Scenic Train Trips in North America
Train travel Canada and the US have something more to offer then just a tour through the beautiful countryside – as if that wouldn’t be enough!
Eastern Canada, New England and all the way down to New York are famous for its outrages fall colors that flood the countryside. The sugar maple trees catch fire and the yellow birch, oaks, aspens, and tamaracks bring golden highlights to the spectacle.
Between the end of September to mid/late October, Mother Nature casts her spell upon the forests. The color blaze of oranges, yellows, reds, purples, deep crimsons and browns burst into bloom and are a feast for the eye.
It is the best time for a scenic train ride. You can do that by yourself or by booking a tour package that is taking care of everything. To find out about the best time for fall train travel Canada and the US, check the Ontario Park Fall Color information and/or the Weather Network for their report.
Via Rail Canada – between Montreal and Halifax
The Sleeper Touring Class of The Ocean offers more than just a ticket; through the guidance and companionship of a Learning Coordinator, it will show you the way to the region’s past and traditions.
Entertaining presentations are carefully intertwined with the passing scenery while setting the course to create an interactive and inviting environment.
The Polar Bear Express
Year-round Cochrane to Moosonee
The Ontario Northland’s Polar Bear Express connects residents of the coastal communities of Moosonee and Moose Factory to Cochrane and is one of North America’s last remaining “flag stop” train services.
The Polar Bear Express offers visitors an opportunity to connect with Canadian history, Aboriginal culture, and the magnificent landscape of the North.
This old-fashioned rail excursion travels 299 km (186 miles) between Cochrane and Moosonee – over the Moose River and through Ontario’s most pristine and spectacular scenery.
It is a five-hour train ride (each way) in a climate-controlled passenger car. The dome car (seasonal) offers scenic views to the majestic environment. There is even an entertainment car where you can enjoy live music!
The Dream Catcher Express
Seasonal Excursion Train from North Bay to Temagami
While living near North Bay, I took The Dream Catcher Express many times with my visitors to show off the exorbitant brilliance of Ontario’s fall foliage.
The Dome Car offers panoramic views while you travel to Temagami, where you have time for lunch in one of the many restaurants and enjoy a number of unique excursions available including a tour of an Aboriginal tipi village, scenic bush plane flights and boat tours on Lake Temagami.
Make reservations early! The Dream Catcher only runs for a short time in the peak season.
Agawa Canyon Tour Train
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
A wonderful day tour to explore Ontario’s explosive fall colors. Apparently it’s the most popular train excursion in North America.
It was raining when I took the Agawa Canyon Tour Train in mid-October, but even then it was an exhilarating adventure. It didn’t diminish the experience. The colors flared their magic through the mist. The trip takes you 183 km (114 miles) north of Sault Ste. Marie and back along pristine lakes and rivers, through impressive granite rock formations and the mixed forest of the Canadian Shield.
You can climb up to the lookout platform, perched on a cliff 76 m (250 feet) above the tracks.
Runs June to mid-October. Book early for fall viewing.
Montreal to New York
The Adirondack is a daily passenger train operated by Amtrak between Montreal and New York City – and visa versa. It runs on a regular schedule and takes approximately 11 hours from Montreal, the city with European charm, to New York (or the other way around). You travel along the rocky shores of Lake Champlain through the Adirondack mountains and the lush beauty of the Hudson Valley.
Adirondack’s refurbished heritage cars are available to all travelers and the large windows provide an excellent view. There are three lounge cars with names that reflect the route – “L’Auberge Laurentian”, “Adirondack Lodge”, and “Saratoga Inn”. Reservations are required. Check out the travel times before you book. Depending on the time of the year, some parts will be passed in the dark.
Since it is a daily-operated passenger train you can stop at any place you’d like, spend a few hours or even the night. Since there is a border crossing involved, make sure you carry your passport.
- Scenic Train Trips in North America
- The Ocean
- The Polar Bear Express
- The Dream Catcher Express
- Agawa Canyon Tour Train
- The Adirondack