Autumn in the Cuyahoga Valley
By Katie Brewer
This fall experience the changing colors in Northeast, Ohio aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Running along 26 miles of track from Independence to Akron, the train will transport you back in time to the golden age of railroading.
Passengers sit back and watch the passing scenery as the train weaves through Cuyahoga Valley, racing along with the revitalized Cuyahoga River. You will be delighted by the sights along the way and the wildlife that can be spotted alongside the tracks.
For first time riders or those who want to explore Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the National Park Scenic excursion is a perfect option. Visitors can climb aboard this excursion on Wednesday through Sunday at any of the main boarding stations through October.
Main boarding stations are located in Independence (7900 Old Rockside Road), Peninsula (1630 Mill Street) and Akron (27 Ridge Street). The National Park Scenic excursion travels the length of Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a three-and-a-half-hour round trip. When booking tickets, you can choose from a variety of seating options including Coach All-Day, First Class, Upper Dome, and Executive Lounge. A Coach All-Day ticket allows passengers to deboard at any main boarding station throughout the day and get back on the train at a later time.
Bike the trails and ride the rails with the popular Bike Aboard program! Bike or hike along the towpath trail in one direction and ride the train back to your starting point, or vice versa. The train can be flagged down at any of CVSR’s eight stations. The fare is $5 for a one-way (once per day) ride.
Returning to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September is Steam in the Valley. The historic Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765 will chug through the valley and give visitors a glimpse of railroading history.
Guests can take a two-hour ride with the 400-ton locomotive at the helm and will have the opportunity to deboard the train for an exclusive photo run-by. A variety of seating options will be available including open air cars, coach, table car, first class, and upper dome. Excursions run on September 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29.
Those looking to see the changing colors of fall will be delighted in the two-hour nonstop Fall Flyer excursion. The Fall Flyer excursion gives passengers an opportunity to view the breathtaking scenery from a variety of seating options aboard historic railcars.
Among popular seating options is the vista dome of the historic California Zephyr train cars, where guests get a 360-degree view of the valley. Fall Flyer rides will depart from Independence and Akron Stations on Saturdays and Sundays in October. Tickets range in price from $25-$35 per person and will go on sale in August.
Looking for more ways to ride the train during fall in Cuyahoga Valley? CVSR offers evening beer and wine tasting excursions throughout September, October and November. On Ales on Rails™ passengers will experience a beer tasting that is one of a kind. On board, guests will enjoy five beer samples paired with appetizers, and even get a souvenir tasting glass to take home.
Grape Escape is CVSR’s premier wine tasting excursion and features changing wines each month. Passengers will be served five glasses of wine paired with appetizers and receive a souvenir wine tasting glass to remember the experience.
A variety of seating options are available on Ales on Rails™ and Grape Escape excursions including Coach, Tabletop, First Class, and Upper Dome. Special to beer and wine tasting excursions is the opportunity to ride in the California Zephyr train cars.
For more information about CVSR’s train schedules, ticket information and events, visit cvsr.org. All tickets for train rides can be purchased online at cvsr.org or by phone at 1-800-468-4070. It is recommended that tickets are purchased in advance of the ride and that passengers arrive 30 minutes prior to departure. No food or beverage is allowed on board. Guests may purchase food, beverages, and merchandise in the concession car on board the train.
Autumn in the Cuyahoga Valley