Saratoga North Creek Railroad Experience

Greetings from Albany NY! For background, we fell upon this PBS telethon this summer that was all about heritage train rides throughout the country that are still functioning. For example, there was one down south where you can ride an old steam engine and they have people dress up like it’s the Wild West. We ended up donating and receiving two tickets to the Saratoga North Creek heritage ride since it was the closest one to us. We have been saving the tickets to use this fall because we knew it would be great to go during prime leaf-peeping season!

There was a crazy amount of fog as we headed up north at the crack of dawn, but it was a beautiful sunrise and we had fun looking at the landscape (farms) throughout the ride.


On the way to the train adventure, we swung through hubby’s Alma Mater which was really fun to see. It’s amazing how many memories come back with stimulants like restaurants, places on campus, etc. – makes me wish I was there with him all those years ago! We got to the train right on time and I was surprised at how quickly it filled up with railroad enthusiasts.  I think that’s what makes it special – you are in an environment with other people who share your specific passion (in this case hubby’s love of trains, which now I appreciate too). This is the same location of the “Excited Train Guy” video which you may have seen. If you haven’t, you’re welcome for the amusement! (I tried to get hubby to film a remake, but no such luck).


The train ride was just over 2 hours and cruised through the woods for the most part with some scenic glimpses of the Hudson along the way. I think we both would have liked some more “fun facts” during the route, because they didn’t really talk about what we were passing or the history of the line. Even so, we chatted with a nice couple and soon found ourselves in the quaint town of North Creek.


We went a little crazy shopping in the local stores, but we loved the local craftsmanship and they had tons of Adirondacks knickknacks. We came home with pine filled pillows, fir-smelling candles, and of course an ornament souvenir.


We found a little walking trail along a creek and strolled along there for a few minutes to stretch our legs (the town was pretty small and we had a 3 hour layover). Eventually we made our way to the Trappers Tavern at Copperfield Inn for lunch.


Sorry for the blurry picture, but I was trying to capture the interesting history of the place for you:

The bull moose over the fireplace was shot by Roosevelt in the 1880’s. It was here at the North Creek train depot, accross from the Copperfield, where the Vice President learned on the morning of September 14, 1901 that President McKinley had died at 2:15am and Roosevelt had thus succeeded McKinley as the 26th President of the United States.

I had a turkey club on what was clearly homemade bread and it was more than delicious. They also had Doc’s Apple Cider on draft which hit the spot! We chatted with the waiter for a while about how great a place it is to come back to and go skiing at Gore Mountain (which I think I did as a kid), so hubby and I may have to come back for a long weekend in the winter months.


The train ride back was just as pleasant. The above bridge that we went over was so narrow we couldn’t even see the tracks when you looked over the edge of the window. By the time we pulled into the Saratoga station again it was pretty dark and we were ready to check into the hotel in downtown Albany and order room service. On the way, hubby showed me where he worked selling suits to pay for his last year of school – he’s come a long way since then so it was one of those “be extra grateful for what you have” moments together. It can be easy to forget to be grateful for what we have when we so easily want to complain about going to work every day.

We just got really good cocktails and takeout from dp brasserie and are now hunkering into our hotel room for the night!

Has anyone been on a historic train ride? 

Healthy fall activities that you are up to this weekend? 

Northeasterners – any recommendations for other day trips/weekend getaways? – It can be both indoor and outdoor because we want to plan more for the winter!


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