Considered one of the Most Scenic Railroads in North America, Skunk Train trips are offered from two stations located at opposite ends of our railroad in the communities of Fort Bragg and Willits.
Except for the passengers’ high-tech cameras and modern garb, a time traveler from the last century would feel quite at home riding Skunk Train today.
With occasional whistles as it chugs through tunnels, over bridges and past open meadows, the train follows the coastal “Redwood Route” as it has since 1885. The view from the restored rail cars is unchanged and timeless: towering trees, deer drinking from the Noyo River, an isolated fisherman’s cabin peeking from the forest.
Built as a logging railroad, the Skunk line began that year as the most logical means of transporting massive redwood logs from the rugged back country to Mendocino Coast sawmills. Steam passenger service began in 1904, extended to the town of Willits in 1911, and discontinued in 1925 when the self-powered, yellow “Skunk” rail cars were inaugurated. The little trains were quickly nicknamed for their original gas engines, which prompted the locals to exclaim: “You can smell ’em before you can see ’em!”
Moving at a leisurely pace, the trains pull covered cars as well as open observation cars; perfect for capturing photographs of a truly exhilarating journey.
How to Participate
1) Departing at 10:00am from Fort Bragg this 3.5 to 4 hour round trip costs $47 per adult $22 per child. As you depart Fort Bragg you will be treated to the views of the Pudding Creek estuary, quietly slipping into to tunnel #1 you will emerge into the Noyo River canyon the river which you will cross over for the balance of your journey to Northspur, traveling at the base of the canyon you will find yourself constantly looking up to see the tops of redwoods.
2) Departing at 9:45am from Willits this 3.5 to 4 hour round trip on our vintage rail cruiser costs $39 per adult and $22 per child. As you depart Willits you begin the steep assent (3.5% grade) to the summit of our line at 1740 feet, traveling through tunnel #2 you begin a decent into the Noyo River canyon in one spot traveling 8.5 rail miles which spans a straight line distance of less than one mile. Food and beverage are available onboard and seasonally available at Northspur Station.
Northspur Steam: From Fort Bragg departing on selected days your train is pulled by Engine #45 a beautifully maintained 1924 steam locomotive.
Northspur Barbecue: During the summer months from Fort Bragg we offer an 4.5 hour afternoon trip to Northspur where guests are treated to a delicious barbecue in the redwoods. Trips depart Tuesday-Saturday this trip is always a motorcar and when our capacity grows beyond 60 passengers we switch over to a diesel locomotive
Dates and Times
Fort Bragg Train Station Hours:
Daily: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Willits Train Station Hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For More Information, Contact:
707-964-6371 · toll-free 1-866-457-5865