Fall colors in New England are unrivalled; some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. One of the most relaxed, enjoyable ways to view autumn is on an old-fashioned train voyage during peak foliage. Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Travel through all six states during daylight hours to allow for witnessing each magical moment. http://www.greattrainescapes.com/NewEngland.htm
Cape Cod Central Railroad is a throw-back to the romance of a bygone era, with its rich and colorful history, spanning over 150 years. A leisurely one-hour trip along the Cape coast from Hyannis to Sandwich or vice versa, is accompanied with the rhythm of the train and high spirits of the fun-loving crew. Pass by beautiful cranberry bogs, the 7.4-mile-long and 35-foot-deep Cape Cod Canal, (the widest sea-level canal in the world), friendly waving children, freshwater ponds, old railroad stations, natural woodlands, lush marshes and sand dunes.www.gonewengland.about.com
If exclusive fall-viewing is the aim, and time is available, an all-encompassing trip of several days to a week, covering a wide swathe of country is well worth it.
These sojourns commonly start and end in Boston, with plenty of opportunities to explore this historic and fascinating city. Different train systems are utilized to cover the route, connected by motor coach and sea-craft where the tracks run out. Brilliant foliage, towering mountains, quaint towns, simmering ocean and inland water-scapes, verdant fields and rambling stone walls combine to create the natural beauty.
The train ride northeast to historic Cape Ann ends at Rockport, a quintessential New England village full of charm and beauty, where the famous movie, The Perfect Storm” was filmed.
Thirty miles up the Massachusetts Coast is the historic port city of Newburyport. With ample time to see the historical sites, old rail museums, shop, sample the restaurants, and absorb the vistas of daily life, Portsmouth, Dover, Portland, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland, all follow quickly on the itinerary. The panorama of color is the backdrop to these charming seaside villages, picturesque sailboats, lobstermen working their traps on the bay. Tidewater wild and birdlife abound: ospreys and bald eagles nesting high in the spruces, puffins homing on the islands, grazing deer in the open fields, moose foraging in the wetlands are a reminder of nature’s wonders. http://www.traintrips.biz/new-england-fall-colors-rail-spectacular-2012.html
The train accommodations vary from standard Amtrak carriages to fully restored vintage railcars; Pullman-Victorian dining cars to glass-domed observation decks. The Mt. Washington Cog Railway takes you to the top of Mt. Washington with its spectacular views.
The “Notch Train” is operated by the Conway Scenic Railroad and passes the finest natural scenery in the East through spectacular Crawford Notch. Steep cliff-bluffs, deep ravines, babbling brooks, cascades, serene mountain ranges, trestle and classic covered bridges built centuries ago. www.vacationsbyrail.com
The Valley Railroad Company operates the coal-fired locomotives of the Essex Steam Train. The insidious hiss of steam and the cacophonous blast of the whistle herald your entry into some of the most breath-taking country in Connecticut. See forests and streams, beautiful vistas and nostalgic towns. The historic, 1892 Essex Station is home to vintage rail cars powered by an authentic steam locomotive.
The train journey is leavened by trips on the water in typical New England fashion: Ferries on Casco Bay for a cruise along the rocky shore of Maine, past wooded islands, seals, seabirds and Victorian cottages. A cruise along the Connecticut River with its coves and inlets aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat, passing woodlands, riverfront houses and Gillette castle. A nautical adventure on Hyannis Harbor in a replica of a Maine coastal steamer.www.vacationsbyrail.com
Autumn in New England is to be cherished and optimized before winter’s white mantle descends and chases away the paint palette of fall. These seasonal escorted tours take leaf-peeping travelers through all six states, showcasing the vibrant foliage in each, in comfortable, relaxed, exotic romance of the railroad journeys of a more leisurely era with time to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature.