There certainly is controversy about the Adirondack Scenic Railroad being a viable tourist attraction versus the tracks becoming an interconnecting bike path through the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.
Those that believe the expense, need and usage isn’t warranted are often pitted against nostalgic train riders who want to ride the rails. For now the Adirondack Scenic Railroad is running full steam ahead for the summer season. For parents wishing for a different type of experience, perhaps this is the way to go.
I have never been sure what made my son stop in his tracks when he heard a train’s whistle. Is it a taste of magic, new destinations or a promise of adventure? For us as we board the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and hear the conductor yell “Ready to button up,” it is a bit of each. With our busy lives this is one Adirondack family activity where we really do get to sit and watch clouds go by.
I am mildly disappointed that the much touted, “all aboard” is not put to use but still we got stomach flutters in anticipation of the ride from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid. Our breezy open-air car is named the Timber Car as it had been acquired from a Canadian tourist train that had operated on defunct logging tracks.
There are a variety of trips the Adirondack Scenic Railroad offers from its stations in Uitca, Thendara (Old Forge), Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. There are magical events with clowns, a Great Train Robbery and “free” ice cream on Sundays. Perhaps you want to try out a Canoe and Rail Excursion with St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake, an all day event.
In Thendara there is also a Canoe & Rail package where you can paddle the Moose River and return by train with Tickner’s Canoes or even take the train into the mountains and bike back. (Bike rentals are available.)
I am a bit more of a traditionalist. I like to either go canoeing, biking or ride the train. For now, I’ll just stick with watching to see if I can find that one elusive Blue Heron that my son always manages to see on the Chubb River as we ride the Saranac Lake to Lake Placid line.
Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George.