We packed up a picnic lunch, our daughter chose a favorite doll to ride with, and we headed to Walkersville Southern Railroad for the Teddy Bear Picnic excursion. This was our second ride on the WSRR–the first was last year when they were featuring a steam locomotive. Goldilocks greeted us at the ticketing booth this morning and we took a seat in one of the open-sided car (there are also enclosed cars with windows, which have padded seats). The traditionally-dressed conductor came around to take our tickets and we were on our way! Goldilocks visited with each family as the train took us through lush farmland and over busy streams, as well as through the not-so-scenic housing developments and highways that run next to the tracks. We stopped at a nicely shaded park for a picnic lunch, some playground time, and a lovely storytime hosted by Goldilocks and the Walkersville librarians. We then boarded the train once more to return to the station. In all, the trip from start to finish lasted almost 2 ½ hours–it was well worth the drive and our daughter slept the entire trip home!
Where: The station is easy to find and parking is ample in the field next to the ticketing building. There is a small railroad museum across the street that has a children’s section of train themed toys and books to keep them busy. Restrooms (portalets) are located just next to the museum.
We like to visit Fountain Rock Park and Nature Center after our train ride. It is only a few minutes drive from the railroad station and offers short hiking trails around a lake, a great playground, trees to climb and play within, as well as a great nature center to explore. There is no admission fee. Find more info about ongoing events at https://fountainrock.wordpress.com/
Cost: Tickets are reasonably priced at $12/adult and $8/child (children under 3 are free!). They offer child friendly excursions throughout the year–from an Easter Bunny ride, Santa ride, 4th of July ride, and a Jesse James ride for the older kids. There are plenty of adult-only excursions too, like mystery dinner rides and Civil War reenactments. An added bonus–if you are unable to make your train ride, you may call to reschedule, as your tickets are good for any train ride within a year of purchase! Parking is always free.
Will we return: Definitely! We look forward to the exciting Jesse James ride when our daughter is a bit older. This would also be a great day trip to take with out of town guests or grandparents, and is perfect for children and adults of all ages.
For more info: Visit http://wsrr.org/ws/ for additional info and to purchase tickets online.