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4 Epic Train Rides In Michigan That Will Give You An Unforgettable Experience

These days, we’re so obsessed with getting to the destination that the journey is overlooked. We tend to hop in our cars and just cruise on the freeway, oblivious of our surroundings. When will we ever slow down to enjoy the scenery?

Lucky for us in Michigan, we’ve got plenty of options for traveling by train. And not your typical commuter train. Think vintage locomotives that date back to the early 20th century, where you can maybe enjoy a unique dining experience, catch a beautiful countryside view, or venture to a far-flung place accessible only by rail.

Here are four such experiences to be had.

1. The Old Road Dinner Train

Take a ride on the longest continually operating dinner train in North America. This special line has dining cars that date back to the 1930s to 50s. Trips consist of two-hour rides and depart from Charlotte. You’ll enjoy a journey through the countryside of the Grand Valley Rail Road and dine on a variety of cuisine (vegetarian options available). During the summer and fall, sightseeing excursions are available on Saturdays. This train also operates lines out of Blissfield and Kalamazoo. For more information, click here.

2. Coopersville

Take a 14-mile excursion out of historic Coopersville through Marne, where you’ll traverse over creeks, the highway, and and over an open deck girder bridge. Each car dates back to the early 20th century, and there’s even room for two passengers in the locomotive. This line operates trains for Santa, the Easter bunny, and pumpkin season. Charters of 30 or more are treated to lunch, and children’s groups are sometimes treated to access to a caboose. For more details, go here.

3. Tahquamenon Falls Wilderness Excursion

If you’re in the UP, there’s the Toonerville Trolley, a railroad in use since 1927, that takes you through the thick forest where you’ll witness a glimpse of wildlife. Passengers can choose just the train ride for an hour and a half long journey, or they can continue on a 21-mile riverboat cruise on the Tahquamenon River for a trip of more than six hours. The river cruise docks midway for 75 minutes so guests can hike to the falls. For details, go here.

4. 2016 Fall Color Tours Train

Fall is easily the best season in Michigan, so enjoy it on-board the Southern Michigan Railroad, where you’re treated to a tour of the fall colors. You’ll travel from Tecumseh through the country, along the River Raisin basin. Spectacular views are offered when you cross over a bridge during your journey. The trip lasts about two hours and has a stop for apple cider and donuts at Kapnick’s Cider Mill. For more info, click here.

All aboard! Makes you want to pack your bags now and book your ticket, right? Next time your family is contemplating what to do, ditch the car (at least when you get to the train station) and have a unique adventure by rail.

Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning freelance journalist in Detroit, by way of Chicago, by way of the West Coast. She writes about Michigan for OIYS. Serena enjoys learning about language and culture and taking road trips with her beagle Ralph.