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“Great time for family and especially the kids!”
Review of Skunk Train

Skunk Train
Ranked #1 of 7 Tours in Fort Bragg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A 40-mile train ride through the redwood forests of northern California. Depart Willits on the Highway 101 corridor or Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast. All trips are round-trip and travel from either Fort Bragg or Willits to the mid-point of the railroad "Northspur" and return. Trips are about 4 hours in length.
Wall, Texas
Level Contributor
245 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Great time for family and especially the kids!”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Wonderful train ride. So much fun. The train singer is so talented. It is so enjoyable to ride along and sing to harmonica and guitar music. The ride is lengthy and I think is better to go on a nice warm day. You stop for lunch along the way...it is outdoors. So keep that in mind. They do a great job entertaining, feeding and making your ride great. Kids, adults, couples....it is a lot of fun. Nice views of huge trees and ferns. Take some snacks and water along with you ...you will have plenty of time to munch while watching the views inside or outside style train cars. Take your camera...you will get great views. Thank you.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bree G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Charleston, SC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Disappointed....”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

I recently returned to Fort Bragg, where I was born 60 yrs. ago. In all those years, I never rode the Skunk, so I was determined to do so while there this time. I have to say it was a let down. After awhile, it just became monotonous and we were anxious for it to just end. There are tons of much more amazing natural scenery in the county to enjoy. Plenty of outings that are much more enjoyable. And at no cost!!! So I consider this Skunk outing to be a total waste of $54 (for the two of us). It also was not hard to see that this is a "tourist ripoff" that unfortunately, too many fall for. We're dropped off at a place designed especially for emptying one's pockets before returning to the depot. Shame that it's so obvious! If it's redwoods you want to see, make the short awesome trek up to Humbolt County's "Avenue of the Giants", the Tree House, and other amazing landmarks. Now that's a sight to see!!! And again, NO charge! Well worth the time and gas and the drive is knock-down breathtakingly gorgeous! A once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed. Ditch the Skunk and take a drive instead. You won't regret it.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank hobiesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“This Skunk Doesn't Stink”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

My wife, Jeanne, and I decided to get out of the Bay Area and go someplace normal for a weekend. Fort Bragg seemed a good choice as, in California, normal-ness seems to increase the farther North you go. (Okay, there is the new agri-business up there and that still does not seem totally "normal" to me--but what the heck?)

I have wanted to ride The Skunk for years as I love trains. This time we agreed to do it and started making plans before we left home. We assumed that we would have to board our dog--a miniature American Eskimo who weighs about 20 lbs--at a kennel. Upon looking at their website, we were delighted to see that dogs are welcome to board the train! (There is a small fee for canine companions.)

I was a little skeptical of taking him along with us because: 1) He tends to be possessive of us and a bit snitty to others (though he never bites). and 2) He has been known to get carsick in the past. Nonetheless, we decided to give him a try.

On Sunday morning we boarded the train which departed exactly at 10:00. The Skunk is punctual. The seating in the cars is vintage (1919) but also comfortable. The train was not overly crowded and there was room to spread out with plenty of room for the dog to sit beside me on the seat and Jeanne across the aisle from us. This helped the dog to get accustomed to the new situation and he settled right in.

Some of the old windows in the passenger cars still slide up and down while others are broken. If it is a warm day, check before you settle in.

There is also a flatcar with sides and railings for those who want to stand in the open air and watch the beautiful scenery and, of course, the train itself. Jeanne and I stayed inside on the way up to the turnaround point--the name of which escapes me. It was still quite cold out, the dog was getting acclimated, and there is a tunnel at which point everyone has to come back inside until the train passes through.

The conductor carries on a pretty steady monologue on the way up. The sound system in the cars is very good and you can hear him well. He gives a lot of history of the area and points out things of interest along the tracks. It is a good presentation and adds to the trip.

At the destination point there are vendors of food and drink (both hard and soft). There is also a "bar car" on the train for concessions. We did not eat but people seemed to be enjoying their burgers and hot dogs. I did get a Skunk Beer to drink on the way back. It was good: Far from "skunky".

On the ride back there is no monologue and you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery and feel the gentle rocking of the train. I took the dog to the open car for a bit and he loved it. He almost was nice to some kids who were pointing at him but then remembered to grumble quietly about it. Great having a dog that looks like a Q-Tip and wants to act like Chow.

The train pulled back into the station at a little after 2:00 pm. It was an exceptionally enjoyable, relaxing way to spend half a day. Both Jeanne and I would do it again. When we got back home, I played a video segment taken on the train on my computer. As soon as the sound of the train came up, the dog had his front feet in my lap and started barking happily at the pictures, wagging his tail. He would do it again too.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank NLK2220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washougal, Washington
Level Contributor
401 reviews
238 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Must see”
Reviewed 5 April 2014

This was so wonderful! We got to see the redwoods up close and personal, as well as having a BBQ in the woods. There was a fellow playing the banjo on the train and it was all great fun! Highly recommend for anyone-- couples, families, etc, etc!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank RitaBrandley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Placerville, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best done in summer”
Reviewed 31 March 2014

The ride through the redwoods to Willits is fun and educational. And chilly!! The train and museum staff are quite friendly and helpful.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Melanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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