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“Enjoy history and nature at a relaxed pace”
Review of Skunk Train

Skunk Train
Ranked #1 of 7 Tours in Fort Bragg
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Attraction details
Owner description: Trips departing from both Fort Bragg, CA and Willits, CA on the historic Redwood Route of Mendocino County. The Pudding Creek Express departs from Fort Bragg, on which your train will travel along the Pudding Creek Estuary to Glen Blair Junction on this short and scenic 1-hour, 7-mile roundtrip. You will be traveling over some of the first tracks laid down by the California Western Railroad in 1885. Once the train stops it will immediately return to Fort Bragg. The Northspur Flyer departs from Willits, on which your train will climb the Eastern slope of the Coastal Mountain Range and cut through it at Tunnel #2 (the Summit) before descending down into the redwood-thick Noyo River Canyon. This 4-hour, 40-mile roundtrip allows you to explore the wondrous forest where the world’s tallest trees take you back in time. Once you arrive at Northspur, the midpoint of the railroad, you will disembark for an opportunity to walk around, purchase lunch, and breathe the pristine mountain air.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

We enjoyed our first ride on the Skunk train yesterday. I'm sort of a train buff and made a point of reserving a ride for the steam-powered excursion. We rode in an old parlor car as we meandered through the coastal redwoods from Ft. Bragg to the turn-around at Northspur. These are not the most dramatic redwoods I have seen, but they are dramatic enough. The stop at Northspur gave us the opportunity to enjoy our lunch at a picnic table amidst a beautiful grove of Redwoods. We packed our own picnic lunch which I recommend since the line for food at Northspur becomes quite long for those not fleet of foot. It was fun to watch our steam locomotive go through the process of using the turn around tracks to get into position for the return trip. During the trip we were fed snippets of history involving stops along the way. Some cabins can only be accessed by this train.
I didn't use the restoom on the train but my wife did. She said is was clean and about the same size as the restrooms on modern Amtrak cars (very small). However, it did not have a sink for washing hands. Fortunately we had hand sanitizer with us. Restrooms at the Ft. Bragg depot and at Northspur are spacious and full equipped.
If you enjoy history and can function at a relaxed pace for half a day you will enjoy this experience.

1  Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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429 - 433 of 575 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2012

Bad speakers, boring ride, dirty train, restroom dirty and miniscule. There isn't much more to say.

This excursion was $40. pp. They brought us to a place where there were tables of junk set up like a flea market and some cheap food stands. We expected some marked walking trails or someone with a little education to be able to answer some questions. There was no such thing.

We were very dissappointed.

5  Thank ataboscoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

The Skunk Train was a lovely experience. Some folks here have complained that it's too long, but keep in mind that life in Fort Bragg is just slower and more relaxed than other places, so the leisurely length is a part of the lifestyle here.

While you won't see the same quantity of massive redwoods as you will in other places in California, the ride is simply beautiful. It's not your everyday tourist attraction or experience. The conductor gave a comprehensive history of the people and place, which was a real treat since this area is very proud of their regional history and sharing it with others.

Some have commented on the solicitations, which didn't make us feel uncomfortable. The musician and the photographer weren't pushy. For example, the photographer was still just as nice to us when we didn't want to buy the picture she took of us. Additionally, I didn't feel like the food was super overpriced. If you're budget conscious, just bring your picnic lunch and you'll still have a great time.

If you're looking for a leisurely adventure, gorgeous scenery, and friendly folks, the Skunk Train is a treat. And if you want a quieter, less crowded experience, check them out in spring or fall (especially on weekdays) when there are less tourists.

2  Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

you can't ride a train like the skunk anymore. having grown up in europe i still enjoy this ride through the redwoods. very old-times.

Thank sabine17093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We arrived after touring the Avenue of the Giants and Humbolt National Park so the Redwoods on this trip did not have the same effect as they would had we started here. The train transfers at an isolated area where you can either buy overpriced food or twiddle your thumbs for 45 minutes. On the train we had a photographer introducing himself to everyone and offering to take pictures and a guitarist who was also playing for tips. Overall, as part of a captive audience, we would have preferred to just enjoy the train ride without the turnaround 45 minute stop and the unsolicited solicitations.

2  Thank Jim0244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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