Michigan offers a variety of authentic train rides to tour some of the most beautiful scenic routes that are not accessible by car. From the countryside to relaxing family trips, these train rides allow people to tour Michigan. Experience the changing seasons while enjoying great dinners and even partaking in a murder mystery theater! All over the state, historic trains have been brought back to life and give visitors the chance to experience the transportation of yesteryear. If you are looking for a new way to explore Michigan, try taking one of these scenic train rides.
Steam Railroading Institute
The Steam Railroading Institute is derived from the Michigan State Trust Railway Preservation Inc. It has spent years and much effort to restore a single steam locomotive. With the efforts to restore the locomotive, it inspired the Institute to continue to gather more locomotives and passenger cars. Now, they offer up a variety of train rides from color tours to a Polar Express experience! Throughout Petoskey, Cadillac, Alma, and more, train riders can choose from a variety of excursions on the diesel locomotives. They also offer a hands-on driving experience which allows those 16 and up to drive the train! With a little training and help from the conductor, you can get behind the controls these giant locomotives.
Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad
Take a quick trip through the northern Michigan landscape on the ¼ scale passenger train at Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad. The train travels through 115-feet of a wooden tunnel before making its way to Comins Creek Valley. This area is full of plenty of wildlife to gaze at from the train. The ride continues and passes through more wooded areas, a log homestead, and antique cars. It is a relaxing ride through Fairview.
Coopersville and Marne Railway
Working as a historic all-volunteer railway, Coopersville runs vintage locomotives from the 1920’s. They offer passenger trains from spring to winter that run along 7-miles of track from Coopersville to Marne. In the Fall, they offer the Famous Pumpkin Train to passengers. This features the Grand Pumpkin, Scarecrow, and Little Crow as characters that dance, sing, and entertain during the ride. With the purchase of each child’s ticket, they also get a locally grown pumpkin that they can pick right from the patch at the end of the ride. There are over 200 seats available for the rides and tickets can be purchased the day of departure or beforehand. The train rides start September 30th and run on the weekends through October.
During the Christmas season, there is also the Santa Train! Santa and his friends ride on this tour handing out presents to each child. Princesses read Christmas books to the kids in each railcar. Each railcar is heated and they have a restroom. The Santa train rides start November 25th and run through December. Visit their site for times and contact information as well as other offered train rides
Tahquamenon Falls Wilderness Excursion
Explore the gorgeous wilderness of the Upper Peninsula and Tahquamenon Falls with one of the Train and Riverboat Tours. Choose from the 6 ½ hour train and riverboat tour or the Toonerville Trolley. This travels 5 ½ miles through the woods so you can see some of the most amazing wildlife and secluded beauty of the woods in the Upper Peninsula.
CrossRoads Village is a step back in time. A village made up of 19th-century buildings that depict an occupation and way of living from a simpler time. There is also a steam locomotive that runs on an authentic narrow-gauge railroad. Guests can take the rail for a 40-minute ride by the shores of Mott Lake and down the Pere Marquette roadbed for a one-of-a-kind rail tour. Visitors can ride from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Train rides are also available on select days in October and around the Christmas season.
Houghton County Historical Society
This museum has a large selection of historical exhibits to browse, including large machinery displayed outside. There is also a Steam Train available for scenic rides through September and Halloween rides during October. In the summer, you also have the chance to actually drive the train around the track! With a quick lesson and the help of the engineer, you get to operate the steam train while your family and friends ride along.
Adrian and Blissfield Railroad
Spend an evening enjoying a quiet five-course dinner on a train ride with nothing but the passing of the Autumn trees outside your window. It is an amazing date night idea with delicious food and the perfect fall ambiance. If you want something a little more lively, try the Murder Mystery Train ride. You will get dinner and a show! Participate in solving the mystery or even volunteer to be the victim. The railroad offers a variety of other excursions, including a Grandparents Pizza Party and a family excursion. The train books up quickly, visit Adrian and Blissfield Railroad for more information and to order your tickets.
Have you taken one of these train tours before? Which train tour would you like to take?