Leave today’s world behind and take a day trip along one of the most scenic railroads in North America. Stretching along 40 miles of spectacular scenery, the California Western Railroad, more commonly known as the Skunk Train, takes you along the renowned Redwood Route, originally built as a logging railroad in 1885. This train hauled the massive redwood log harvest from the back-country to the saw-mills that dotted the Mendocino Coast.
The “Skunk” name came about when motorized rail-buses were introduced in 1925 to move workers and passengers along the route. These railcars had gasoline powered engines to move them along and pot-bellied stoves to warm passengers. The pungent fumes omitted by these mechanized people movers earned the famed Skunk Train moniker.
Today you can ride along this historical line without any worry of getting “skunked”. The historic trains are run by restored powerful steam engines. There are daily trips and excursions for all ages taking you from Fort Bragg to points along the 40 mile route. There are also special event trains for holidays, hobbyists and adventurers. No trip to Mendocino would be complete without exploring our back country forests the way our coastal for-bearers did, by rail.