With spring in full bloom, California State Parks and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) are proud to provide guests with a unique opportunity to experience spring wildflowers from aboard a train. While the Park is open daily, special Wildflower Train Rides are available on three weekend dates – April 8, 9 & 15 – and depart from the Depot promptly at 3 p.m. The Wildflower Train will be pulled by the “Movie Star Locomotive” Sierra No. 3™ on the two select Saturdays or a historic diesel locomotive on the one special Sunday. Prior to boarding the train, passengers will have the opportunity to learn about the wildflowers of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills by watching an informative video presentation at 2:30 p.m.
Railtown 1897 SHP’s popular Wildflower Trains feature naturalists and Interpretive Park Rangers from the nearby Bureau of Reclamation’s New Melones Lake, answering questions and pointing out flower groupings along the way. Wildflower Trains take guests on a six-mile, one-hour roundtrip ride through the scenic landscapes of California’s Gold Country. Along the way, trains encounter meadows and rolling hills, with such local flora as “meadowfoam,” “goldfields” and other colorful flowers typically in bloom. Train ride guests receive a checklist, wildflower booklet and a packet of wildflower seeds. In addition, Railtown 1897’s regular excursion trains are operating on these three dates as well with departures at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.
Wildflower or excursion train ride tickets cost $20 for adults, $14 for youth ages 6-17 and children five and under ride free. With some open air seating available, train ride tickets are available online at www.railtown1897.org and at the ticket window beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of the ride (based on availability). Tickets include Park admission, capacity is limited, and advance reservations are suggested.
In addition to weekend excursion train rides, special opportunities are available on weekdays at Railtown 1897 SHP as well. On the second Tuesday of each month (April through October), behind-the-scenes Shop Tours are available at 10 a.m. and are included with regular Park admission. Then on Wednesdays throughout the summer season (June 21 through August 9), diesel train rides will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Because the train ride schedule is subject to change with expanded service on holiday weekends, etc., visitors are encouraged to call 209-984-3953 or visit www.railtown1897.org for updated information.
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California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.