Did you know that the Connecticut River is the longest river in New England? It flows 410 miles from its source at Fourth Connecticut Lake, a tiny beaver pond 300 yards from the Canadian border. New Hampshire and Vermont share some two-thirds of the river’s length, or 275 miles, and then it bisects Massachusetts and Connecticut, before emptying into Long Island Sound almost 7 miles south of where you board the train at Essex Station.
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat cruise is a great family outing. As you chug along the 22 mile train ride, you learn about the history of the area. The authentic steam train ride is narrated by a knowledgeable guide who also points out wildlife and points of interest along the way. The train ride is about 2 to 2 and a half hours long. The first class seats are a nice upgrade but not needed. You stop half way to stretch your legs and can walk around and shop at a gift shop.
Here’s a hint: grab a seat on the train towards the Connecticut River to get the best view – right side when facing north leaving the station
The grounds are beautiful and makes for a great place to visit. The cruise is offered during the summer. They also offer themed events throughout the year including the popular North Pole Express and Thomas the Train event. Kids and families will love both events. There are songs, cookies and hot chocolate on the train and Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves are there for the fun.
The Valley Railroad is a heritage railroad based in Connecticut on tracks of the Connecticut Valley Railroad which was founded in 1868. It operates the Essex Steam Train and the Essex Clipper Dinner Train. Wikipedia