Fall Train Tours for the Family

Family time may require more planning in the fall because the weather is not always cooperative and opportunities for playing together are less abundant with the kids back in school. A rail excursion on the weekend can be the ticket to seeing the leaves turn, enjoying the harvest and celebrating the autumn holidays. Trains, including vintage steam locomotives, thrill kids as they run over ravine bridges or through mountain tunnels. Excursions can be found on historic tracks all over the United States.

Pennsylvania: The Trick or Treat Train

The New Hope and Ivyland is not a 19th-century railroad, but rather a tourist line put together by train enthusiasts who created the line in 1960 with a collection of antique trains and equipment. In the autumn, the company offers the Trick or Treat Train, a nine-mile, one-hour ride, round trip. Parents can get the kids into their costumes for trick or treating in the restored Victorian station and then climb aboard the train for more tricks and treats.

New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

32 West Bridge St.

New Hope, PA 18938



North Carolina: Peanuts Great Pumpkin Patch Express

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad crosses 25 bridges in its 53-mile run through western North Carolina. The train passes river gorges and valleys full of autumn scenery. The Murphy Branch of this historic railroad is found on the south side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Peanuts Great Pumpkin Patch Express runs on the Murphy Branch throughout October. The whole family will meet the Charlie Brown characters and choose a pumpkin to take home. They can also try bobbing for apples, go on a hayride, hear live music or listen to stories.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

P.O. Box 1490

Bryson City, NC 28713



Minnesota: The Pumpkin Train

The North Shore Scenic Railroad operates excursions along the historic Lakefront Line, between Duluth and Two Harbors, Minn. The 26-mile line once carried prospectors, engineers and workers to the important iron ore mining region of the Mesabi Range. The kid-oriented Pumpkin Train runs 10 miles along the track for a one-and-a-half-hour ride to the pumpkin patch. The family then climbs down to select a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. The party continues with jugglers, face painting and magic.

North Shore Scenic Railroad

506 West Michigan St.

Duluth, MN 55802