Fall Leaf Peeping by Rail

The leaves haven’t started to change in Columbus, Ohio– yet, but they will–soon. This morning the air was crisp and cool. Yep, leaf changing conditions are here, and I expect edges of red will appear in a couple of weeks until eventually there will be bursts of color everywhere. If you are interested in optimum leaf peeping, plan a bit a head. Instead of taking a driving trip for fall splendor viewing, consider taking a train. There are several that pass through gorgeous scenery in various parts of the U.S.

Each of these trains I’ve listed specifically mention fall foliage. I’ve picked these because I’ve been to the areas where they are located– not necessarily in the fall, but they are places I’ve enjoyed and recommend. Here is a link to an article that lists oodles more–some I’ve also been to, and others I have not. Who would have thought there is such a bounty of scenic railroads? (The photo is from the Catskill Railroad Web site.)

The Maine Eastern Railroad goes from Brunswick and Rockland along the coast. This means foliage paired with seaside villages and the trimmings that go with fishing boats, and barnacle covered rocks that edge tide pools.

The Fall Foliage Trains in New Hampshire have five options that range from one hour to several. There are several train routes. One involves dinner.

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat in Connecticut meanders along the Connecticut River and through quaint towns. After the train you can join up with a trip on a riverboat.

The Berkshire Scenic Railroad in Massachusetts has a specific Fall Foliage Tour, and also has a museum.

In New York, the Catskill Mountain Railroad runs a Leaf Peeper Special. This is a simply gorgeous part of the state.

In Maryland, the Walkersville Southern Railroad has fall foliage tours every weekend in October. This train has vintage cars that date to the 1920s. You can also opt to ride on a flatbed car.

Bluegrass Scenic Railroad & Museum in Versailles, Kentucky has fall foliage tours in October. I have quite the fondness for this part of Kentucky.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s foliage tours in North Carolina are in October. This caught my attention. There’s an Oktoberfest Beer train on October 6.

Here’s one I have been on. The Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone, Iowa is run by the Iowa Railroad Historic Society. The first weekend in October is the Pumpkin Patch Train where going to a pumpkin patch is part of the ride.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad not far from Cleveland, Ohio is one I’ve always wanted to take. I’ve written about it several times, but by the time it’s the fall foliage season, I forget to make reservations and put it on my list of things to do next year.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad that runs between Durango and Silverton, Colorado is a gem. I’ve been on it and the scenery during any season is grand.