You don’t have to lace up the hiking boots to enjoy the fall colors. Climb aboard a 100-year-old steam engine for an adventure the whole family can enjoy. Sit back, relax and enjoy the rollicking of the railroad as it steams up a mountain or chugs across a bridge. Fans of Thomas the Train and The Little Engine That Could will love peeping the fall colors as they shout “choo choo” to the clickety clack of the track. Read on for the best scenic train rides near the DMV.
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Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad
You can choose your family adventure on these turn-of-the-century locomotives. Plan a mid-day, 2.5-hour ride or an all-day excursion. Chug up to West Virginia’s third highest point for an epic view. Some trains offer lunch, dinner or concessions, and all the routes have gorgeous trees rolling by your Littles’ window seat. The trains stop at scenic sites where your little passengers can stretch their legs and enjoy the foliage up close.
RR 315 Railroad Ave.
Strasburg Rail Road
America’s oldest operating railroad is a “must ride” this fall season. Your kiddos won’t find a replica or reenactor in sight. This is the real deal. Take a 45-minute, round trip ride through the changing leaves of the beautiful Amish countryside. The best part? Your ticket purchase keeps the trains running year-after-year. Splurge on a First-Class ticket to ride in style in the Premium Car.
301 Gap Rd.
Walkersville Southern Railroad
Hop in the 1920s passenger car or an open flatcar for a picturesque ride through Maryland farm country. The 70-minute ride is filled with beautiful fall colors and a ton of history. Your future conductor will love passing over the Monocacy River and peeping the leaves on the Catoctin Mountains. The station – where you buy your tickets – was built in the late 1800s. The train whistle blows rain or shine.
Insider tip: Be sure to stop by the Port-a-potty across the street before you board. There aren’t any bathrooms on the train.
34 West Pennsylvania Ave.
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Who wants stunning views of the leaves, a cozy train experience and family pizza night? Yes, please! The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has all of this and more. Share a large pizza on the way, hop off at MountainView for a campfire and family games and be back at the station by 9 p.m. (just in time for bedtime). Don’t forget to snap that perfect fall photo as the train glides across the iron truss bridge.
13 Canal St.
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad
Board for the leaves and ride along for the bald eagles. Your kiddo will love it as the train enters a beautiful gorge known as the Trough. This stop is home to the American bald eagle and all the gorgeous fall foliage. The eagles are known to be more active in rainy and overcast weather. Get a reservation for this perfect rainy-day activity.
149 Eagle Dr.
Celebrate the 150th anniversary season in The Secret Valley of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Grab a ticket for the Pumpkin Patch excursion and your little pumpkin can experience all the fall fun. Soak up the autumn beauty and take home a sunny gourd for the front porch. The train cars are heated, but it can still get chilly. Throw on your favorite cozy sweater before you head out for all the family fun.
Washington and Third Streets