Share this adventure
Ride the Skunk in its natural habitat
Come ride the SKUNK in its natural habitat. Forty miles of railroad run through majestic redwood forests, scenic mountain meadows, and over 30 trestles bridging the pristine mountain waters of Northern California. Come with your family and ride the train!
Regardless of your departure point, the view from our restored rail cars is pretty much unchanged from the late 1800s. Departing from Fort Bragg, the first few miles are along the Pudding Creek estuary, where common wildlife sightings include blue heron, egrets, osprey, ducks, and the occasional lounging turtle. After passing through Tunnel No. 1, the Skunk Train snakes its way along the Noyo River, zigzagging through the redwood-thick Noyo River Canyon. Departing from Willits and traveling to Northspur, your train will climb the Eastern slope of the Califfornia Coast Range, cutting through it at Tunnel No. 2 (Summit) before descending into the Noyo River Canyon. This is the mountainous part of our railroad line, in which 8.5 miles of track cover a straight-line distance of less than one mile.
The Skunk Train is located in beautiful Mendocino County, in Northern California. We are approximately four hours from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento regions. Our line spans 40 miles, with a depot at either end in Willits and Fort Bragg. Regardless of your departure point, the train follows the coastal “Redwood Route” as it has since 1885, and your journey on “one of the most scenic railroads in North America” will allow you to leave the rest of the world behind during your time with us.
Built as a logging railroad in 1885 by Charles R. Johnson, the “Redwood Route™” was a logical vehicle for moving massive redwood logs to Mendocino coast sawmills from the rugged backcountry. The train played a vital role during this t ime 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.
The Skunk offers a verity of trips between Northspur station, Fort Bragg, and Willits! Call or email us to check for available dates!.
Half Day to Northspur Station…from Fort Bragg - $49/adult
This 3.5- to 4-hour round-trip travels along the Pudding Creek estuary immediately out of the city limits. Quietly slipping into Tunnel No. 1, the train emerges into the Noyo River Canyon, the river you will cross for the balance of your journey to Nothspur. Traveling at the base of the canyon, you are constantly looking up to see the tops of redwoods.
Half Day to Northspur Station…from Willits - $49/adult
This 3.5- to 4-hour round trip on our vintage rail cruiser departs Willits and begins the steep ascent (3.5% grade) to the summit of our line at 1,740 feet. Traveling through Tunnel No. 2, the trip descends into the Noyo River Canyon. In one spot, the vintage rail cruiser travels 8.5 miles to cover a straight-line distance of less than one mile in a serpentine of switchbacks.
Food and beverages are available in our concession car on each trip, with more options available seasonally at Northspur station.
Sunset BBQ Excursion – $70/adult
Join us for a feast in the forest!
On Saturday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can depart Fort Bragg or Willits and travel to the mid-point Northspur Station for a delicious barbeque dinner. On the menu is Barbecued Chicken or Tri-Tip (beef), Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans, Green Salad, Potato Salad, Three Bean Salad,Bread, and our famous Blackberry Sundae for dessert.
Northspur Station is located at 322 feet in elevation and is at the base of the Noyo River Canyon, situated on the banks of the Noyo River. Evenings can be cool so we encourage you to bring a jacket because dinner is served outdoor amongst the redwoods.
Travel from Willits to Fort Bragg and stay one or more nights with one of our partner properties during the summer and fall months. If you feel like walking from the Skunk Train station in downtown Fort Bragg, two of our partner bed-and-Breakfast inns are nearby: the Weller House Inn, and the Country Inn. If you wish to stay in a motel, we suggest the Surf Motel & Gardens which offers door-to-door shuttle service, and they’ll even transport you to dinner! Call for ticket pricing!
Tracks to Kayaks – $119/adult
Join us for a wilderness adventure on the Skunk Train and a kayak trip on the Noyo River with Jeff or Cate of Liquid Fusion Kayaking. Once you’ve traveled on the Skunk through its natural habitat, enjoy the same relaxing view as the river otters as you paddle down the placid Noyo River and into Noyo Harbor. The world seems so different on the water, and if you’re quiet enough, the intrigue you have with harbor seals, sea lions, river otters and birds are the same for them – it isn’t uncommon for critters to whisk by your kayak. Wearing comfortable street clothes is fine during this dry trip in tandem sea kayaks.
Ride in the Cab
A not-to-be-missed experience for every train buff out there! We’ve got an extra seat in the cab of our diesel locomotives, and you will sit across from the Engineer with a bird’s eye view of the Redwood Route™. During the summer and fall months, if you make your reservation promptly, you might even get a seat in the cab of Engine No. 45, our 1924 2-8-2 Baldwin Mikado steam locomotive – you will see first hand how the Fireman and Engineer work in perfect harmony to ensure our train operates smoothly.
(This makes a great gift for the train buff in your life.)
We frequently have special seasonal events, including the Father’s Day Barbecue, Pumpkin Express, and many other events. Call or email for more information!
We can also accommodation private groups outside of the normal schedule for corporate parties, meetings, weddings, proms, field trips, etc… We also work with local catering companies to make your event a success.
Call us for pricing! The Skunk Train provides fort bragg skunk train willits, skunk train, willits skunk train, skunk train fort bragg.
- 299 East Commercial Street, Willits, CA 95490, USA