Skunk Train in Ft. Bragg, CA

100 W. Laurel StFt. Bragg, CA 95437
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Starting at
$49.95
INSTANT CONFIRMATION

Overview

The historic Skunk Train has journeyed through the redwoods of California since 1885. Riding through redwood groves, over scenic trestle bridges, through otherworldly tunnels, and into the heart of the Noyo River Canyon, the “Skunk” provides breathtaking views to its passengers. With five experiences to choose from, visitors have plenty of options to explore the Golden State’s beauty.

Good To Know

  • Fun for all ages.
  • Dogs allowed on board (surcharge).
  • Concessions are available on the train.
  • Full bar on board the train.

Description

from Skunk Train
Step back in time for a magical ride through the redwoods on the world-famous Skunk Train. Since 1885 the historic Skunk has made its way through old-growth redwood groves, over scenic trestle bridges, through spectacular tunnels, and into the heart of the Noyo River canyon. Today’s riders enjoy the same pristine views that have remained largely unchanged for well over a century.

An American Legacy
In the early 1880s, lumbermen C.R. Johnson, Calvin Stewart, and James Hunter joined together to expand timber operations in Mendocino County. By 1885 the Fort Bragg Railroad was formed to make transporting lumber easier. This would form the foundation of what would eventually become the California Western Railroad, more commonly known as The Skunk.

The train played a vital role during this time in transporting families and workers who set up the various logging camps along the route and in doing so, became an entirely different type of line. It played an important part not only in the area's industrial life, but also in its social and cultural activities. No other logging railroad in America has made the deep impression on American life that was created by the line from Fort Bragg – first by the natural beauty of its route and later, by the distinctiveness of its equipment.

A Train Called Skunk
The nickname “Skunk” originated in 1925, when motorcars were introduced (today sometimes referred to as railbuses or railcruisers). These single unit, self-propelled motorcars had gasoline-powered engines for power and pot-bellied stoves burning crude oil to keep the passengers warm.

The combination of the fumes created a very pungent odor, and the old timers living along the line said these motorcars were like skunks, “You could smell them before you could see them.” Although the smell is now much reduced, we still like to think of ourselves as that little Skunk running through the redwoods.

Caretakers in Time
California Western Railroad was initially operated as a division of the Fort Bragg mill (Union Lumber Company, Boise-Cascade). In the mid-1960s, Arizona-based Kyle Railways began managing the railroad and purchased it in 1987. In August 1996, a group comprised entirely of local Mendocino Coast investors purchased California Western, marking the first time in its 111-year history that the line would be operated as an independent business.

Today the Skunk Train is owned and operated by Mendocino Railway.
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Skunk Train is located at 100 W. Laurel StFt. Bragg, CA 95437
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Frequently Asked Questions about Skunk Train

Why the name “Skunk Train”?
The nickname “Skunk” originated in 1925 when motorcars were introduced (today sometimes referred to as railbuses or railcruisers). These single-unit, self-propelled motorcars had gasoline-powered engines for power and a pot-bellied stove burning crude oil to keep the passengers warm. The combination of the fumes created a very pungent odor, and the old timers living along the line said these motorcars were like skunks, “You could smell them before you could see them.”

The railroad’s historic name is California Western Railroad.

Are pets allowed on the train?
Dogs are the only pets permitted on board. We do ask that you be considerate of your canine though – they simply may not like trains. Please bring whatever they need to be comfortable (food, water, dishes, a leash, etc.). Dogs are $10.95 and reservations are suggested.

Is the train handicap accessible?
Yes – but there are limitations, given that our railcars were built in the very early 1900s. We strive to make every guest feel comfortable and will do our very best to accommodate your visit.

Can we bring food on the train?
Only if you have dietary restrictions or are traveling with a child. Concessions are available on the train.

Can we bring alcohol on the train?
Thank you for asking, but we do not allow outside alcohol on board the train. We have a wonderful selection of wine and beer from beautiful Mendocino County – which by the way is America’s Greenest Wine Growing Region – including our very own Skunk Beer (bottled for us by Anderson Valley Brewing Company), plus a full bar on board the train.

Do your trains leave on time?
Without question we try to maintain our schedule. If you miss a train we will issue you a gift certificate for a future ride or book you on the next available departure. We will not, however, issue a refund because you’ve missed the scheduled departure.

How should we dress?
Comfortable and casual layered clothing is suggested to keep warm in the chilly months. If you plan on riding the Open Air Observation Car then we suggest dark clothing, because sometimes lighter clothing can get soot spots on it.