Best 8 Most Scenic Train Rides in Wisconsin USA
Traveling through forests, valleys, plains, and terrains to witness the beauty of Mother Nature is an experience to remember.
Taking this journey on trains is a reminiscence of days gone by, allowing you to revisit history while enjoying the present.
Fun train rides like these, complemented by visits to antique train museums, are a history lover’s dream come true.
Such trips not only prove to be a break from the monotonous routine of one’s life, but they also allow you to seek the proximity of nature.
If you intend to stay in Wisconsin for longer, check out our recommendations on luxury cabins and family resorts before your trip.
This article presents the most scenic train rides in Wisconsin, USA that you should start with to get a glimpse of train journeys in the past decades when life and times were elegantly simple. Keep reading to learn more.
Chippewa Valley Railroad
For the unique train ride in Wisconsin, that’s great for the whole family, check it out! The Chippewa Valley Railroad is a truly unique experience that lets you feel like you are traveling via a steam locomotive in the 1880s – only in a funky shape! This scenic train ride features a classic working railroad with real coal-fired steam locomotives, a diesel locomotive, and wooden 1880s-style passenger coaches – all scaled up to ¼ size miniature.
During the summer, these mini-train replicas travel along scenic routes along a wooded area near the majestic Half Moon Lake. For that authentic feel, the train’s conductors are dressed in 1880s-style suspenders and pin-striped engineer’s hats.
- Chippewa Valley Railroad
- Address: 811 Carson Park Dr, Eau Claire, WI 54703, United States
- Website: Chippewa Valley Railroad
- Opening hours: Sunday: 12 noon to 5 pm (Mon to Sat closed)
- Price: USD 3 for adults; USD 2 for children; Free for children under 2 years old
Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway
The Minnesota Transportation Museum, managed by the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway, is a lovely treat for nature lovers who want to take a trip on the St. Croix River while taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. Two rides are offered: the first is to Dresser, Wisconsin, while the second is to St. Croix, Minnesota. The ride is a relaxing experience for adults and children alike. The railways also have a cute little snack car that allows passengers to snack on the go. One of the major interesting facts about the railway travel experience is the friendliness of the conductors and crew, who positively share the history of the railways with the passengers, helping them revisit the past, physically and figuratively. Meets. If you want to catch rail travel in the ’40s and ’50s, the Oescola and St.Croix Valley Railway is a must-visit.
- Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway
- Address: Osceola, USA
- Opening hours: Sat-Sun: 9 am to 5 pm
- Price: 12 USD – 19 USD
East Troy Electric Railroad
Traveling 10 miles (16 km) through beautiful southeastern Wisconsin, the East Troy Electric Railroad allows passengers to revisit a simpler, simpler time of the past. Boarding for the trip begins at the “Elegant Farmer” in Mukwonago or the depot in East Troy. The East Troy Railroad has a total of 32 historic pieces of equipment. Thousands of passengers travel by railway every year. A visit to the Depot Museum is a highlight of the trip. Run and managed by committed volunteers, this museum is a must-see for all visitors. The museum not only allows adults to learn about the operation of the rail system but also encourages children to role-play. They can assume any role from the railway crew and browse through many railcar models. It sparks their curiosity and imagination, helping them to get a grip on the railway experience.
- East Troy Electric Railroad
- Address: 2002 Church Street, East Troy, WI
- Website: East Troy Electric Railroad
- Opening hours: Sat-Sun: 10 am-4 pm (Jun-Sep)
- Price: Adult (age 15 to 64): 15 USD; Senior citizens (above 64) and military personnel: 12.50 USD; Children (ages 3 to 14) 9.50 USD; (ages 2 and under) free
Riverside and Great Northern Railroad
This is your best bet if you want to experience a unique steam engine train ride in Wisconsin! Scalloping through scenic gorges, steep rocky terrain, and dense wilderness areas across the Wisconsin River, the Riverside and Great Northern Railway offers a fun ride for young and old alike. The steam-powered trains are the main attraction of the trip. Passengers can see the locomotive in operation at Western Springs and Hyde Park Depot. The Railway Museum is a great learning center for travelers providing knowledge about the history of Railways.
