Autumn around NoVA is definitely the best time of the year. Between the crisp temperatures and the changing fall foliage, October tends to be the most beautiful month. If you are looking to take in those stunning fall leaves, consider trading in a car ride around town for a train ride through the trees.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on October 8, 2021.
A trip north is worth your time with a ride on the historic Strasburg Railroad. Hop on a train for an elegant meal on the rails, take a ride with the little ones on Thomas the Tank Engine, or get all spooked out on the Legacy of Sleepy Hollow ride. And, of course, there are always scenic and themed tours throughout the year. 301 Gap Rd., Strasburg, Pennsylvania
The Western Maryland Railroad offers a plethora of excursions throughout the year, some for adults (murder mystery rides, moonshine and wine trains, and New Year’s Eve rides) and many for the whole family. This fall there are trips on the Frostburg Flyer in vintage dining cars, options on Hands on the Throttle trains where you can experience driving a locomotive and then the fall foliage tours starting in October. The Polar Express trips to meet the Clauses start in November. 13 Canal St., Cumberland, Maryland
Take a ride on this vintage diesel-powered train for a tour of central Virginia’s fall foliage. In collaboration with the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Preservation Society, the Buckingham Branch Railroad excursions take place on the weekends in the spring and fall, and host Santa trains in December. 1063 Main St., Dillwyn, Virginia
The rails of West Virginia are open for adventure with a dozen train ride options on the Durbin and Greenbriar Valley Railroad. Choose from overnight, dinner, and day trips. Travel on steam engine trains, 1920s era cars and vintage wooden cabooses to take in the mountains and valleys of our neighboring state. Seasonal holidays are a real treat as well with the Cass Scenic Railroad Elf Limited holiday train, and in the spring a Cottontail Express excursion. 315 Railroad Ave., Elkins, West Virginia
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