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Fall Foliage Viewing from Road, Water and Train

October 15, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The changing leaves are turning the mountains of east Tennessee into a mosaic of reds, yellows and oranges and the temperature is cooling down creating the perfect setting for a weekend getaway.

Secret City Scenic Excursion Train

Secret City Scenic Excursion Train

Anderson County has everything you need for such a getaway; great things to do, bed and breakfasts and cabins, plenty of local flair, and you can see the fall colors by land, by train and by water.

Tennessee back roads are famous. Even songs have been written about them. The reason? They offer endless entertainment through history and culture.

“On our byways, you will find historical landmarks and attractions that feature the heritage of East Tennessee,” said Stephanie Wells, Director of Tourism for Anderson County. “You will find a mix of natural and man-made wonders along with unique shops, local restaurants and plenty of places to stay a night or two.”

There are several themed trails that lead in and out of Anderson County such as the White Lightening Trail, the Top Secret Trail and the Devil’s Triangle.

The White Lightning Trail is peppered with moonshine exhibits, Victorian Homes, Civil War sites, scenic overlooks, famous factories and post-prohibition stock car speedways. There’s something worth seeing at every turn of the White Lightning Trail.

The Top Secret Trail features hidden secrets among the scenic wilds of the Upper Cumberland Plateau. Immerse yourself in civil war history with tours of historic homes and a fort. Then discover the World War II Secret City of Oak Ridge and then onto a utopian community. Conclude your journey with a scenic adventure by paddling among breathtaking sandstone bluffs at Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.

Whether you are on the back of a motorcycle or behind the steering wheel, you will find many scenic byways to explore in east Tennessee.

On the water is great way to view the fall colors because the colors reflect off the water. Norris Dam State Park will be hosting Fall Color Cruises on Norris Lake from October 14, 2013 to October 27, 2013.

There will be four pontoon boat trips per day where park rangers will narrate your trip with tree identification and park history. The daily trips will depart at 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm each day. The cost is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under six. Trips will be canceled for inclement weather. Reservations can be made by calling the park office at 865-426-7461.

Visitors to Anderson County can also view the fall colors from a restored vintage passenger train car. The Southern Appalachia Railway Museum (SARM) offers narrated one-hour excursion trips during the month of October that depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices are $19 for adults and $15 for children ages three through twelve. Children under three may sit on an adult’s lap and ride for free.

Popcorn and refreshments, as well as railroad souvenirs will be for sale on the train. A short narrative will be given describing the historic Manhattan project and the railroad that served it.

Special Spooktacular Halloween train rides will be offered during the last weekend in October; Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th. The train will be decorated in Halloween décor and free treats will be handed out to the children. Please feel free to arrive dressed in your favorite Halloween costumes.

Reservations are suggested during the month of October and can be made by calling the museum at 865-241-2140 any day including weekends between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

For more information on these events, places to stay and other things to do, call the Anderson County Tourism Council at 800-524-3602 or visit

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