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Experience Enchanted Holiday Magic on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2018-11-10 05:23:00

I f you’re looking for a new way to experience the Adirondacks and Central New York as fall turns to winter, hop aboard a train for a ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. This Upstate New York tradition provides an adventuresome alternative to a car trip with a little bit of flair and plenty of fun events taking place throughout the season that are sure to please the entire family.

Today’s railroad traces a portion of the route that was established during the late 1800s as a way for some of the more famous families of the Gilded Age—the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts, the Whitneys and the Webbs, to name a few—to access their summer homes and hunting lodges nestled deep in the heart of the Adirondacks. At one point the most efficient transportation route in the Adirondacks, the railroad extended as far into the North Country as Lake Placid and Malone in its heyday.

After falling into disrepair for decades, it was rescued in 1992 by a group of train enthusiasts with a vision of restoring this National Register of Historic Places-designated route to its original glory. Their work on what was once called the Adirondack Centennial Railroad saw so much success and support from the public that in 1994, after changing the name to the Adirondack Scenic Railroad we know today, this historic corridor found itself poised to find its place again, this time as a passenger railway that brings modern guests on a journey of their choosing.

There are regular sightseeing trips in the spring, summer and fall, along kid-focused jaunts, wine and beer trains with themed events for each season. But this time of year, holiday favorites take the stage. On the Friday or Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, climb aboard the train at Union Station in Utica for the Adirondack Christmas Train excursion, a fun ride to Old Forge where you’ll spend the afternoon partaking in the town’s Christmas on Main Street extravaganza, complete with horse-drawn carriages rides and town-wide decorations, and board for your return trip to Utica after the tree lighting ceremony.

For an even more whimsical time, gather the kids for the family-favorite Polar Express train ride, a magical experience for kids of all ages. The two-hour tour includes cookies and hot chocolate to enjoy during a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic book, the Polar Express, on the train ride north to Holland Patent. Then, Santa will board the train and spend time with each of the children on the trip back to Utica, gifting each of them a silver bell, just like in the book. There’s no more magical way to kick off the season than with a train tour straight out of a holiday tale!

Photo Credits:
Conductor train photo credit Mark Goebel
Polar Express book photo credit Carol VanHook
Santa waving photo credit Kevin Colvin
Sleigh ride photo credit Adirondack Scenic Railroad

posted at: 2018-11-10 05:23:00, last updated: 2020-03-17 20:22:13

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