train for a short distance. The commentator was excellent. We heard all the history about the area and the building of the train tracks. Most of us brought picnic lunches since the trip was 5 1/2 hours long, round trip, non stop. The commissary car did sell limited food items and souvenirs. We had some musical entertainment about half way through the trip which was fun. I recommend this trip regardless of the time of year. The train company offers a variety of excursions with different themes, times and travel lengths. Put this one on your Bucket List for sure. Frances M - TripAdvisor
Did you know that when you purchase a ticket with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, you are helping to preserve the history of railroads?
As a non-profit organization, it takes a lot of resources to restore and maintain our vintage trains and equipment. In fact, it can cost up to $1.5 million to completely rebuild a steam engine, which must be done every 15 years or sooner. Your support helps us to continue to share this important piece of history with the community. So not only are you enjoying a unique and memorable experience, you are also contributing to the preservation of railroad history.
Additional activities to explore in Delano, TN
Bald River Falls: Located just a short drive from Delano, Bald River Falls is a 100-foot waterfall that is a popular spot for hiking, fishing, and photography.
Ocoee River: If you're looking for an adventure, head to the Ocoee River for whitewater rafting, kayaking, or canoeing. The Ocoee River has been named one of the top ten whitewater rivers in the country.
Cherokee National Forest: The Cherokee National Forest offers over 600 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding, as well as opportunities for fishing, camping, and picnicking.
The Ducktown Basin Museum: Learn about the history of copper mining in the area at the Ducktown Basin Museum. Exhibits include artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.
Apple Valley Orchard: Enjoy picking your own apples and pumpkins, as well as hayrides, corn mazes, and other fall activities at Apple Valley Orchard.
Delano Community Farmers Market: If you're in town during the summer months, be sure to check out the Delano Community Farmers Market. You'll find locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and other goods.
Sweetwater Valley Farm: Visit this family-owned dairy farm for a tour of the milking parlor, cheese-making facility, and cheese aging cave. Sample some of their delicious cheeses and other products in the farm store.