From the glory days of train travel to forgotten, overgrown rail tracks and abandoned stations, many unused and forgotten railways have been resurrected to take their place in the 21st century.
To the delight of those who enjoy time in nature, rail biking provides a new opportunity to explore the outdoors in a unique way for an awesome adventure definitely worth the experience.
There are currently about 50 rail trails in the USA, which are disused railway tracks that have been converted into multi-use paths, mostly for walking, cycling, horse riding and snowmobiling.
The historic Skunk Train railroad has run in the North Coast since 1885 and up until March 2019. At one stage it was the only way used by visitors to visit the majestic ancient redwood forest.
Generations of young and old took the Skunk Train to enjoy and admire the beauty of the trees.
The Redwood Forests are located just 3 hours north of San Francisco along the Pacific coast and offers something for every nature explorer and it offers a fabulous Skunk Train railbike route through the redwoods.
Each custom-made rail bike seats two per bike and literally whispers through the forest with pedal power. The bikes are safe on the tracks with no trains or other traffic to disrupt the journey, guaranteed! Low noise electric motors fitted to the bikes give tired legs running low on ‘steam’ to take a recharge break, without disrupting the peaceful surroundings.
It’s a gloriously tranquil 1.5 to 2 hour round trip which starts at Fort Bragg, from where the tracks wind along the scenic Pudding Creek then cross over the wooden trestle bridges and continues into Mendocino County, heart of the magnificent ancient redwoods, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, some reaching as high as 300ft into the sky.
The freedom rail peddling provides to survey the beautiful surroundings is amazing. It’s that exuberant feeling of ‘look Ma, no hands!’, leaving you free to look, slow down, take pictures and notice and discover so much more than any other mode of transport allows. Naturally, there’s plenty of birds, including blue herons and osprey, as well as deer, otters and turtles around the rivers – and perhaps, during peak berry season, you might even spot a bear enjoying a berry feast.
You’ve reached the halfway mark one you reach the Glen Blair Junction, which is a great spot to stretch your legs, enjoy a picnic and a walk into the forest to pay homage to the giant redwoods. With all that pure, clean air in your blood, the short trip back to Fort Bragg will be over far too quickly, albeit with plenty of beautiful photos and memories, it’s a sure bet you’ll be wanting to do it again, soon.
For bookings and rules safety, visit: www.skunktrain.com as well as www.railexplorers.net and www.themanual.com for other railbike adventures.