10 Epic Train Rides to Take in Ohio

Ohio Railroads

Ohio is an interesting state to visit that has many beautiful features, including the Ohio River, Lake Eerie, vast expanses of buckeye trees, and flat plains. There are many ways that you can see the state’s natural beauty and some of its landmarks, including on foot, by car, on a bicycle, or in the air. Another way you can travel around to see the sights is by train, and there are some amazing train rides that offer various experiences. Here are 10 epic train rides to take in Ohio.

10. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum Train Rides

A day out at the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum is a chance to combine learning about the area’s railroad history with taking a train ride around the local area. The depot was once derelict and considered for demolition, but it has now been renovated to create a museum with its own restaurant. Other than seeing the exhibitions, one of the highlights of visiting this attraction is taking a train ride. In addition to the regular train rides, there is a calendar of fun events and themed train rides. You should check out what is on during your stay if you are interested in the themed events.

9. Rides from the Ohio Railway Museum

A fantastic day out for railway enthusiasts who are fascinated by the history of railroads is a trip to the Ohio Railway Museum. There is a vast array of railroad artifacts, including exhibitions of streetcars and diesel, electric, and steam trains, including many rare examples of the vehicles. A highlight of the day is taking a train ride on one of the vintage trains, and these are included in the entrance price to the museum. It is also worth noting that children under three can enter the museum and enjoy the train ride for free.

8. The Lorain and West Virginia Railway

Originally, The Lorain was in Oberlin, but it was moved piece-by-piece to its current home in Wellington. It is an attractive red train with nice coach cars, a red caboose, and an open gondola car. The type of experience you can enjoy on this train ride depends on the time of year that you visit. For example, there is a Santa Ride at Christmas. There are also other themed nights throughout the year, such as the Rockabilly at the Railroad ride, which has a 1950s and 1960s theme. For adults, their Wine on Rails nights.

7. Zanesville and Western Scenic Railroad

Northeast Ohio Family Fun lists the Zanesville and Western Scenic Railroad as one of the most epic train rides in Ohio. It is also known as the Mt. Perry Scenic Train, and it travels along the historic Glass Rock Spur rail line in Southeastern Ohio. Although most train rides involve passengers traveling in a traditional enclosed car, there are also open-air gondola cars for those who prefer an outdoor experience. Throughout the year, there are various themed excursions, including the Grassman Weekend, the Pumpkin Train, the Santa Train, and the Hobo Camp.

6. Lebanon Mason and Monroe Railroad

Travelers on the Lebanon Mason and Monroe Railroad begin their journey in historic downtown Lebanon, and it then takes passengers through Warren County in Southwestern Ohio. The train runs every weekend throughout the year. The family-friendly journey aims to put history into motion. There are special excursions for children, many of which are themed, that serve pizza. Similarly, there are adults-only excursions with cheese and wine.

5. Orrville Railroad Heritage Society

The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society offers several train ride excursions that each offer a different experience, and each of these begins their journey in Orrville. There are also various public events hosted by the society that feature train rides, including Fall Foliage Trips, Orrville Railroad Day, National Train Day, and Spring Circle Trips.

4. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville

The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway takes passengers from Nelsonville, through Hocking River Valley, to East Logan. A crew of volunteers runs the two-hour train rides that run every weekend. There are open-air cars for taking in the fresh air during the summer, and closed cars with heating for train rides in the cold weather. Throughout the year, there are seasonal and holiday events.

3. Cincinnati Dinner Train

Those who enjoy taking train journeys often want to combine the experience with a delicious meal. If this is something that you like to do, then book yourself tickets for the Cincinnati Dinner Train. There are three restored 1950s dining cars on this train where the guests can enjoy a four-course meal and wine with period entertainment. For a more intimate experience, there are also two private luxury dining cars. Passengers can also admire the stunning scenery on this three-hour train ride. There are various special events and themed evenings hosted on the train throughout the year.

2. The Polar Express and Santa Claus Express

If you are visiting Ohio with children in the months preceding Christmas, then do not miss out on a ride on The Polar Express or Santa Claus Express. Even if you are not traveling with children, these are fun train rides to take. These festive-themed trains are decorated with lights, and guests can wear their pajamas if they wish. The journey takes passengers through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and they can look out for reindeer while sipping hot chocolate and eating Christmas cookies.

1. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

According to Only in Your State, one of the most epic train rides to take in Ohio is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, especially if you want to enjoy the scenery. The best time to take the train ride is at the weekend when the journey takes you through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In addition to admiring the breathtaking scenery, you can have lots of fun onboard the train, as travelers can enjoy food and cocktails, or you can book tickets for a murder mystery dinner.

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