Felton, California: See Giant Redwoods by Train

19th century narrow gauge steam railroad began carrying tourists to the Big Trees and the beach in 1875, and is still going strong.

Roaring Camp Railroad

Address:
Graham Hill Rd., Felton, CA
Directions:
Roaring Camp Railroad. SR-17 to Scotts Valley Exit 3 Mt. Hermon Rd., northwest 3.5 mi to Felton. Mt. Hermon Road ends at Graham Hill Rd. Turn left on Graham Hill Rd and drive 1/2 mile to Roaring Camp on right.
Hours:
Train times vary between 11-3:30 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
831-335-4484
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See redwoods by train. See Giant Redwoods by Train

A nice trip on an open rail car through a stand of redwoods. A guide in an olde-timey conductor's uniform gives out cool information -- such as pointing out how one tree, a redwood, is 900 years older than the one next to it, a Douglas fir.

[Steve, 01/30/2013]

One of the unwritten laws of tourism is that olde-timey conductors must always tell the truth.

See Giant Redwoods by Train

Roaring Camp -- the same wild settlement immortalized in Bret Harte's short story "The Luck of Roaring Camp (1917) -- has been around since the 1830s. In 1842, Isaac Graham established the first saw mill west of the Mississippi, but the Big Trees surrounding Roaring Camp were left untouched.

In 1867, they became the first virgin stand of coastal redwoods protected from logging. The 19th century narrow gauge steam railroad began carrying tourists to the Big Trees and the beach in 1875, and is still going strong. There are even plans to add a zipline through the forest canopy. Tour guides provide entertaining commentary along the round-trip route up Bear Mountain.

Trains depart twice daily (the morning train is preferable). It is hands-down the best way to see the majestic redwoods, especially riding in an open car. Roaring Camp also offers the charm of a ghost town, including panning for gold, and also hosts many special events including Thomas the Tank Engine, Civil War re-enactments, musical saw festivals, etc.

[Mrs. G, 07/31/2010]
Roaring Camp Railroads - Thomas the Tank Engine

1880s steam trains through the California Redwoods are located in Felton, California (between San Francisco and Monterey) just north of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. Also offers trains from the redwoods to the beaches of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. Roaring Camp is the Northern California home to Thomas the Tank Engine, with a two week festival at the end of July with real Thomas train rides.

[Augie, 04/20/2005]

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