The days of railroad travel are almost all forgotten. Left behind with our memories is the abandoned shell of its infrastructure. So many overgrown rail tracks and abandoned stations, many unused and forgotten railways are now being re-purposed to give them usefulness in the 21st century. Those of us who love the outdoors will be so excited to know there’s a new opportunity to experience it like never before. Rail biking provides an awesome adventure definitely worth the experience.
There are about 50 rail-trails in the USA, which are forgotten railway tracks that have been converted into multi-use paths, mostly for walking, cycling, horse riding, and snowmobiling.
The historic Skunk Train railroad has run in the North Coast since 1885 and up until March 2019. At one point it was the only path used by visitors to visit the beautiful ancient redwood forest. Adventurers have been using the old Skunk Train to admire the beauty the redwood has to offer for generations.
The Redwood Forests are located just 3 hours north of San Francisco along the Pacific coast and offer something for everyone’s taste as they explore. It also offers a fabulous Skunk Train railbike route through the redwoods.
Each custom made rail bike has seats two per bike and whisks quietly through the forest with pedal power. The bikes are safe on the tracks with no other traffic to disrupt the journey, guaranteed! They also have low noise electric motors fitted to the bikes. That way you can take a break and give tired legs running low on ‘steam’ a rest. Without disrupting the peaceful surroundings or your journey, of course.
It’s a wonderfully peaceful 1.5 to 2 hour round trip which starts at Fort Bragg, from where the tracks wind along the scenic Pudding Creek then cross over the wooden trestle bridges and continues into Mendocino County, the heart of the magnificent ancient redwoods, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, some reaching as high as 300ft into the sky.
Taking the bike rail journey allows you an amazing experience to truly emerge yourself in beautiful surroundings. This mode of transportation leaves you free to slow down, take pictures and notice and discover so much more than any other mode of transport allows. There’s plenty of birds, including blue herons and osprey, as well as deer, otters, and turtles around the rivers – and perhaps, during peak berry season, you might even spot a bear enjoying a berry feast. Witnessing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is an experience like no other.
The halfway mark is Glen Blair Junction, which is a great spot to stretch your legs, enjoy a picnic and a walk into the forest to truly admire the giant redwoods. As you get your blood pumping and take in the clean fresh air the time will fly by all too quickly! You will be left with plenty of beautiful photos and memories to reflect on, and likely want to plan your next trip back as soon as possible to do it again.