Things to Do near Highland Lake – Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Lost in the grind of daily routine most of us yearn for a break from the hectic work schedule. Highland lake, situated in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountains offers the perfect getaway from the din and bustle of city life.

Passenger traffic in railways has steadily declined in the United States with the advent of modern and affordable means of transport in the twentieth century. Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is an excellent opportunity to traverse through the Smoky Mountains that is a part of the Appalachian mountain range.

The great smoky mountain railroad passes through western part of North Carolina and helps passengers take a peek in to the glorious past of this region. There are various travel agencies that offer excellent packages including food, travel and hotel stay.

Located in Flat Rock, North Carolina Highland Lake is thirty minutes drive from Ashville. It is set amidst the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains close to a beautiful lake. It has various types of accommodation like shared rooms, cabin rooms, lodge rooms and suites catering to different customers with varying budgets and tastes.

There are a variety of activities that you can indulge in to rejuvenate yourself. You can go trekking through the mountains, rafting on the river, swim, enjoy a boat ride or play golf. You can go fishing and equipment is available on hire. Campfires are set in the evenings with storytelling sessions to provide complete relaxation.

You can go on nature trails into the nearby fields and forests. The amazing diversity of flora and fauna in the area will leave you awestruck. You have to come prepared with the suitable dress, shoes and other equipment like a camera to capture the various sights and experiences that promise to be an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The railroad journey allows you to enjoy the scenic beauty of an area that was formed due to tectonic movements and geological events that took place thousands of years ago. You can view the Blue Ridge parkway that connects two of the nation’s biggest national parks – Shenandoah national park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains national park in North Carolina. 2010 is the seventy fifth anniversary of this highway.

The railroad journey starts from Bryson city in North Carolina. Convicts were used to lay the great smoky mountain railroad in the early nineteenth century. The laying of this railroad was itself a mighty engineering marvel in those times. Diesel and steam rail engines remind one of the romance and mystique of an era gone by.

While traveling on the railroad you should include a visit to the Cherokee Indian reservation in Swain County, NC. The reservation has a Cherokee museum, recreated traditional Cherokee Indian village, casino and shops that sell crafts and costumes of the Cherokee Indians. You can watch the famed Cherokee outdoor drama “unto these hills”.

Highland lake, nestled amidst the splendor of nature offers the visitor complete relaxation and access to all modern amenities like wi-fi, fax, air-conditioned rooms, business center, coffee shops, restaurants, tennis court and golf course.