The fall season is the time we usually take to enjoy a drive through the New England countryside, have a pumpkin spice latte, walk over the colorful leaves in the park, pick apples, drink warm beverages while listening to the pouring rain outside.
Yet, this year, we are all given the chance to experience something new-The Redwood Forests Call! The legendary redwood trees are located in Mendocino County, three hours north of San Francisco along the pacific coast.
The magnificent trees have existed for centuries, but up until March this year, the only way to view them and inhabiting wildlife was via a historic Skunk Train, which continues to depart Fort Bragg several times a week.
This scenic train ride follows the very first tracks that were laid down by the California Western Railroad in 1885.
This is due to the visionary forest stewardship and a dedication to the natural wonder of the redwoods. Some of the trees are over 1,000 years old and reach more than 300 feet tall. They have awed passengers both young and old for generations.
This had its own magic too, and visitors were amazed by the wonderful fall colors of the forest, and the ride on a seasonal train coined the ‘Pumpkin Express’ in the autumn months.
However, if you would like to take in more of the surroundings at a slower pace, you can now pedal through!
Visitors can rent custom-built rail bikes and pedal quietly through the woods. The rail bikes sit securely on the tracks, and during the journey, one will not be interrupted by any train or other traffic.
The rail bikes are said to be easy to ride and equipped with electric motors, so they are suitable for people of all ages, abilities, and skill levels. The seven-mile trail bike journey approximately takes 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, and riders can stop at the halfway point of Glen Blair Junction.
Despite the magnificent fall leaves, riders can also see wildlife native to the forest, wood pilings, and the Pudding Creek Estuary, which is filled with wildlife like osprey and blue herons.
Rail bikes are designed for two riders at a time but can be rented in groups.
They are the perfect activity for adventurers of all ages and skill levels. The pedal-powered bikes are easy to operate and they also include optional motorized assistance in case you need some help or if you simply would like to focus on sights.
Visitors can move at their own pace, but a trained guide can accompany groups. The cost of a two-rider bike is $89.95 USD, and those interested should show up 45 minutes in advance for orientation, between the months of March and November.
According to their website:
“Step back in time for a magical ride through the redwoods on the world-famous Skunk Train. Since 1885 the historic Skunk has made its way through old-growth redwood groves, over scenic trestle bridges, through spectacular tunnels, and into the heart of the Noyo River canyon. Today’s riders enjoy the same pristine views that have remained largely unchanged for well over a century.”
Therefore, if you are an autumnal soul and enjoy exercise, you should not miss this experience!