For a smaller region in northern New Hampshire, the western White Mountains has four vintage passenger trains open to the public. Whether you’re a four-year-old Thomas the Train super fan or a 64-year-old retired train conductor, you’ll love all the trains we have in town. Hop on board the Café Lafayette Dinner Train for an exceptional five-course dinner or search for the elusive Wolfman on the train at Clark’s Trading Post. Whatever your choice, it’s time to hop on board and enjoy the ride!
Hobo Railroad – A White Mountains Family Train
Voted the “Best Ride for Kids” by New Hampshire Magazine, the Hobo Railroad travels 14 miles along the picturesque Pemigewasset River. The 80-minute ride starts at Hobo Junction Train Station on Route 112 passes over Main Street and soon after a two-span bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. You’ll cross over the river again before coming back to the station.
Throughout the year, the Hobo Railroad offers special train rides. Every Saturday during the summer months, naturalists from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center provide educational commentary during the excursions. On Sundays, storybook characters join the trains for special storybook readings for young kids. During the fall months, ride the Hobo Harvest Time Express and catch the trees bursting with color. You’ll also have the chance to sample seasonal items and specialty products from New England. Of course, you can’t miss Santa in late November and early December!
Clark’s Trading Post – A White Mountains Fun Train
Celebrating its 90th year this summer, Clark’s Trading Post is a long-time favorite in the western White Mountains. Home to the famous Bear Show and many attractions and museums, Clark’s is also home to an antique steam-powered train. The White Mountain Central Railroad is 2.5-mile, 25-minute train ride through Wolfman’s territory. During the Fall foliage months, Clark’s also runs its 1943 GE diesel locomotive. Keep an eye out for the infamous Wolfman once you pass through the 1904 covered bridge. He is always up to something with his crazy antics!
Café Lafayette Dinner Train – A White Mountains Dinner Train
For a unique experience, book reservations on the Café Lafayette Dinner Train in North Woodstock. Operating from late May through October, dine on incredible seasonally selected appetizers and entrees in a five-course meal while watching the scenery change as you travel through the Pemigewasset River valley on its 20-mile journey.
Each car is of a different time period, including a 1952 dome car. The car offers two-levels of dining and is one of the last dome cars still functioning on the rails today. You’ll find as many rail enthusiasts as you find foodies on this unique dining experience in the western White Mountains.
J.E. Henry Railroad at Loon Mountain – A White Mountains Winter Train
During the winter months, Loon Mountain runs its Lilliputian-sized steam engine 600 feet from the gondola building to the Governor’s Lodge. The 1934 German locomotive is named after J.E Henry, a 19th-century timber baron who owned the local East Branch Railroad. Every winter, the wood-fired, steam-powered engine burns through approximately 60 cords of wood! If you’re 18 years and older, you have the opportunity to be a Guest Train Engineer for the day if you take the Guest Train Engineer Program course during the summer or fall months.
If you want to keep riding that train, Lincoln-Woodstock is just a short drive from the Conway Scenic Railroad, offering two different historic trains and three route options, and from the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the world’s first mountain climbing cog railway train. Whether you’re searching for fun, history, mountains or food by train, you’ll find it in Lincoln-Woodstock. Grab the kids, grab the grandparents and plan your next family getaway for the train lovers in your life!
The Lil’ Red Caboose – Unique Lodging in the White Mountains
We even have trains for lodging in the White Mountains! Use Air BnB and stay at the famous Lil’ Red Caboose. Randy is the owner of the Lil’ Red Caboose and a Superhost through Air BnB, which means he has high ratings from his guests. As a matter of fact, 95% of the people who leave Randy reviews give him 5 stars for the unique lodging, a great check-in experience, and outstanding location. The caboose has three beds and one bath, and can fit 4 guests. There is a kitchen, bathroom, indoor fireplace, two flat screen TV’s, central air, and WiFi all packed into this cozy lil’ caboose.
All aboard! Come discover the beauty and fun of the western White Mountains trains this year!
For state-wide information, head to VisitNH.gov