If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen a snap from the New Hope Valley Train ride we took last Saturday. It was a neat little excursion that’s a must-do for anyone who’s got a little train enthusiast on their hands. My son really enjoyed it.
The train takes an hour-long jaunt through the wooded North Carolina countryside. There’s also a small Railway Museum and gift shop that’s located in several out-of-service cars at the station. There are several special events and demonstrations throughout the April – December season. You can see their calender here and buy tickets online or at the gate. (A couple of logistical notes: there is usually a good food truck there on ride days, but the bathrooms are only of the portable variety, so be prepared.)
It was interesting to see how they brought the engine to pull the train into the “station.” I’ve never had much experience with trains. I’ve ridden one in Canada and a few in Europe, but I never really thought about how complicated it is. Did you know that back in the day crew members would ride in the Caboose so they could visually check to make sure the train wasn’t on fire? Um, yikes.
As you can see, the cars are covered on top and open on the sides. It was pretty warm that day, but while the train was moving there was a nice breeze. Seating is simple, padded bench seats and it’s fine to stand up and walk around the car during the ride. Several volunteers were in our car and they were super-friendly and available to answer any questions about the train.
There’s a small garden train with a cute little lighthouse, bridge, waterfall, and miniature buildings. It’s built and run by volunteers. The electric trains race around the tracks to the delight of all who see. My little boy really wanted to go inside the fence and play with it. Maybe it’s time to upgrade his little wooden set!
Of course I loved the sprinkling of delicate, white flowers of the Dogwoods that line the tracks. Gosh, Spring is gorgeous in North Carolina.
Have you been getting out more now that Spring is in full force? We are planning a trip to the coast next weekend and of course The Great Cloth Diaper Change and Family Expo is the weekend after that on April 26. Will you be there?
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