Take A Colorful Train Tour This Fall

Train tracks under fall trees in Michigan

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Seeing Michigan’s fall colors is essential to experience all that the season has to offer. As the sun shines through the trees with leaves turned vibrant shades of red and yellow, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another world. While scenic road trips and hiking trails are great ways to experience the season, a relaxing ride on a train through the trees is the perfect way to view Michigan's autumnal colors.

Check out these six train tours and add them to your Michigan fall bucket list.  

1. Steam Railroading Institute

Deer looks at steam locomotive in fall forest
The Pere Marquette 1225 Steam Locomotive | Image Courtesy of Instagram Fan ____josh_brundage____

The Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) offers a variety of train rides specifically for fall color viewing. These excursions leave from a variety of cities, with trips through places such as the Petoskey countryside or downtown Cadillac, train ride options include all-day or just an hour long. If you enjoyed your fall color tour, return to SRI in the winter for their North Pole Express ride, which leaves from Owosso Michigan in November and December. With their iconic Pere Marquette 1225 steam locomotive in the lead, this ride will be one to remember as you are immersed in the nostalgia and wonder of holiday cheer. 

2. Coopersville & Marne Railway

Coopersville & Marne Railway offers the perfect holiday-themed train for a Michigan fall excursion. The Famous Pumpkin Train will keep you entertained for the whole ride as bright colors fly by out the window. Join the Grand Pumpkin, Scarecrow and Little Crow characters as they sing and dance, making this the perfect ride for a day of family fun this fall. The ride departs from Coopersville and turns around in Marne, where you will have the chance to help wave to the train engineer as the locomotive is reattached to the west end of the train for the journey back. 

3. Tahquamenon Wilderness Train Ride

The Tahquamenon Wilderness train ride is the longest 24” gauge railroad in the country, stretching five and a half miles from Soo Junction. The train passes through pristine forests where passengers are likely to catch a glimpse of some of Michigan’s unique wildlife, as well as a seemingly endless tunnel of fall colors. The ride stops at the Tahquamenon River, where visitors can enjoy a short excursion in the riverside park. Those looking to go all the way to Tahquamenon Falls can also book a riverboat cruise which takes them from this stopover to a private viewing deck of upper Tahquamenon Falls. 

4. Huckleberry Railroad​ 

Huckleberry train traveling through fall forest.
Huckleberry Railroad in the Fall | Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan phonestoriesbyprajith

Take a step back in time when visiting the Crossroads Village in Flint. With more than 30 restored, 19th-century buildings to explore, this town truly takes you back to a whole other era. Here visitors can find the Huckleberry Railroad, which leaves from the heart of the village. Your 40-minute ride will take you along the picturesque Mott Lake and a stretch of historic Pere Marquette roadway. Make Halloween special by taking the Ghost Train Express through the colorful autumn landscape in October. 

5. Southern Michigan Railroad

Enjoy two hours of serene, fall-color viewing on the Southern Michigan Railroad fall color tour. The trip starts in downtown Tecumseh, following along the Raisin River valley to Clinton. At the stopover, cross the River Raisin or explore the Southern Michigan Railroad museum in Clinton, all with spectacular views of the Red Mill Pond where trees light up in reds and yellows during the peak fall color season. If you visit during mid-October, be sure to check out the Tecumseh Appleumpkin Festival for festive food and fun.

Teaser Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan bosexposures.