Family Fun

Happy 125th to the Splendid Sierra Railway

Choo-choo to Jamestown, and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, for a day of tunes, trains, and ye olde fun.


What to Know

  • Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown
  • Saturday, April 2
  • Train rides: $15 adults, $10 youth, children 5 and under are admitted for free, as are members

HAPPY 125TH, SIERRA RAILWAY: The Golden State is threaded with all sorts of rails, including those known for the delivery of goods, for passenger travel, and, on interesting occasions, scenic jaunts of the shorter yet fascinating variety. Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown is one of those particular and particularly pleasant places, and train buffs, history mavens, and families looking for an outdoorsy adventure have long made their own journeys to Jamestown. The reason behind these visits? Explorers are there to soak in some stories, glorious Gold Country vistas, and, in the spring, loads of wildflowers. And, yes, a cinematic dimension, too, for several films, including "Back to the Future III," have been filmed in the area. Opening Day is chugga-chugga-ing our way, and, to celebrate 125 years of the Sierra Railway, as well as "the official donation of the Sierra No. 34 steam locomotive," the attraction is hosting a day brimming with activities.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2... is the big opener, and happenings around the train-tastic park include "... Speeder hayrides, blacksmith and shop demonstrations, live musical entertainment performed onboard the train by the Black Irish Band, historic Sierra Railway equipment on display, special tours, and more!" And, of course, you can hop on a "Motherlode Cannonball" train, though you'll need a ticket to do so. (For sure, get yours in advance, as they could sell out before you arrive.) And once you've paid for your train ticket? You'll be able to savor all of the celebratory happenings around the park. Looking to snack-it-up? Hot dogs and popcorn will be for sale. But don't be too blue if you can't make this opening bash: There are several springtime rides still to come at the California Historical Landmark, with wildflower trains up on April 9, 10, 16, and 17.

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