The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Just south of Cleveland, departing from locations in Independence, Peninsula and Akron, the CVSR runs along the historic canal ways once used to haul goods and passengers by barge. The railroad was originally built to complement the canals, transporting coal to industries in the Cleveland and Canton area. The route now travels through the wooded Cuyahoga Valley National Park, following the multi-use towpath trail, allowing passengers to jump off whenever the mood strikes and explore the scenery and wildlife on foot or by bike. The unique Bike Aboard! Ticket lets riders wheel their bicycles aboard to travel one way by train and pedal the flat bicycle-friendly towpath in the other direction. The CVSR offers a variety of special events, including Wine and Beer Tasting and the popular Polar Express on which pajama-wearing children are treated to a reading of Chris Van Allsburg picture book as they are railroaded to the North Pole. Events sell out quickly, so plan ahead.
P.O. Box 158
Peninsula, OH 44264
The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
Southeastern Ohio is home to the gorgeous Hocking Hills, a lushly forested area rich with hills, ledges, caves, creeks and brooks. Through it, traveling between Nelsonville and Logan, runs the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, dedicated to "the preservation, restoration and operation of historic railroad equipment for the education and entertainment of the general public," according to its website Riders can hop aboard an open-air coach (weather permitting) or a 1920s commuter car, or settle into the luxury of the newly refurbished B&O coach, complete with air-conditioning and embroidered headrests. The Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad features special events year-round, including holiday trains for Easter, Christmas, Halloween and New Year's Eve. The railway features novelty voyages such as the Train Robbery Train and relaxing adult tours such as the Wine and Cheese Tasting trains.
P.O. Box 427
Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
The Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson Scenic Line
In Northwestern Ohio, departing from the town of Jefferson, train enthusiasts can take the hourlong ride over the 12-mile section that remains of the New York Central's Ashtabula-to-Pittsburgh "High Grade" passenger mainline. The railroad operates weekends from Father's Day until the last weekend in October, with Santa Trains operating the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the first two weekends in December. A number of special events appear on the AC&J's schedule, including Wild West Weekend, the Kids' Magic Train Weekend and Steam Weekend. The Civil War Train Raid returns in 2010.
P.O. Box 517
Jefferson, OH 44047
Article Written By Brian Jung
Brian Jung has been writing professionally since 1991. Currently he works as a software developer for University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, where he also contributes reviews and commentary on children's and young adult literature to his own blog, Critique de Mr Chompchomp, and to Guys Lit Wire. Brian holds a Doctor of Philosophy in English from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.