Oregon’s forests are throwing a fall party, and you’re invited. With a riot of color for the last hurrah of the season, fall foliage demands that you sit up and take notice. We recommend you do that sitting on a leisurely train trip. The chug of the engine, the toot of the whistle and the rhythm of the rails will help you roll into fall.

Head south on the Mount Hood Railroad as it follows the beautiful Hood River toward the mountain of the same name. From the double decker dome car, you’ll see the fruit orchards of the valley on the way to the small towns of Odell and Parkdale. Check out the dinner and brunch trains, the Autumn Fall Colors Festival, or for something special, a Western Train Robbery trip.

The Eagle Cap Excursion Train in the eastern Wallowa Mountains passes along a 39-mile historic route between the small towns of Elgin and Minam. The train winds through the beautiful roadless forests along the Grande Ronde River to meet up with the Wild and Scenic Wallowa River. Check out a special autumn photography excursion this year on October 15.

Near Baker City in northeast Oregon, travel the Sumpter Valley Railway, rebuilt in the 1970s by volunteers along the original railroad right of way, which travels through old mining country. The main engine, a vintage 1915 steam locomotive, was restored with great care. October 15 and 16 will see special fall photography trips on this short historic route.

Breathtaking views of Tillamook Bay and the lovely Pacific Ocean are always on view from the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway. On October 8, the railroad will run several special “Pumpkin Trains” between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach. Dinner trains chug out on Oct. 15 and Dec. 3, and several festive “Candy Cane Express” trains roll through in the month of December.

These scenic trips are limited, so call ahead and make your reservations. Then sit back and enjoy the party.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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