Information on:

Western and Atlantic Railroad Tunnel

215 Clisby Austin Road

The Heritage Center Museum is your starting place when visiting the Tunnel Hill Heritage Park.

- Learn of the Clisby Austin family who settled the area
- Discover the steps to restoring one of the South's oldest railroad tunnels
- See how the American Civil War left its mark in Tunnel Hill following the Battle of Chickamauga and the planning of the Atlanta Campaign
- Remininsce on the glory days of the chenille bedspread industry and the Dixie Highway's nickname of "Peacock Alley"

Historic Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel

Construction began on the tunnel in 1848, during which the city of Tunnel Hill sprung up from people moving here to supply accommodations to the railway workers. The tunnel, which spans 1,477 feet, was dug through the base of Chetoogeta Mountain.

On May 9, 1850, the first Western and Atlantic train passed through the mountain tunnel and the new town of Atlanta became one of the railway’'s major hubs.
The tunnel became part of several historical events during the Civil War, before heavy railroad traffic and larger train cars getting stuck in the tunnel led to the building of a larger parallel tunnel, ending the use of the tunnel in 1928.

Clisby Austin House

Built in 1848 by the house's namesake, the Clisby Austin house is a prime example of the antebellum style of housing.  It has experienced several interesting events since its construction, primarily during the Civil War.

The house served as a  hospital during the battle of Chickamauga.  It was here that Confederate General John Hood was sent to recuperate after the amputation of his leg, which accompanied him along his journey (so it could be buried with him in case he died).  The leg is buried near the house.  The house also served as headquarters to William Sherman during the Battle of Dalton and it has been said that Sherman planned the final legs of the Atlanta Campaign here.


Madan Nagaraju

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Very much historic & well maintained heritage site. We had a great time, they have two tours to choose from or a combination of both - 1. Visitor center with musem 2. Clisby house, hospital, general store which has post office & everything you needed during those days and the Western Atlantic rail road tunnel built during 1700s. There is also the current rail road tunnel which is still active today built in 1928. The old tunnel is around 1500ft long & is well lit and maintained. Lady who took us through the tour was Amazing! She was so much into history & very keen to share a lot of information about the Clisby family who owned the land & some of the civil war history. Overall a good historic place to visit, you might spend close to 2 hours for both the tours.

Steven Sorensen

Monday, May 28, 2018
This place is a really awesome hidden jem in North Georgia that is definitely worth the visit. Make sure you get the guided tour to find out how the tunnel was built and some really interesting things to look out for while you are in there! Our whole group loved it!!!

Steve Capps

Tuesday, July 24, 2018
A interesting place to visit. A knowledgeable guide takes you on a short tour and tells you the history of the area and answers any questions you might have.

Sarah Callahan

Sunday, March 11, 2018
We toured the exhibits in the main house, paid for our tour, and then we were told that one of the carts may or may not be running. We waited an hour and a half and ended up leaving because the volunteer staff didn't seem to know when a guide would return to take the next group to the tunnel. Upon leaving no one offered an apology, no refund, not even a voucher so that we could go on the tour at a later date. I have only heard good things about this place in the past and hope my experience was an anomaly.

Heather H

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Very interesting historical site. The tour guide was very informative.

Western and Atlantic Railroad Tunnel is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media