My two year old daughter absolutely adores trains. From Thomas the Tank Engine to our local subway service, she is completely intrigued by the rails. So when I heard about the East Troy Electric Railroad in southeastern Wisconsin, I knew it would be a mother-daughter experience to cherish forever and something we could enjoy for years to come.
The East Troy Electric Railroad is 103 years old and home to trolley rides, a dinner train, gift shop, museum and more. Guests can even savor a cold treat at the adjacent Laubers Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor. And visitors can board a restored vintage trolley or train and ride the rails for 11 miles through the Wisconsin woodlands.
Train trips are available some weekdays during the summer and every weekend from May through October. Tickets can be purchased for just $12.50 for adults and kids 12 and up, $10.50 for senior citizens and free for children ages 3 through 11. Reservations are not necessary and each train ticket can be used all day long for many different railroad cars. Which means you can literally ride the rails for the entire afternoon, if you so choose. Guests can also visit the restoration garage to learn about each train from knowledgeable volunteers.
Some East Troy trains seat up to 80 people and their most popular journey is a 5 1/2 mile jaunt to the nearby Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. The Elegant Farmer is ever famous for their scrumptious apple pies baked in a paper bag. They also feature a warehouse style barn jam packed with home baked goods like muffins, jellies, cookies, soups, breads and so much more.
Travelers can also lunch in a lofty tent upon hay bale chairs and savor BBQ pulled pork, soup in a bread bowl and more. And each season at the Elegant Farmer pays tribute to fresh picked fruits like cherries, strawberries, apples and peaches. In the fall months, train passengers can hop off the rails and hop onto a hayride that meanders through a hilltop apple orchard and pumpkin patch.
The East Troy Railroad system also offers charter trips to various Wisconsin countryside locations, a haunted Halloween express and a holiday excursion with Santa Claus. They even advertise a dinner trip aboard the Art Deco Dining car, priced at $72 per person. For a complete history, schedules, fares, car descriptions, photographs and special events, log onto www.easttroyrr.org.