Take in Maine’s colorful fall foliage in comfort and style while riding aboard the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad! The more than 150-year-old rail line offers a variety of round-trip rail excursions between Unity and Burnham, ME every year, Memorial Day through October.
There’s nothing quite as spectacular as Maine’s fantastic fall foliage show. The color change begins in the north, typically around mid-September, and slowly progresses south across the state. Up north, colors tend to peak around the last week of September, while here on the coast, the peak occurs around mid-to-late October.
The season’s striking natural colors make the state’s collection of already stunning landscapes even more breathtaking if you can believe it. Best of all, there is almost no end to the ways that you can take it all in. Leaf-peeping drives, hikes, bike rides, paddling trips, and more.
One unique favorite stands out from the rest, however: fall foliage train rides on the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad.
The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad
The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML), originally chartered in 1867, has been serving the Belfast area for over 150 years. While the line was intended to connect Belfast to Greenville, ME it never made it that far. Instead, the standard-gauge, shortline railroad was used to haul freight and passengers between Belfast and Burnham, ME.
By the 1990’s, both passenger service and freight business had dried up. The BML faced either being broken up and sold off or preserved to offer heritage train rides. Luckily for us all, the second option was chosen.
Today, though it reaches neither Moosehead Lake nor Belfast, ME (the Belfast portion of the track was torn out and remade as the Passy Rail Trail in 2006) the Belfast and Moosehead Lake line continues to run.
Fall Foliage Train Rides and More
The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad offers round-trip train rides and events seasonally, Memorial Day through October. The railroad’s main depot, Unity Station, is located at 212 Depot Street in Unity, ME. This is just a little over a half hour’s drive from our Searsport bed and breakfast, Captain Nickels Inn.
Most BML rail excursions are 1 to 2 hour-long round trips between Unity and Burnham, ME. Passengers can enjoy the trip from inside a closed, classic coach or out in the open air on the observation car.
Along with basic train tours, BML offers a variety of special trips. These include their popular Pizza & Whoopie Pie trips, connections to special events, and seasonal offerings, like rides with Santa.
This time of year, one can board for a one or two hour Fall Foliage Train Ride. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you are treated to the autumn draped splendor of Waldo County’s woods, streams, and fields. Gorgeous! Sign up for the Hot Apple Cider & Donuts Train Ride to experience this same journey with a delicious treat. Yum! Two Halloween themed train trips are also currently on the calendar.
Come for a train ride, then consider stopping by Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm or Stone Tree Farm & Cidery, both also in Unity, ME. Hungry? Mammie’s Country Kitchen is located just across the street from Unity Station and Conez Ice Cream is quite literally right next to the station. How’s that for convenience .. or maybe I should say temptation?
Visit belfastandmooseheadlakerail.org for more information. You can also find the railroad on Facebook.
Updated March 2023