Riding the rails is a great way to see the fall foliage bursting with color. Leaf peepers, as they are known, believe this year is going to be a good one for leaf color, intensity, and variety. Because of the sunny days and cool nights we might see even more brilliant reds and purples this year instead of the majority of oranges and yellows.

I drove through the Catskills Mountains this weekend and I was surprised how much the leaf color had already changed. Experts are saying that we are at the mid-point in the Catskills and the Adirondack Mountains for the big color change.  The good news is that you've got plenty of time to check out the fall foliage before the leaves start to drop and you have plenty of time to decide how you're going to see them.

That's where the trains come in. Sure, you can take a scenic drive through Upstate New York and see some beautiful fall foliage, or take a hike or just drive on the Thruway and see some very pretty colors. However, if you want a really cool, really unique experience you should see the bursting fall colors from a train chugging through the mountains. There's just something really special about it.

Unfortunately, this year due to the coronavirus some scenic train operators have canceled their specialty train trips for the fall foliage season as well as the holidays. The good news is that there are still a couple of scenic trains operating this fall.

The Catskill Mountain Railroad is the closest option for the Capital Region that is still offering fall foliage rides. The train departs from Westbrook Station at Kingston Plaza for a 60ish minute round trip ride. Not only do they have a Fall Foliage Adventure Train with tickets that range from $9.00 to $15.00. They also have the Pumpkin Express Train, passengers are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and each will get to select a pumpkin to take home. The Pumpkin Express is $13.00 to $19.00.

This one is a bit of a drive from the Capital Region so it's a bit more of a commitment. This 90-plus minute train ride will take you through Western New York, along historic and scenic areas near Buffalo. Rides run Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Oct. 3-25. Tickets are $19 for all ages

Both railroads are following all CDC coronavirus safety guidelines with extra cleanings between trips. Also, masks are required for all guests over the age of two.

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