This Train Ride Will Give You The Perfect View Of Pennsylvania's Fall Foliage

The East Broad Top Railroad runs through the heart of central Pennsylvania and gives passengers incredible views of the state's fall foliage. The scenic one-hour ride on the narrow-gauge railway passes a bucolic landscape of farms, forests, and rolling hills. In fall, the landscape blazes with color and passengers get the perfect view from the train's carriages.

Traveling out from its base at Orbisonia Station, the train chugs 9 miles through the spectacular countryside to Colgate Grove. At present, the cars are pulled by a diesel locomotive, but the railroad is working on restoring steam locomotives to run on the route. Visit PA advises that fall foliage peaks in this area in mid-October, so that's the ideal time to bag tickets for the East Broad Top. As well as the railroad, there are historical buildings and shops to explore on the site, so you can make a full day's excursion in Rockhill.

A slice of history

Going on the railway is like taking a step back in time to catch a glimpse of the U.S.'s industrial revolution. In 1990, the National Park Service wrote about Rockhill Furnace that "Nowhere in North America does such a complete and original industrial historic site exist." Accordingly, the site was designated a national historic landmark in 1964. The 1990 report also states that the East Broad Top is the oldest surviving narrow-gauge railroad east of the Rocky Mountains. History buffs and train enthusiasts: this is a ride for you!

The mainline from Rockhill to Mount Union was opened in August 1873 and it ran for over 80 years, hauling a range of raw materials, including coal, and pig ore. The railroad offers guided tours of some of the historical buildings on the site too. You can get more of an insight into the railroad's history, the people and machines that kept it running, and discover the steam locomotives waiting to be restored in the roundhouse.

Plan your trip

If you want to ride the East Broad Top Railroad, plan your trip well in advance. The train doesn't run every day, so check the website for an up-to-date timetable and to buy tickets. There are different classes available on the train. You can choose the enclosed coach, with large windows and more comfortable seats, or opt for the open-air coach, where you'll sit on outward-facing benches and have unobstructed views. You can also ride in a caboose.

Tickets for the enclosed and open-air coaches cost $20 for adults (people aged 13+) and $15 for children aged 2–12. Tickets to ride in the caboose cost $25 for adults and $20 for children. You can book in advance or turn up on the day if you want to try your luck. Guided tours can also be booked in advance, as can vintage trolley rides at the nearby Rockhill Trolley Museum. Grab your tickets for the perfect fall foliage trip now.