Fall Foliage for Leaf Peeping
If you are like me and the leaves turn from green to brown in your hometown you need to start planning your fall foliage trip!
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Planning an Amtrak Train Trip
When planning this trip, I used the resources available through The Foliage Network. The first report for this season comes out the first Monday of September, and the network updates every Monday and Thursday with some special reports sprinkled throughout the week. You can take a look at past years to estimate when then peak season will be, but do realize that there are many factors that go into when Peak Season will happen.
After pinpointing which weekend we were going to see the leaves, the next step was figuring out how to see the leaves. We were debating if we should drive, cruise, or take a train trip through New England.
As y’all know, my family adores road trips, but, when it comes to leaf peeping, we wanted everyone to enjoy the experience thoroughly, so mom found this fantastic deal through Amtrak!
We booked a one-way ticket to Amtrak Adirondack which winds through the Adirondack Mountains – perfect for leaf peeping.
In New York, we stayed at Holiday Inn Express New York City Times Square and in Montreal we stayed at Residence Inn Montreal Downtown. Both hotels we were able to get a good rate or book on points to save some cash for sightseeing!
For six weeks out of the year, Amtrak puts its famous Great Dome Car on the Adirondack train to soak in all the glory of leaf peeping.
While on board the train, there is a program called Trails & Rails where volunteers from the National Park Service comes on board and educates guests on the history of the sites all around. I thoroughly enjoyed taking lunch in the dining car to listen to the different lectures and learning a bit of the sites we were seeing in between our leaf peeping.
Fun Fact: Trails & Rails was a summer program that started in New Orleans in 2000 and quickly grew to be a year-round partnership.
Amtrak has discounts for those with disabilities. We were able to purchase 1 Accessible coach seat for $65.45 and 2 Reserve Coach seats for $142.45. Make sure you arrive to the train station early and declare that you have an accessible seat because they will allow you to board early. Also, the seats are not reserved, there are limited accessible seats on board so be aware that you may need to move to a different seat, or even a different train car if someone with higher accessibility needs comes on board.
New York to Montreal
We arrived at Penn Station around 7 am to board out 8:15 am a train ride. Since none of us ever boarded a train, there was some confusion where we were supposed to go. Make sure to get to Penn Station early and don’t do what we did and jump right in line. Make sure you go to the front of the line and find the person checking everyone in.
Once we checked in correctly, we were whisked away on an elevator (thanks to our accessible pass) and were able to settle in before the rest of the people boarded the train.
When it comes to accessible companion seats on the train, make sure you flexible about where you sit because we noticed Amtrak does not keep good tabs on how many accessible tickets are needed at the various stops on the train.
There is a dining car on the train, but you may want to pack your snacks and lunch to bring with you because the menu is quite small.
Did you see leaves?
Unfortunately, we went a bit early for peak season, we went the weekend of October 14, 2016, but what can you do when sis and I work full-time jobs and have conflicting schedules? The train ride it self-was gorgeous, and we were able to see some fall leaves on the trip once we reached Canada. I would take this trip again in a heartbeat. As long as there are seats on the train, and the glass dome is on the train, there is no reason to not take this wonderful train ride!
Have you ever traveled to see something unique or special? My latest trip was when I saw the solar eclipse.
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