Ride the rails in Arizona this autumn

Vintage Engine - Verde Canyon Railroad

Vintage Engine – Verde Canyon Railroad

It’s not too early to plan some autumn getaways. Riding the relaxing rails of the Verde Canyon Railroad in Arizona is always a great thing to do, especially as the leaves are turning. There are some enticing events planned for 2012.

It’s a funny thing, the changing of seasons. Even the slightest variation in daytime temperatures and we are visiting pumpkin patches, planning harvest festivals and anxiously awaiting the official start of the fall season with cooler days and brisk nights. It is during this time of year that Mother Nature offers passengers aboard Verde Canyon Railroad’s Fall Colors Tour the rustle of vibrantly-colored leaves and the chance to breathe deep crisp, clean air. Fall is finally here and its grandeur won’t let you down.

Fall in the Verde Canyon whets your appetite for vibrant color and brews. Brilliant orange, magenta and gold seem to fall from the sky as leaves turn, shimmer and gently drift to earth along the crystal blue-green waters of the Verde River. The towering crimson canyon walls, with many interesting rock formations that have stood the test of time, stand sentinel over the indigenous flora and fauna below.

Look for wildlife like eagles on your Verde Canyon Railroad excursion.

Look for wildlife like eagles on your Verde Canyon Railroad excursion.

It is during this wondrous autumn adventure that Verde Canyon Railroad hosts the 9th Annual Ales on Rails.  What better way to enjoy a sunny October day than riding the rails while enjoying a variety of Southwestern micro-brewed ales? Beginning at 11 a.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, Verde Canyon Railroad invites a choice selection of Brewmeisters to purvey their best beers, rich-crafted ales, lagers, porters and stouts at the depot prior to departure and onboard during the excursion. These regionally-brewed suds served on the covered patio are accompanied by traditional favorites like brats, strudels and pretzels.

Why trick-or-treat from door to door when you can ride a train and still score plenty of candy and prizes? The Haunted  Halloween Express on Wednesday, October 31 brings out the playful ghoul in everyone. There’s a costume contest held for the kids, and plenty of candy and ghost stories to go around.

Verde Canyon RailroadVerde Canyon Railroad runs every day except Tuesdays. The depot is located in Clarkdale, 25 minutes from Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix, making Verde Canyon Railroad the perfect Arizona day trip. For an overnight stay, ask about the Room, Ride and Meal Packages. Call 800-293-7245 or book online at verdecanyonrr.com.

Information courtesy: Verde Canyon Railroad
Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose