In the verdant expanses of Indiana, the multitude of outdoor activities available are as diverse as they are enthralling, ranging from adventurous cliff-climbing and tranquil forest hikes to exhilarating river tubing and serene lakeside fishing. This piece will draw your attention to one particularly captivating method of exploring the myriad natural splendors of the Hoosier State — a leisurely journey on the picturesque French Lick Railway.
The central objective of this train excursion is to provide passengers with an extraordinary exploration of Southern Indiana’s resplendent natural terrain. The voyage includes sights of undulating hills, valleys dotted with wildflowers, and historic log cabins hailing from the 19th century. This article will further delve into the details of this enchanting experience.
Incepted in the 1960s, the French Lick Scenic Railway operates under the auspices of The Indiana Railway Museum. The museum’s mission diverges from the conventional museum structure; rather than featuring display cases and artifact preservation, it offers an innovative approach to engaging with history. This takes the form of themed excursions over 25 miles of railways, providing an educationally immersive experience.
The starting point for these train rides is in the town of French Lick, specifically at the French Lick Depot situated at 8594 West State Road 56. The depot opens its doors 2 hours before departure times and remains accessible for 30 minutes post-train arrival. The train service operates on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays throughout the year. It’s advisable to book tickets online a few weeks ahead to secure a spot.
The French Lick Railway curates several distinctive excursion types. The crowd favorite is the scenic ride, a captivating 1 hour and 45-minute trip encompassing 18 miles of the Hoosier National Forest. This includes a 2,000-foot-long tunnel and historic log cabins among its highlights.
In addition to these, the railway also schedules seasonally themed excursions, such as a trip to Summerville and the ever-popular Polar Express-inspired winter ride.
With a keen focus on being family-oriented, the experience includes specially curated, thrilling excursions for children. For instance, the Dinosaur Adventure Train offers a fossil dig and live reptile encounter, while the Wild West Hold-Up Train promises an exciting interaction with a roaming band of bandits.
For more in-depth information on the French Lick Scenic Railway, you are encouraged to visit their official website, which can be accessed here.