Fall Train Rides in Ohio – See the Foliage in All Its Glory

Fall is one of my favorite times to get outside and see nature. Like everyone out there, we’re looking for something new to do this year, so I searched to see if there are any scenic train rides in Ohio.

To my surprise, there are quite a few fall train rides in Ohio. Some are all about the fall foliage while others have spooky themes for Halloween fun. We can’t wait to see fall in Ohio from these railway views. All aboard!

fall train rides in Ohio

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway train rides explore beautiful southeastern Ohio from the comfort of a railway car. The fall months are so popular that they’ve added two special Fall Foliage train rides each week during the month of October. You can catch these fall train rides in Ohio on Thursdays and Fridays at 1PM. Train rides last 2 hours.

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway train cards on the tracks

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is located in Nelsonville, Ohio. It is run by an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the restoration, maintenance, and operation of historic railroad equipment. Beyond the Fall Foliage Train Rides, there are also other themed events throughout the year including the Elegant Dinner Train, Spring Time Express, Easter Bunny Train & Egg Hunt, the Memorial Day Train, and Ohio’s Friendliest Robbery Train.

They also offer dinner trains. Their Elegant Dinner Train is a 3 hour round trip excursion through historic southeast Ohio back-country from Nelsonville to East Logan and return. The Starbrick BBQ and Brews Steam Express is a 2 hour event. Each Train has a different dining theme with a four-course meal prepared by renowned Chef Alfonso Constisciani and is served throughout the trip. This is a unique and memorable evening! Advanced reservations are required and it looks as though tickets go quick. Be sure to watch their website and Facebook page for ticket releases.

Located at 33 West Canal Street, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764

The Silver Lariat Dome train car
The Silver Lariat Dome, photo credit: CVSR

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Enjoy a scenic train ride with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. They offer a large variety of train rides including:

National Park Scenic excursion: This sight-seeing tour shows fall in all its colors in one of the state’s only national parks. Take a 3.5 hour round-trip excursion through Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see bald eagle nests, historical landmarks, and the Cuyahoga River.

Murder Mystery Train: Can you figure out who did it? Uncover clues left at the crime scene and interview on another. Professional actors particpate as well. The October theme is the Case of the Spooky Seance.Costumes encouraged! This train departs from Rockside Station.

Ales on Rails: a two hour tasting excursion including beer samples, light appetizers, and a glass to take home. 21 and up.

Grape Escape: a two hour wine tasting excursion with wine samples, light appetizers, and a glass to take home. 21 and up.

Dinner on the Train: passengers will enjoy cocktail hour, a four course meal prepared by their onboard executive chef, complimentary drinks throughout the ride, and comfortable seating in their first class cars.

Family Friendly Rides: shorter, more interactive rides for all ages. These excursions include Royalty on the Rails, Superhero Train, Rail Roving, crafts, games and more.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a nonprofit organization operating in partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


Zanesville & Western Scenic Railroad

The Pumpkin Train will be running in the month of October.

Located at 5700 OH-204, Mt Perry, Ohio 43760

an Ohio Railway Museum train car on bridge
photo credit: Ohio Railway Museum

Ohio Railway Museum

The Ghost Trolley is a fall train ride for families and not overly frightening. Details are TBD for this year’s Ghost Trolley.

This fall train ride in Ohio is hosted by the Ohio Railway Museum. In the Winter, the Ohio Railway Museum also hosts a Letters to Santa event. While you’re there, stop in the museum to see an assortment of equipment and artifacts from locomotives, streetcars, interurbans, and more.

Located at 990 Proprietors Road, Worthington, Ohio 43085

Dennison Railroad Depot Museum

This one is not a train ride, but is a fall train-themed event worth mentioning. The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum is a National Historic Landmark that served 1.3 million service members during WWII. Today, it is a beautifully restored Depot with a museum, restaurant, theater, and gift shop.

The Autumn Lantern Tour takes visitors back in time as they travel through Ohio’s first village. Luminaries will light the paths and cabins will have reenactors. This special after-hours evening will take place on Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

In addition, they’ll have a Pumpkin Glow Drive-Through event this year at the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum. This event will provide an opportunity for safe family fun as families can view over 1000 lighted jack-o-lanterns from the safety and comfort of their car. There will be a large variety of themed carved and painted pumpkins, enhanced by holiday decorations, music, lights and characters!

Located at 400 Center Street, Dennison, Ohio 44621

Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad

Located in Lebanon / Warren County, Ohio, LM&M offers the only family friendly train ride experiences in southwest Ohio. And in the autumn months, their route turns into one of the prettiest fall foliage train rides in SW Ohio. The Turtle Creek Valley Flyer stays close to Turtle Creek and crosses over many bridges. Imagine the splendor of the fall leaves from that view!

Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad train on tracks
Image Credit: Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad Website

Throughout the year, the LM&M Railroad also hosts the Princess Express, Cherry Street Murder Mystery, Summer Steam Train, Pizza Train, the Bourbon Train and more.

Located at 16 E. South Street, Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Cincinnati Dinner Train

Dinner with a view! The Cincinnati Dinner Train is a 3.2 hour trip that takes passengers throughout Cincinnati and along the downtown riverfront. This train ride in Ohio may not meander through the countryside, but its fall views are just as stunning in the urban landscapes. Autumn foliage and a four course dinner are the perfect recipe for your next date night!

The Dinner Train operates every Saturday throughout the year, with the exception of January and February. Book during the October to see the city’s fall splendor. They recommend booking 8 to 10 weeks in advance to make sure you snag a seat before tickets are gone.

Located at 2172 East Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45237

a view of the Cincinnati Dinner Train set for dinner
NY Central Tables for 4, image: Cincinnati Dinner Train

2 thoughts on “Fall Train Rides in Ohio – See the Foliage in All Its Glory”

  1. We are interested in taking a train ride and would like some more information on which ones are best and may need a bit of help to book it. Thank you so much

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