All Aboard!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
If you've been following my blog for even a brief time, you probably know I'm always on the look-out  for fun places to visit, especially if there are photo ops available.  So when the Bachelorette visited Essex, CT on an episode this season, I knew immediately that Essex would be added to my "list" of places to visit this summer.  OK.....stop judging, we all watch a little trash t.v.

Essex is located  just 3 hrs from the Capital District, and is situated on the Connecticut River. "For a small river town with a population of 6500, Essex certainly has plenty to boast about.  Having been dubbed “The Perfect Small American Town” in the “1,000 Places To See Before You  Die” travel guide after achieving  top rank in “The 100 Best Small Towns in America” Essex is definitively on the map when it comes to quintessential New England charm. (Taken from link below)   I'll talk more about the town in a later blog, but today I want to tell you about one of Essex's main attractions - The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat ride.

We began our train/riverboat adventure at the 1802 Essex Station where we boarded a vintage rail car pulled by an authentic steam locomotive.  Although slightly higher per ticket, we opted to ride in the "open car" (for photos of course).   I'll tell you now...the open car rides just behind the engine and as we were warned as we boarded, the open windows, although affording a clear view for photos, also offers the opportunity for a shower of coal dust and steam droplets along the ride.  Although the other cars were not "open" their windows were open 1/2, so save your money and keep dry and clean by riding the other cars if this added experience doesn't appeal to you.

Our "Open Car"

Adding coal for our trip.........
Once our train reached Deep River Landing, we disembarked and boarded the Becky Thatcher riverboat, a triple-decker Mississippi style riverboat for a 1 1/4 hr. cruise along the Connecticut River.

Top Deck

This was a spectacular ride with serene views of wildlife, water craft, and Gillette Castle.  We were also lucky enough to see this swing bridge in operation.  Here's a sampling of our sights along the way.

Notice the baby signets huddled together on the land.
When our cruise came to a sad end, our train had returned  for us.  At this time, the engine pulled us further down the route to a spot where he disconnected and moved to the other end of the line of cars, reattached in front of the caboose and pulled us back to Essex.  (Photo below is before he switched)

This was a great trip and one for the whole family.  All sorts of  'special' rides are available including the Circus Train & Big Top Show the last two weekends in July.  October features fall foliage rides and of course there's a Santa Special  and North Pole Express beginning in November.  Check website for details on schedules and pricing.   Our tickets for both the train and riverboat (with extra charge for the Open Car) were $70 for the two of us.  Without the open car we would have saved $14.00.    It sounds expensive, but it was well worth every penny.   Train only tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for kids, train & boat are $28 for adults and $19 for kids.  This is a deal since the Lake George boat rides are $14-31 just for the cruise.
This guy hopped on our car when we pulled into the station.....maybe hoping to catch a free ride on the train.

Essex is a neat little town so if the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat interests you, stay tuned for my next few blogs where I'll fill you in on some other things to see and do while you're there!  As always, thanks for reading and please share this with your friends.  If you're enjoying my blog, please consider following by adding your email to the FOLLOW option on the side of the blog.  I don't get your email, but Blogger will send you an email with each blog post as it is published.  Please use the link below to visit the Essex Steam Train website for more information.


  1. You did a good job of reviewing the train ride photographically.

  2. Great Photos Gail as always. Good information too. Glad we got to experience this together.


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