If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the many shades of autumn, it might be time to buy a train ticket. A trip via train is an amazing family-friendly way that allows you to step away from driving while still checking out all the beautiful fall colors. Plan ahead and pack a picnic, or select a train that offers box lunches and snacks. Remember when booking your trip, if you’re planning to leaf-peep, be sure to get your tickets soon and arrive early.
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Antonito, CO & Chama, NM
Take a trip on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, a National Historic Landmark coal-fired steam engine. This 64-mile railway crisscrosses the Colorado-New Mexico border, taking you from elevations of 7,863 – 10,015 feet. The trail features historical buildings and an 800-foot deep gorge. There is even an open gondola car that is ideal for spotting deer, elk, and bears along the route. Fares start from $80.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Blue Ridge, GA
Take this 26-mile round trip along the Toccoa River through the Chattahoochee National Forest. On the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, you’ll stop for a layover on the Georgia-Tennessee border in the neighboring towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee, where you can go antiquing or grab lunch. Fares start from $54.
Essex Steam Train
Check out the scenery in the Connecticut River Valley on this authentic steam engine. Featuring a dinner train excursion and special outings with chocolate and wine, beer and brats, whiskey and cigars, this train is not to be missed. You can also opt-in for a full-day sightseeing stops in the villages of Haddam and East Haddam. Fares start from $19.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Travel through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s two-hour Fall Flyer excursion. Book this trip with an add-on of breakfast, lunch or dinner in the dining car. Another amazing way to experience this area is to pedal your way the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail by bike, then relax as you take the train back. Fares start from $20.
Green Mountain Railroad
Last but not least, the vibrant colors on the rolling hills and mountains of rural Vermont. Enjoy a two-hour roundtrip scenic ride on the Green Mountain Railroad, or book a four-course fine dining experience on the dinner train. There’s also a trip to Okemo Mountain Resort, where you can lunch or stay overnight and then take the train back the next day. Fares start from $25.