ASHEVILLE — NC Outings, a lesbian social group, is planning an adventurous excursion to Bryson City on July 12 to ride on the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad and then raft down the Nantahala River afterwards.

Participants should arrive at the depot at 8 a.m. in Bryson City. Return time is about 4 p.m. A catered picnic meal is included along with a place to shower after the raft part to the trip and transportation back to the depot. The rafts hold about four-six people. The most difficult rapids are Class 3.

The Sleep Inn is close to the depot. Rooms are approximately $91, the ride tickets are $89 each person or $84 if there is a group 20 or more.

This is not a Tweetsie experience. The train itself and the beautiful countryside and river are the main attractions.

For those who are interested in attending, a dry change of clothing is recommended for post-rafting.
For more information, email

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.