Hop on Board a Leaf Peeper Express
Check out one of NH's scenic train rides for a truly unique and relaxing foliage experience
It’s said that you can see some of the most dramatic scenery in the East aboard the Mountaineer as it winds its way through Crawford Notch’s panoramic mountain views, steep ravines, sheer bluffs and cascading brooks and streams.
Formerly known as the Conway Scenic Railroad’s Notch Train, this iconic train was renamed this year to recapture the tradition and romance of the breathtaking five- to five-and-half-hour rail journey through the Mount Washington Valley and over the rugged Crawford Notch. It’s beautiful any time of the year, but the route through Crawford Notch is spectacular during fall foliage season.
People have been enjoying the ride for more than a century. The track was laid through the rugged landscape in the 1870s; its construction is considered a remarkable engineering achievement.
Catch the train at the Conway Scenic Railroad station in North Conway Village and travel to Crawford (50 miles in five hours) and Fabyan (60 miles in five and a half hours, fall only) stations, all the while listening to live commentary about the history and folklore of the railroad, the area and points of interest.
The Mountaineer consists of 1950s-era passenger cars that recreate the experience of a post-World War II Transcontinental streamlined train. Choose from a variety of different experiences including premier class travel in the deluxe Rhonda Lee upper dome dining car.
COVID-19 precautions: To comply with state mandates, all passengers are required to wear masks.
Mount Washington Cog Railway
For another unique experience, consider viewing fall’s splendor atop Mount Washington by taking the Cog Railway to the top of the mountain. On a clear day, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Canada and even the Atlantic Ocean from the summit.
The round-trip takes about three hours, including a one-hour visit atop the mountain, and trains depart daily from the base station. Depending on the day, there are between two and ten train departures with a fleet of six steam and four biodiesel trains.
COVID-19 precautions: Visitors to the summit must make advanced reservations for admission to the state park visitors center. Also, As a protective measure for yourself and others, you will also be required to wear a mask or face covering while on the train and in Marshfield Base Station. Masks will be provided to any passenger who needs one. Read all the Cog Railway’s safety measures here.
Hobo Railroad’s Harvest Time Express
If you’re looking to combine a foliage trip with a fall fun experience, then head to the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln from mid-September through mid-October. Riders on the Harvest Time Express will enjoy an 80-minute train ride along the winding Pemigewasset River and can then enjoy the Farm Yard with life-sized scarecrows, an antique tractor display, farmyard games and pumpkins for purchase.
COVID-19 precautions: Seating will be limited, and a cloth face covering must be worn while on the grounds and on the train, except when eating or drinking. Read all the Hobo Railroad’s safety measures here.
Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad
Explore the Lakes Region on a beautiful foliage train ride aboard the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. Catch the train at the Meredith station and travel south along the western shore of Lake Winnipesaukee though the village of Weirs Beach and along Paugus Bay toward Lakeport and back along the very same route.
COVID-19 precautions: Guests will be required to wear a face covering while in the passenger car except while consuming food or beverage. Read all of the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad’s safety measures here.
More foliage train ride options
Visit foliagetrains.com for additional opportunities, pricing, dates and departure times.