Best Dog-Friendly Train Rides for Fall

Posted by Billy Francis

Ride a choo-choo with your Chow Chow on these scenic railroads that welcome dogs to sit back, relax and immerse themselves in the vibrant colors of autumn. From waterfront rides with hot cider to a steam train that stops at a pumpkin patch, dogs ride for free on all of these fall train rides across the country.

Narrow Gauge Railroad

Portland, ME
Phoebe the explorer taking an old fashioned train! Photo by @phoebesfables

Cinderella’s pumpkin only transforms into a carriage for one night, whereas Narrow Gauge Railroad magically turns into a pumpkin for the entire fall season. Every October, people and pups who delight in fall can climb aboard The Pumpkin Train Service, a festive ride that invites children to pick out a pumpkin and the whole family to sip on hot cider and eat fresh cookies. Well-behaved pups are welcome to ride along and catch a glimpse of the fall colors lining the Casco Bay waterfront. This slow-paced journey is three miles round trip and takes roughly 35-40 minutes to complete.

Wake up to bay views from Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown near the railroad. Fido will find a convenient pet relief area just outside and the waterfront is a short walk away.

Roaring Camp Railroads

Felton, CA
“Roaring on the railroad!” Photo by @fridathebasset

Did you know that pumpkin is a great source of nutrients and fiber for dogs? If you want to make Fido some healthy and delicious treats this fall, join in the fun of the Harvest Faire with Roaring Camp Railroads. Climb aboard the Redwood Forest Steam Train to Bear Mountain, where you and your pooch can pick your favorite pumpkin from the town pumpkin patch. Setting off from Felton, one of the best places to view fall foliage in California, the open-top carriages offer visitors a great view of the colorful trees along the way. This fun steam train journey takes roughly 75 minutes to complete.

Carry your pup’s pumpkin back to Hilton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley, where he’ll receive a treat at check-in and can explore the pet relief area outside before bedtime.

The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad: Fall Splendor Excursion

Garibaldi, OR
Discover changing colors in Oregon. Photo by @sunnycalidoodle

Rail enthusiasts and leaf peepers can unite on The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad for the Fall Splendor Excursion. Dogs are welcome to join in the fun on this historic, repurposed steam train that travels down the coastal tracks lined with trees and along Miami Cove and Tillamook Bay. Passengers bringing their canine companions along for the ride are asked to sit in the open-top section of the train, which gives pups more room to stretch their legs and offers an even better view of The Beaver State’s changing colors. The Fall Splendor Excursion lasts one hour.

Hop off the train and check in to your room at Garibaldi Inn at the Bay. Four-legged guests receive treats, towels and bowls to use during their stay and there’s a grassy relief area outside.

Conway Scenic Railroad

North Conway, NH
“I’m fall-ing in love.” Photo by @bean_thegolden

Surrounded by the natural beauty of White Mountain National Forest, Conway Scenic Railroad provides passengers with a glimpse of stunning New England fall foliage. Departing from the historic North Conway Train Station, there are two pet-friendly journeys to choose from, and Fido will receive his own doggy ticket prior to boarding. The Valley Train is an old-fashioned railroading experience from a 1874 train station in North Conway Village to Conway or Bartlett and back again in just over two hours. The Mountaineer to the Notch Train is the longest journey on our list at nearly five hours and takes in spectacular Crawford Notch’s panoramic mountain vista painted in bold fall colors.

Settle in for the night at Red Jacket Mountain View, where you can enjoy more scenic vistas from your pet-friendly room. Upon arrival, dogs receive treats, as well as beds and bowls to use during their stay.

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Jim Thorpe, PA
“The views even better out here.” Photo by @visitphilly_abbystyle

All aboard Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for the best show in town. Dogs can ride in both enclosed and open-air coaches from the 1920s for a 16-mile journey through the beautiful Pennsylvania wilderness. Lovers of leaf season can revel in the tapestry on display in ‘The Switzerland of America,’ Jim Thorpe. On the one-hour narrated train ride, you’ll learn about anthracite coal’s role in the industrial revolution and enjoy stunning views of the vibrant Lehigh Gorge.

Spend the night surrounded by fall foliage at Cabin in the Trees. This pet-friendly home has an inviting outdoor space with a grill to cook up Fido’s favorites for dinner.

Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad

Leadville, CO
“All tracks lead to Leadville.” Photo by @tanya_coloradohomefinder

Are you planning a pet-friendly adventure to the Colorado Rockies? Book a seat for you and your best friend on Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad and enjoy colorful fall foliage as you wind through the Arkansas River Valley in San Isabel National Forest. On the two-and-a-half hour tour, passengers get a glimpse of two of Colorado’s highest peaks - Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert - while the conductor gives a rundown of the history of Leadville.

Tiny House Oscar is about the same size as a train carriage, but a lot more comfortable. This unique stay has hardwood floors and is conveniently located close to downtown.

Big South Fork Scenic Railway

Stearns, KY
Stop to explore the colorful surroundings. Photo by @wanderlustkentucky

Embark on an unforgettable dog-friendly adventure with Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns, KY. BSF Scenic Railway gives visitors the chance to see one of the last and best preserved “company” towns of the Kentucky coalfields. This 14-mile round trip through the Appalachian backcountry and into Big South Fork Gorge shows off epic mountain scenery sprinkled with vibrant leafage along the way.

If you still want to explore the area, paddle the Big South Fork River with your pup in the kayaks provided at The Bear Paw, a comfortable cabin with hardwood floors throughout and a nice fenced space outside.

Delaware and Ulster Railroad

Arkville, NY
Who’s ready for a historic excursion? Photo by

The Catskill Mountains in New York are covered in a blanket of maples, birches and other hardwoods that turn an array of beautiful colors during the fall season. Open your eyes to yellows, oranges and reds on a relaxing journey through the region with Delaware and Ulster Railroad. This historic gem welcomes dogs to join their owners on the Excursion Train. Fido will receive his very own ticket, which he can get punched upon entry. The two-hour trip spans 24 miles of relatively flat land between the historic towns of Arkville and Roxbury, and passes through tunnels of trees that display an array of vivid colors with the silhouette of the Catskill Mountains in the distance.

Paws for prayer at Looking for a Heavenly Getaway, a converted church near the railroad. This unique property has a grassy area outside for dogs to use and hardwood floors inside for easy cleanup.

What’s your favorite fall activity with Fido? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @visitphilly_abbystyle.