Ride Through The Redwood Forest In Northern California For An Incredible Fall Outing

Ride Through The Redwood Forest In Northern California For An Incredible Fall Outing

People in the US have no shortage of things to do during the fall season. With apple-picking at the National Apple Harvest Festival, enjoying delicious pumpkin and cinnamon donuts at the Circleville Pumpkin Show, and of course, taking a trip to Tacotopia for the taco festival, you’re sure to have an incredible time. [1] 

As if your bucket list wasn’t already filled to the brim, an even more exciting activity has emerged in 2019: pedaling through the redwood forests. 

The Redwood Forests

Three hours north of San Francisco is Mendocino County, home to the great redwood forests. There, you can bask in the grandeur of forests that are unlike any other place you’ve been to. The majestic trees are centuries old and a tourism hub, bringing in loads of people all-year-round. You have several options to choose from, covering those inclined to go on scenic rides and those who prefer to hike a few trails.

The Skunk Train 

For the past 133 years, the iconic skunk train has been the means of exploring the forests since the tracks were laid down by the California Western Railroad in 1885. The skunk train offers up to 40 miles of breathtaking scenery. You can enjoy the sights of the mountains, valleys, bridges, rivers, tunnels, and of course, the towering redwood trees that make anyone standing beside them appear like ants. [2]

There is also a seasonal train called the “Pumpkin Express” offering yet another fall activity. On this train, you can stop at a pumpkin patch and enjoy some yummy treats. The skunk train was the only means of riding through the forests until March of 2019. A new and innovative mode of transport has been added onto the tracks of the skunk train. 

Rail Bikes

Rail bikes are pedal-powered vehicles that you can ride quietly through the woods. They take the same route as the Skunk train and lay on the same tracks. While this can be a daunting experience at first, you can rest assured that no train will come along during a bike trip. The bikes have been commended for being easy to ride, and the electric motor feature has ensured that it can serve people of all ages and abilities. You can switch to the motorized option when you require assistance, or would like to focus on the sights. 

Starting at Fort Bragg, this ingenious ride will take you on a seven-mile trip along the Pudding Creek Estuary. Lasting from 30 minutes to two hours, the rider can enjoy a half-hour stopover at Glen Blair Junction. Unlike the skunk train, the rail bikes allow you to explore the forests at your own pace, taking in the beauty of the fallen leaves, the creek, the wood pilings, and the wildlife of the forest. [3]

Here are some details about the ride to help plan your trip

  • Rail bikes are designed for two riders at a time but can be rented in groups to allow for a larger excursion.
  • The cost of a two-rider bike is $89.95.
  • Rates are $73.15 per bike, plus the 8% HPA, which is $79 total. There is no discount for single riders.
  • Single riders must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Those looking to take the tour are asked to show up 45 minutes in advance for orientation, between the months of March and November.
  • Not suitable for small children; all passengers must be able to walk and should be at least six years old.
  • No infants or canine passengers are allowed on this trip.
  • Casual/sports attire suggested.
  • Closed-toed shoes required.
  • Though a trained guide can accompany groups, all visitors can move at their own pace through the magical forest and take breathers as needed. 

If you or your group meet these conditions, go ahead and book a ride; it’ll be an unforgettable experience. [4]

People are loving the rail bikes

Many people have said nothing but good things about the new rail bikes. Robert Jason Pinoli, “chief skunk” of the skunk train said, “It’s an amazing way to experience the natural beauty of the route in a more peaceful and personal manner. You’ll be taking in the sights, sounds, and scents of our Northern California forest like never before. It’s truly a unique experience to be had in the North Coast region.” 

He also said that ospreys, blue herons, and other wildlife might come take a peek at you, and the turnaround point takes you into a calming redwood grove that you’ll never forget.

Travel blogger, Josh McNair of “California through my Lens” visited the Redwood Forest with his wife and spoke about the experience on his website. He said, “Our guides were excellent as they didn’t rush us to go too fast and just encouraged us to enjoy ourselves and take it all in.” He advised his readers to check out the rail bikes anytime they’re in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area. He also wrote, “My wife and I had a blast on them, and I highly recommend it as it is the only rail bikes I am aware of in California (let me know if you are aware of others).” [5]

Besides enjoying the scenery, you’ll get in a little exercise if you pedal all the way through. What’s better than getting a workout while vacationing without even noticing it? 

Take the step today, and you’ll be astonished by the incredible display of nature the redwood forest has to offer. 


  1. 20 Best Fall Harvest Festivals and Events Across America.” Oprah Mag.
  2. Pedal Through The Redwood Forest In Northern California For The Ultimate Fall Outing.Only In Your State.
  3. Pedal Through The Redwood Forest In Northern California For The Ultimate Fall Outing.” Healthy Holistic Living.
  4. RailBikes Come to the Redwoods.California’s North Coast.
  5. Riding the Skunk Train Railbikes in Fort Bragg.California Through My Lens.
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