10 Best Fall Foliage Train Rides That Are the Perfect Seasonal Family Activity

10 Best Fall Foliage Train Rides That Are the Perfect Seasonal Family Activity

Country Living | Arricca Sansone and Blair Donovan, August 29, 2019

Looking for a low-key way to enjoy the vivid shades of autumn and get primo leaf-peeping views this year? Instead of taking a neighborhood stroll or a drive down an open country road, consider alternate transportation for getting even more head-on with the color-changing nature—specifically, a fall foliage train ride. It’s a stress-free, family-friendly experience that allows you to focus on Mother Nature’s colors, rather than fidgeting with your GPS. Adults and kids alike will love this major fall bucket list activity that’s as relaxing as it is easy to actually do. From coast to coast, you’ll find steam engine routes that speed through scenic mountain ranges, alongside rivers, and even not far above some wild animals, all for your leisurely viewing pleasure. Some trains offer box lunches and snacks or catered fine dining, while others let you bring your own food. There’s often historical commentary by guides on the vintage train routes, and some excursions stop for layovers in small towns where you can shop or grab a bite. A few things to remember: Reservations fill up fast, especially for peak leaf-scouting season. Typically, cars are assigned but seats are not, so arrive early. And some cars are open-air, so dress accordingly. Here are some of our favorite scenic train rides to view fall’s glorious colors across the country.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad | Peninsula, OH

Trains began operating in the valley in 1880, transporting coal to Cleveland, Akron and Canton from the Tuscarawas River Valley. Nowadays, you can travel through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad‘s new two-hour Fall Flyer excursion. Or book a trip featuring breakfast, lunch or dinner in the dining car. Another popular activity is to ride your bike one way along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, then take the train back. Special events include wine and beer tasting rides, paint and sip excursions, and kids’ costumed Halloween trains. There’s also ADA seating. Fares start from $20.

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Katie Brewer

Katie Brewer