- Riverside and Great Northern Railroad
- Address: N115 County Road, N Wisconsin Dells
- Website: Riverside and Great Northern Railroad
- Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10 am – 5 pm; Sat and Sun: 10 am to 4 pm
Tiffany Bottoms Train
There is much more to Wisconsin than being America’s Dairyland or home to several historic hotels. For example, the Tiffany Bottoms train ride is one of a kind. As an open-air train, it travels across the floodplains of the south to remote areas of the Tiffany Bottoms, highlighted by its ash, silver maple, basswood, and oak-dominated north, Thereby allowing travelers to see exotic birds as Adria. Alba, Buteo lineatus, and Great Blue Heron during their journey. An experienced and knowledgeable birder on the train introduces the passengers to different types of birds and their behavior, which makes bird identification easy. A botanist on the train shares plants varieties and exoticism with passengers, increasing their knowledge of the prairie. If you want to experience the uniqueness of the Tiffany Bottoms Wetland and see the unfiltered aspect of nature in all its glory, then the Tiffany Bottoms train ride is a must for you.
- tiffany bottoms train
- Address: Durand, Wisconsin, USA
- Opening hours: 7 am-noon (spring); 7:30 am – Noon (Fall)
- Price: USD 40
Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
With its tracks dating back more than 100 years, the Lumberjack Steam Ride along the Namkagan River is another scenic ride worth a stop. It stretches between Spooner and Springbrook for about 15 miles (24 km) along Old Chicago. It offers a variety of train rides such as sightseeing, elegant dinner, family pizza, and USA’s only moving breakfast and bed train. The train ride can take about 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on where you travel.
- Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
- Address: Spooner, Wisconsin, USA
- Website: Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
- Opening hours: Sun & Mon: 9 am – 5 pm; Tues-Sat: 10 am to 6 pm
- Price: First Class Bed and Breakfast: USD 429; Second Class Bed and Breakfast: 329 USD
Mid-Continent Railway Museum
The Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin, is another ride worth visiting. The train ride is a refreshing excursion into the Sooke County countryside, providing beautiful views. The train conductors are well-versed in the area’s history, and their friendliness makes the journey all the more enjoyable. A journey on this centuries-old train is a treat for antique lovers. The museum also houses vintage train cars, a definite draw for history buffs.
- Mid-Continent Railway Museum
- Address: North Freedom, Wisconsin, USA
- Website: Mid Continent Railway Museum
- Opening hours: Sun: 12 noon – 12:01 am (closed on weekdays)
- Price: 30 USD – 80 USD
Lumberjack Steam Train
For a wonderful train trip in Wisconsin, consider the Lumberjack Steam Train. Consisting of one steam locomotive, three cabooses, and two steel passenger coaches, the Lumberjack Steam Train is managed by heritage railroads: the Laona and Northern Railway. It is an integral part of the Camp 5 Museum. Traveling on a train is a lovely experience for adults and especially children. Train management conducts cowboy events twice each year, which is a fun yet an attractive feature of the ride. The troupe engaged in role-playing in their colorful costumes, creating a wholesome experience. All employees of the train management team, from ticket agents to engineers, are focused on a great travel experience for the people. Hence, their friendliness is something that completes the experience of train travel.
- Lumberjack Steam Train
- Address: Laona, Wisconsin, USA
- Website: Lumberjack Steam Train
- Price: Adult: 20 USD; Children (age 16): 8 USD; Children (under 3): Free
Fun for kids and adults alike
Train trips in Wisconsin, USA, prove to be an exhilarating experience for kids and adults alike. From viewing the natural beauty of Wisconsin to traveling across meadows and wetlands on trains where chirping birds reach an unparalleled level of audibility, these train rides qualify as lovely moments that travelers begin their journey with. They are seen again years later. If you’re in Wisconsin, try one of these train rides and let us know your experience. Be sure to also check out the best cabins with hot tubs and hotels with water parks!
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