What would it have been like to have been on a train in the Old West that was robbed by armed desperate outlaws? While it may not have been too fun for the victims, it is fun to watch on television or in the movies, isn’t it? Imagine taking a scenic train ride over areas of Ohio, all the while listening to scary ghost stories, including the famed Moonville Tunnel brakeman or the West State Angel. Imagine celebrating Memorial Day or Labor Day with a train ride over the same scenic area. Do you think your children would enjoy a train ride with Santa or a ride on Ohio’s own version of the North Pole Express, complete with hot chocolate, cookies, and a souvenir bell? Any of these trips is possible on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway in Nelsonville, Ohio, between Logan and Athens on U.S. 33.
You, and members of your family, can ride in one of the 1920’s commuter coaches. You can ride in one of the open air cars. You can view the panoramic scenery from one of the newer bi-level coaches. A restored B& O coach even has air conditioning.
The 2:30 trip provides a 22-mile roundtrip. The 12:00 noon trip provides a 14 mile trip. Depending on distance, age, and which event you are involved in on your train ride, the amount of the fares for most rides can vary from $9 to $16 each. Those three and younger ride free.
All the trips include a narrative of the area, including the landmarks, canal locks, and industrial remains. The area is beautiful to see by train in the fall, as you pass the many bright colors beside you. The volunteers who operate the train will be happy to answer any of your questions.
While you can travel in the summer, winter, or fall, if you travel in the fall, your trip will include a visit to an 1840’s style village. If you visit on the weekend you will see and smell the cooking. You will see an operating blacksmith shop. You will see ladies dressed in the style of the era making cornhusk dolls and spinning yarn. You will see people gathered on porches to sing Appalachian style music. You can make a purchase at the general store at Robbins Crossing.
On the Boo Train on October 23, you will hear music and see demonstrations. There is a costume contest. Children will receive free candy and pumpkins.
On the Robbery Trains from June through October, you can see the robbers steal your play money. The cost of this event is $20 for adults, with discounts for children and seniors.
On the Santa Train in November and December, your children can ride with Santa, as he hands out candy treats. The train is heated and decorated for the holiday. Each ride is $16 for adults and lasts two hours.
The North Pole Express ride also includes a visit with Santa in Nelsonville and free skating. You can bring your own skates or rent them for $2. The ride is $25 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children.
The New Year’s Eve Celebration Train includes fireworks and either wine and cheese or Pepsi and pizza. The wine and cheese ride is $35 for adults, with discounts for senior citizens and children. To have pizza instead, it is $25 for adults, with discounts for senior citizens and children.
“Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is a great tourist attraction for Nelsonville, and something that we want to see survive and prosper,” Mike Brooks, CEO of Rocky Shoes and Boots said about how close a planned U.S. Route 33 bypass would be to Nelsonville.
“Your visit to the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway can be part of a great family getaway weekend in the beautiful Hocking Hills,” was a comment on the Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce Website.
If you are looking for something to do on your next vacation, if you are planning on traveling anywhere near Nelsonville, Ohio, you might enjoy a trip on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. The railway is operated by volunteers who are members of the railway.
Step Back in Time and Relax, no author listed, ohiotravler.com
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, no author listed, hvsry.com
River, Railroad Possible Obstacles to Alternate Bypass Route, Athens News Staff, athensnews.com
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, no author listed, nelsonvillechamber.com