Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Travel Guide

  • View of Foliage from Whittaker Station
    View of Foliage from Whittaker Station
    by jmpncsu
  • View from Bald Knob
    View from Bald Knob
    by jmpncsu
  • View of Foliage
    View of Foliage
    by jmpncsu

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Things to Do

  • Denmar Covered Bridge

    A nice stop on the way to Cass was the Denmar/ Locust Creek covered bridge. It was a little bit of a challenge at first to find but it made for some nice pictures once we did. If you are heading north on US-219 you will turn right onto Locust Creek Rd.. You will travel 3.1 miles and then the road kind of dead ends. When it does look to the right...

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  • Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

    The Cass Scenic Railroad is a very unique Railroad, all are, but the 6 operational steam engines( and 2 down for re-builds) give the Cass Scenic the feel that our back in the golden age of steam, the maintenance crews at Cass do a superb job on the engines, rolling stock, buildings, and track, the engineers and firemen also do a great job. The Bald...

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  • Railroad Trip to Bald Knob

    Great train ride for fall foliage. We rode the train to Bald Knob during the peak of fall foliage. The views from the train were fabulous and the staff were friendly and enjoyed talking about the history and ecology of the area. My only complaint is that the coal smoke can be irritating. I would recommend trying to sit in the car furthest from the...

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  • Check out the engine

    Steam engines are a dying breed, and they are costly to maintain. Environmentalists complain about the smoke. So this may be your only opportunity to see these marvelous machines.

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  • Ride the Train

    Cass Scenic Railroad is an old logging route rising 1000' to 2500' above the surrounding valley. You can take the 2-hour trip to Whittaker or the 4-hour trip to Bald Mountain. Both trains stop at Whittaker, which is a restored logging camp. We took the 2-hour ride, which includes the 2-switchbacks.

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  • View the Engines

    There are about eight specialized engines used on the mountain railroads. Due to the step grades and the tight turns, the traditional driver-wheel power systems did not provide adequate power. The Shay Locomotive Company designed a gear driven steam power drive that used 'trucks' instead of main drive wheels. Today, trucks are the standard power...

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  • The Porter

    The porter rides this line and know much about the area including the flora and fauna, so if you want to know about the plants you are passing, talk to her. She is a very interesting person.

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  • The Brakeman

    You used to be able to tell how long a brakeman had been on the job by how many fingers were missing. Now we have stricter safety standards, but it is still dangerous. Visit the brakeman, and find out what that job entails, how the brakes work, and listen to stories of the area.

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  • The View from Bald Knob

    When yo reach Bald Knob there is plenty of time to enjoy the view of Pocahontas County, and to eat your box lunch. We even saw some deer on the knob!

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Restaurants

  • Have lunch

    It's about the only place you'll find. Across the river is a small group of shops. There may be a restaurant in there. The Last Run sits above the station, adjacent to the gift shop. The menu is simple. Just basic American style food. Hamburgers, fries, barbeque pork sandwich and other choices. Fresh made and tastes good.

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  • Get a box lunch or bring your own

    Nearly all who take the 4-1/2 hour excursion get the box lunch, so get your order in early! Box Lunch

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  • Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Hotels

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Transportation

  • This is a railroad, so climb aboard

    The reason you are here is to ride the scenic railroad, so climb aboard for a 4-1/2 hour ride up to Bald Knob.

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  • Horse and Buggy Ride

    As long as we are going back in time, you may enjoy a horse and buggy ride! We didn't do this, so I can not provide details or cost.

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Shopping

  • kaloz's Profile Photo
    Kaloz wearing his cap

    by kaloz Written Jan 3, 2003

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    The gift shop has all manner of things to remember your visit, from books, slides, magnets, whistles, clothing, taffy. It is filled with all the stuff that people like to take home, from the very inexpensive to the very pricey.

    What to buy: I bought a Cass Scenic Railroad engineers cap. What you might like, you'll have to decide for yourself.

    What to pay: Anywheres from 49 cents to well over a hundred dollars.

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Coal Smoke and Hot Embers

    The coal-burning steam engines produce smoke, ash, and hot embers. Be especially careful if you have any respiratory problems. Also consider wearing dark, inexpensive clothes as you will likely get ash and hot embers on you. I would also recommend riding in a car as far away as possible from the engines to minimize exposure. I had a great time...

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  • Rain of Fire

    The smoke stack belches out great massses of black smoke. Hot cinders can rain down and into the open cars, so beware that you may leave with small burn holes in your clothing.

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park What to Pack

  • kaloz's Profile Photo
    Ready to Ride

    by kaloz Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: A day pack is good if you want to carry your own lunch.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Wear something comfortable that doesn't catch fire easily! Hot cinders can rain down in the cloud of smoke. You might want a jacket for the higher elevation on the Knob

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It is always a good idea to bring toilet paper. And those little hand wipes for cleaning up after lunch.

    Photo Equipment: A normal lens is good while on the train. For pictures of the train, you need a good wide angle lens.

    Miscellaneous: It may be a good idea to pack lunches for the kids, or if there is something you prefer. There is little choice in the box lunch. KFC travels well, and is good cold.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park Favorites

  • Old Steam Trains

    Riding on some of the most beautiful trains I've ever seen through a beautiful park. I really enjoyed watching my son watch the train in awe.

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  • Platform at Bald Knob

    Here is an adventure, they used some long logs to build this platform, it kinda looks scary, but it is safe, at least when we were there (haha). We enjoyed our time on the knob. Looking out over Pocahontas County

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  • Steam Engines need water

    On your way up, you will need to stop and refill your water reservoir. The steam to power these engine comes from a hot fire and a lot of water. It is amazing how fast this cold stream water will become steam! The water stop. Halfway up the mountain, gives you a chance to see the forest that you are passing through. It was also interesting how the...

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