The Walkersville Southern Railroad offers a chance for a scenic ride in the countryside of Frederick County with regularly scheduled weekend trains and many special events throughout the year.
Your visit to the Walkersville Southern Railroad begins in the sleepy town of Walkersville about a 15 minute ride from the end of highway 270 in Frederick. Once you purchase your tickets ($10 per adult, $5 per child over age 3) you can choose which type of train car you want to sit in.
The 1920s era passenger cars have wide seats, large windows and ceiling fans but you can also choose to sit in the caboose or in the open air car with benches and breezes. My kids, ages 7 and 5, spent most of the train ride walking back and forth between the passenger car and the open air car. Once underway the train passes through some rolling hills, farmland, crosses the Monocacy River and an old stone fort.
You also pass through people’s backyards and some strip malls so it is not exactly a ride into the wilderness! That said, the views are pretty (especially in fall) and the train’s speed slow enough to enjoy the trip while moving around between train cars. For maximum kid enjoyment, bring a camera that they can use to take pictures and consider bringing some snacks on board.
Regularly scheduled train excursions run every Saturday in May through October at 11am and 2pm. In September and October additional trains run at the same times on Sundays. Rides for these scheduled times do not require reservations. Our train on an October Saturday was about one third full. Aside from these times listed above, the Walkersville Southern Railroad has many special event trains throughout the year.
The Ghost Train will ride this coming Saturday night (10/29/11) at 7pm and 8:30pm with tickets at $12 per adult, $9 for seniors and $7 for kids 1 to 12. Cookies and cider in the train museum are included with the price. Also coming up are the Santa Trains on November 26 & 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11 & 17.
Trains leave the station at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Reservations for these events are strongly recommended. Other special event trains throughout the year are Bunny Trains at Easter time, Bubbles in the Breeze, Magic Trains and Teddy Bear Tea Parties all held in the summer months.
To extend your visit once your train ride is over, you can visit the small train museum across the street. Here you can view a large model train exhibit, watch a video on historical trains and hang out in the kids’ corner with many wooden trains, train toys and train themed books for kids to play with and read. Back inside the ticket office you can purchase toys and books for your train enthusiasts as well.
Head to Walkersville to ride the rails!
Know Before You Go
- Tickets can be purchased with Visa, Mastercard or Discover. Reservations for special event trains can be made online.
- The only restrooms available are port-a-potties located outside of the museum.
- For lunch ideas, pick up a flyer in the ticket office for a listing of nearby options. We ate at the Village Tavern in Walkersville and had a great meal.
- The caboose can be rented out for birthday parties! Check here for more information.
Photo by Kim Engstrom