5 Scenic Train Rides In Kentucky, USA

scenic train rides in ky
| 2 min read

This bluegrass state of Kentucky is home to beautiful scenic views of nature. Starting from the gorgeous mountains in the east to the beautiful rolling hills, you can experience incredible views in every corner of the state. There are gorgeous lakes, rivers, and forest that intensify the beauty of the state. One of the best ways to experience the stunning views of the state is through the popular train rides. These unique train excursions allow you to explore the scenic wonders with beautiful hills and mountains. The state of Kentucky has the largest number of passenger trains than any other states, which give visitors plenty of options to explore the landscape through this memorable and exciting Kentucky train rides. There are also theme based train rides as well that make a trip to all the off beaten path of the beautiful state, while you sit comfortably in the train car. Let’s have a look at those scenic train rides in Kentucky.

1. Big South Fork Scenic Railway

Big South Fork Scenic Railway
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user treewoman8 used under CC BY 2.0

This 16-miles (25.7 km) long railroad of the big South fork scenic railway offers a spectacular rail ride covering the lush countryside of the National River and recreational area of Big South Fork. This heritage railway ride will tour you through the beautiful surrounding areas and stops at the mining town of Blue Heron, Kentucky. This historic railway also conducts special excursions during Christmas, Halloween and other occasions.

Big South Fork Scenic Railway

Website: Big South Fork Scenic Railway

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2. Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum

This heritage railroad is located in Versailles, Kentucky, United States. This day trip through the horse farms of Kentucky is one of the exciting train excursions in the bluegrass state. The 11-miles (17.7 km) long round trip takes you through the gorgeous countryside and stops at the Young’s High Bridge, allowing the travelers to enjoy the great scenic views of that area.

Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum

Website: Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum

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3. R. J. Corman’s My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Source: Photo by Flickr user aprilandrandy used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Among the several train rides in Kentucky, My Kentucky Dinner Train definitely offers the best train ride across the state. The Kentucky dinner train offers a unique experience with its classic dining. The guests can choose their choice of gourmet meals that are served on the dining cars. During this 37-mile (59.5 km) train excursion, guests can enjoy an array of delicious dining options while enjoying the great scenic views of the Jesse James safe house, the Jackson hollow Trestle and Jim Beam distillery. Alongside, there are themed excursions, which are carried out all year long.

R. J. Corman’s My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

Website: R. J. Corman’s My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

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4. Kentucky Railway Museum

L&N 152 (4-6-2) with Kentucky Railway Museum trips in October 1986 near Jellico, TN/KY
Source: Photo by Flickr user Marty Bernard used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located in New Haven, Kentucky, this train ride of the Kentucky Railway Museum was established to generate knowledge and awareness about the city’s glorious history and heritage of the railroads and the people behind them. The 22-mile (35.4 km) long train tour will take you through the beautiful rolling Fork River Valley. It’s an overall enriching experience for kids to learn how the train works while you enjoy the great scenic views.

Kentucky Railway Museum

Website: Kentucky Railway Museum

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5. Amtrak Cardinal

Amtrak's "The Cardinal"
Source: Photo by Flickr user jpmueller99 used under CC BY 2.0

The cardinal train ride is a long-distance train that runs three days in a week between New York Penn Station and the Chicago Union Station. The passenger train ride offers breathtaking views of nature’s beauty. It’s a rare sight to witness the beauty of this country as you pass through the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, and the wild white water rivers. As the train moves westward, you can explore the majestic view of the Ohio River and the beautiful skyline of Cincinnati. This train ride allows you to witness those places that can be explored only by a train.

Amtrak Cardinal

Website: Amtrak Cardinal

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Historic train rides in Kentucky

Covington, Kentucky
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EEJCC used under CC BY-SA 4.0

These historic train rides offer an unforgettable experience to explore the beauty of nature. Although, many train companies have become just memories of the past. Fortunately, few remaining train companies that are left offer a spectacular experience to witness the joy of nature through the scenic train rides.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Sudarsana, a freelance writer, has an affinity for traveling to diverse destinations and exploring various cultures.

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