Fall is just around the corner and there is no better time to grab a ticket on one of the country’s family friendly train trips and enjoy the great Fall weather and seasonal beauty.
First we would like to share the Skunk Train here in our own backyard. Starting at either Fort Bragg in Mendocino, California and through the redwood forests, your choice to stop in the day camp or continue to Willits on the East side of the coastal range.
You’ll often see wild life from the 131 year old train. The line has two tunnels depending on your chosen journey. There are plenty of seasonal themed excursions. skunktrain.com
|1. DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD, Colorado. Sit in the open air gondola for a ride through the Old West and the Colorado Rockies along the Animas River. SIDE TRIP: Take a dip in the Trimble Natural Hot Springs or visit nearby Amimas Forks, a preserved ghost town. durangotrain.com|
|2. WHITE PASS & YUKON ROUTE, Alsaka. Engineers once built tunnels and high trestles to carry prospectors to the Yukon gold fields. Now the narrow-gauge route takes you through spectacular mountain scenery. SIDE TRIP: Get dropped off on a forest trail that ends at a glacier. wpyr.com|
|3. NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN, California. The wine, the food, the scenery! Need we explain why you will love this 36 miles of tracks? Some trips offer special children’s activities. SIDE TRIP: See Castello Di Amorosa, a family friendly winery in a medieval style castle. It is complete with a moat and a dungeon. winetrain.com|
|4. CASS SCENIC RAILROAD STATE PARK, West Virginia. Once used to haul timber from the Appalachian Mountains, this steam train now climbs backwoods switchbacks with views of the Monogahela National Forest. SIDE TRIP: Spend the night in Cass, a former lumber town with restored cottages. cassrailroad.com|
|5. MOUNT WASHINGTON COG RAILWAY, New Hampshire. Hold on to your seats as you head up a steep mountain on the world’s first cog railway, which uses a gear that interlocks with the track. SIDE TRIP: Take a bike ride along the carriage roads at Zealand Trails. the cog.com|
|6. BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILROAD, Georgia. Begin at a 1905 depot in Blue Ridge, then wind 26 miles through a river valley. Your layover will be in the twin towns od McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. Pose for a two state selfie. SIDE TRIP: Rent tubes to float down the Toccoa River. brscenic.com|
|7. NORTH SHORE SCENIC RAILROAD, Minnesota. This Lake Superior line hugs the shore after passing through downtown Duluth. There is a special music and pizza train with live entertainment and a pie for each passenger. SIDE TRIP: Stop and see the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. northshorescenicrailroad.org|
|8. TEXAS STATE RAILROAD. Steam locomotives run through the Piney Woods of East Texas between two historic depots. Seasonal themed trips include a teddy bear ride the first Friday in August and a pumpkin patch express in October. SIDE TRIP: See wildlife from your car at the Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari. texasstaterr.com|
|9. STRASBURG RAILROAD, Pennsylvania. Americas oldest continuously running railroad puffs through bucolic Pennsylvania Dutch country. Take the Pinball Pendolino train and play a vintage machine on board. SIDE TRIP: Create your own ice cream flavor at the Turkey Hill Experience. strasburgrailroad.com|
|10. GRAND CANYON RAILWAY, Arizona. The 65 mile trip leaves from Williams, AZ. It includes strolling muscians, and ends steps away from the South Rim. SIDE TRIP: Extend you stay with a layover and spend more time enjoying the canyon. thetrain.com|