Places of Interest – Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow-Gauge Railroad

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May 13, 2009

Roaring Camp RailroadIf you have a love of trains and are planning to be in the San Francisco or Monterey Bay Areas, then you simply must check out the Roaring Camp Railroads. They offer two historic train excursions that are sure to enliven your trip.

When we were in the area, we took the approximately one-hour roundtrip by the l890s “steam train” to the summit of Bear Mountain, travelling over train trestles, through the redwoods, and up a winding narrow-gauge track.

Again, history simply abounds in this area. The Roaring Camp settlement is the location of the first saw mill west of the Mississippi. Luckily, Big Trees was spared from logging activity, becoming the first area of coastal redwoods to be protected. The redwoods in the area are as majestic today as ever, and well worth seeing.

Also offered by Roaring Camp Railroads is a 3-hour roundtrip ride through the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, along the San Lorenzo River Gorge to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This “beach train” route includes various bridges and trestles, a run through a 134-year-old tunnel and views of lovely Victorian homes along quiet streets en route to the beach at Santa Cruz.

Various events are held each year at the Roaring Camp Railroads, too, such as Civil War Battles and Encampment, Great Train Robberies, a Day Out with Thomas, a Moonlight Dinner Train, a Ghost Train (around Halloween), and a Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train (November-December), plus more. View all of the related events.

For information on accessibility, RV parking, pets and more, visit and click on FAQ at the bottom of the screen.

Enjoy your RVing!

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  2. GMAs

    Funny you shoud post this right now. We are up here filming back in the woods for a movie at this time also… with the train going through the set… good timing…

    RV camping is great .. wx is typical northern calif…

    Wish you would have also included camp ground in the area in your blog…