All Aboard! Celebrate Autumn in Ohio with the Pumpkin Patch Express
As the air begins to cool and the leaves transform into shades of red and yellow, it’s the perfect time of year to explore Ohio. What better way to celebrate this beautiful season than by visiting the pumpkin patch! The historic Lebanon Mason & Monroe Railroad takes this experience to another level by replacing the traditional pumpkin patch hayride with a journey aboard a train. I had the opportunity to experience the LM&M railroad firsthand.
The Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railroad, which the LM&M train follows, began operating in 1881, and much of the equipment used today dates back to the 1950s. Each weekend in October up until the first of November, the historic locomotive travels from the LM&M train station in Historic Downtown Lebanon to Schappacher Farms in Mason. The 45-minute train ride meanders through Warren County, passing through gorgeous fall scenery. During the ride, guests can enjoy delicious treats from the ‘Clickety Clack Snack Shack’ located in one of the train’s cars. Tickets can be purchased on the railroad’s website or at the train station ($18.50 for adults, $15.50 for children 5-16, and $8.50 for toddlers 2-4).
Upon arrival at Schappacher Farms, visitors can choose from a wide array of exciting family activities including selecting pumpkins from the patch, petting farm animals, exploring the working farm, and finding their way through a corm maze. Being a huge fan of all things food-related, my favorite part of our farm visit was picking out fresh apples and tasting the incredible hot apple cider and pumpkin pie, which are for sale to take home. I also learned that Schappacher Farms sells locally raised Thanksgiving turkeys, so I will definitely be making a trip back in November!
If you’re planning on visiting South-Western Ohio, or are looking for a fun fall weekend adventure, I highly recommend taking a ride aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express – it’s an experience you are sure to remember for years to come, and a perfect way to view the breathtaking change of seasons in Ohio!
Can’t make it to Lebanon, don’t worry! There are pumpkin express trains operating in both northeastern and northwestern Ohio during the month of October.
The Cuyahoga Scenic Valley Railway, located in northeastern Ohio, also features a Pumpkin Express train ride to Szalay’s Farm Market. The train departs from Brecksville Station and travels through the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley region. Rides are offered during the last two weekends in October (Oct. 18th-19th and Oct. 25-26th). Tickets are $28 for adults and $21 for children ages 3-12, and can be purchased via the Railway’s website.
In northwestern Ohio, near Toledo, the Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. also runs a Pumpkin Express every Saturday from October 11th-25th. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children, and pumpkins are only $5! More details can be found at Toledo’s tourism site.