It was a lazy Sunday. Sean and I were just lounging around watching the Giants play in London. During the game I got a FaceTime from my nephew Landon. We chatted for a bit. I usually watch him play with his toy trains when we FaceTime. This time I got invited to ride an actual train with him. My sister said “I’ll be over in an hour, be ready.”
We all piled into her rented SUV and hit the road. Her car is in the shop because she hit a deer. Typical in the Hudson Valley.
We crossed the Mid-Hudson bridge and drove north towards Kingston.
We drove for about an hour and pulled off route 28 into the Mt. Tremper train station. There it was, the “Catskill Mountain Railroad.” If you’re coming from NYC, it’s 100 miles north. You take exit 19 off the I-87 Thruway.
That’s when my sister informed me that we were taking the Esopus scenic train ride. The train rides are offered in both Kingston and Mt. Tremper. The rides started in 1982 and are run by volunteers. From what I was told, this weekend is the last weekend for this scenic ride in Mt. Tremper. The trains are being shipped to Albany. Governor Cuomo is having the tracks torn up and turned into a rail trail. There were a lot of sad locals taking their last ride.
The Kingston train will continue it’s annual “Polar Express” train rides around the holidays. From what my sister tells me they are fantastic. They give the kids hot cocoa and they meet Santa. More details and tickets here: http://cmrrevents.com/wordpress/polar-express/
Here we are at Mt. Tremper. It was so cold and windy, I thought Landon was going to blow away. We got some hot chocolate and candies from the locals.
We purchased our tickets and waited in a long line of excited families.
The train travels at a slow pace so you can truly enjoy the peak fall foliage along the Esopus.
The train stops at a Museum that used to be a train stop in Phoenicia.
After the museum you head back to Mt. Tremper. Uncle Sean got Landon something extra special. We learned a value lesson about buying kids toys. Always opt for the noiseless toy. We heard this Choo Choo all day.
The joy in his face made the trip all worth it. I have to say, it was so nice to have no cell service. Quality family time. Minus the few times I took pictures with my fancy camera. It was a blast.
I do appreciate that they want to extend the rail trail to connect all the counties but it’s truly sad to lose such a fun educational local excursion. This weekend is the very last Mt. Tremper ride. Get there if you can. http://cmrrevents.com/wordpress/about-us/