Planes, Trains & Automobiles

March 28, 2017

If you trace the history of transportation in Cumberland County, you also uncover the stories of our earliest settlers, the establishment of our communities, and the formation of our military bases. Fayetteville has been a hub of transportation since the 18th century, as the Cape Fear River connected this area to the rest of the world long before the railroad did. Some of our fascinating transportation history may be discovered as you trek along the Paths, Plank Roads & Planes Trail. Here, we are hitting a few of the trail’s highlights and giving a couple extra suggestions for our visiting railfans, plane spotters, and gearheads.

planes trains automobilesPlanes
Plane spotters relish the chance to view military aircraft up close at the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, on Fort Bragg. The museum boasts a collection of almost every aircraft paratroopers have been jumping out of since World War II—from the WWII-era C-47 to the modern-day C-130. These retired birds are all resting at the Airborne Airpark, on the museum’s seven-acre site.

Extra Tip: Visit the Airborne & Special Operations Museum to see even more retired military aircraft on exhibit and to experience the museum’s unique simulator.

planes trains automobiles Fayetteville NC


Trains
Railfans of all ages enjoy the elaborate train exhibit at the Fascinate-U Children’s Museum. On the first and third Saturday of each month, the Cape Fear Railroaders—a chapter of the National Railway Historical Society—showcase their model train collections on the third floor of the museum.

Extra Tip: Stop by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to check out the depot’s classic architecture and watch the trains pass through downtown.

planes trains automobiles Fayetteville NCAutomobiles
Gearheads feed their passion for automobile history at the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum. Located in the restored Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway Depot, this museum covers all types of transportation, though. They also frequently host drive-ins and car shows, such as the upcoming 50th Anniversary Camaro Car Show & Celebration in May.

Extra Tip: Head out to the Fayetteville Motor Speedway any given weekend, from March through November, to watch street car racing at its best on a quarter-mile track.

Cumberland County plays host to a variety of car races, transportation exhibits, automobile shows, and more throughout the year, and details on those may be found on the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB) Calendar of Events. Additionally, Paths, Plank Roads & Planes is just one of many driving trails offered by the FACVB; discover more on the Cultural Heritage Trails.

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