You might be surprised to learn there are many great train rides in Ohio!
If you are looking for the best things to do in Ohio, steam train rides should be on your list!
These Ohio trains offer a great activity for the whole family. Hop on board a historic steam engine to see Ohio scenery in a unique way.
Book a trip on a dinner train for a memorable date night. In winter, the kids will love taking a Polar Express train ride in Ohio.
There are so many themed train rides perfect for the whole family! Climb on board with princesses, superheroes, or even train robbers!
Keep reading to learn more about the scenic train rides in Ohio!
9 Best Train Rides in Ohio
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is one of the most popular train rides in Ohio! This train runs between Independence and Akron year-round.
Watch gorgeous views of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park pass by as you enjoy onboard entertainment, food, and drinks.
The standard National Park Scenic Excursion is a 3.5-hour ride with seating options from coach to executive class.
This ride provides amazing views of the park, including wildlife and the Ohio & Erie Canal.
If you are looking for a fun-themed train ride in Ohio, there are plenty of options as well, depending on your interests and when you visit.
Kids will love the 2-hour Royalty on the Rails or Superheroes on the Train. In winter, they can meet Santa on board the North Pole Adventure and enjoy treats and activities.
Adults looking for a fun time can try Ales on the Rails or the wine-tasting Grape Escape. There is also DInner on the Train with cocktails and a four-course meal.
For one of the most unique Ohio train rides, book the 2-hour Murder Mystery excursion where you can solve a crime with professional actors.
Overall, this train ride is one of the best things to do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway offers rides aboard a historic train on a scenic railway that dates back to 1869.
There are many rides to choose from, most of which are 2 hours between Nelsonville to East Logan.
Holiday train rides for kids include the Easter Bunny Train, the Halloween Train, and the Santa Train.
This railroad offers some of the best dinner train rides in Ohio as well. Pick between the Elegant Dinner Train, the Starbrick BBQ and Brew’s Express, or the Shawn Williams Pizza and Pop Flyer.
One of the most popular rides is the Fall Foliage Train Ride! This is a fantastic way to experience fall in Ohio!
For an awesome and interactive ride, take part in Ohio’s Friendliest Train Robbery! Watch out as bandits on horseback try to rob the train!
They only do this train ride a few times a year and the tickets sell out fast, so make sure to book in advance!
This Hocking Hills train ride is one of the best things to do in the Hocking Hills!
Cincinnati Dinner Train
If you want one of the best romantic getaways in Ohio, book the popular Cincinnati Dinner Train.
Operating on Saturdays from March through December, this 3.25-hour ride is fine dining at its best!
You will ride in a restored vintage railcar dating back to the 1950s. Enjoy a delectable four-course meal on white tablecloths as you watch the city pass by out your window.
There are also cars with bars and live music. For special events, you can book a private car.
Photographers on board will snap a photo so you can remember your lovely train trip.
This is one of the best train rides in Ohio with dinner as well as one of the coolest things to do in Cincinnati.
Orrville Railroad Heritage Society
The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society welcomes you aboard the open-air passenger car #501 or caboose #330.
Though it is a short 40-minute ride, you will get the chance to view nature and go over the North Fork Sugar Creek bridge.
This society aims to preserve Ohio’s railway history. Make sure to stop by the Orrville Union Depot Museum.
They also put on many events throughout the year, including National Train Day, Orrville Railroad Day, Jumpin’ Pumpkin Jamboree, and Christmas at the Depot.
This is one of the best things to do in winter in Ohio!
One of the coolest things you can do here is a Throttle Time Session. If you have ever wanted to be a train engineer, now is your chance aboard engine #471.
After a safety and operation orientation, you can get behind the throttle of the 2,000-horsepower locomotive.
Lebanon Mason and Monroe Railroad
The Lebanon Mason and Monroe Railroad is based out of Lebanon, one of the best small towns in Ohio.
Most of the trains travel between Lebanon and Hageman Junction for a 9-mile roundtrip journey. Some of the excursions also connect to Mason or Monroe.
Out of the big windows of the vintage passenger coaches, you will see pretty nature and rural scenes. The train also crosses five bridges.
For kids, there is the Pumpkin Patch Express and the North Pole Express. The Princess Express and the Superhero Train include fun character interactions.
These train rides are some of the best things to do in Ohio with kids.
Adults looking for a good time can book a seat on the Bourbon Train or the Halloween-themed Boos and Brews Express.
The Murder Mystery Train is full of fun as well! As you interact with actors dropping clues, you will try to solve a murder.
The ride ends with a meal at the local Cherry Street Cafe.
Ohio Railway Museum
The Ohio Railway Museum in Worthington is one of the oldest railway museums in the country and is the perfect destination for anyone interested in trains.
There are a bunch of locomotives, streetcars, and railway artifacts to view and explore. After walking through the museum, you can check out the trains in the railyard.
End your tour by hopping aboard one of the trains for a short ride. Watch the world go by as you listen to the guide narrate your journey.
In October, you can also take a ride on the Ghost Trolley!
You will agree this is one of the best museums in Ohio!
Lorain and West Virginia Railway
In Wellington, you will find the Lorain and West Virginia Railway which was founded in 1906.
Years after the railway was abandoned, the Lake Shore Railway Association was founded and works hard to preserve this slice of Ohio’s history.
While the railway does not have regularly scheduled train rides, there are a ton of themed ride events that take place throughout the year.
Let the kids celebrate holidays in a unique way with the Easter Train, Pumpkin Train, and Santa Train.
Adults might enjoy the Wine on Rails excursions that occur a few times a year. During a 1.5-hour ride, you will sample drinks from Matus Winery, one of the best wineries in Ohio.
In October, there is also the Sweetest Day Train which pairs wines with yummy chocolates. A Fall Foliage Tour is also available.
Zanesville and Western Scenic Railroad Is One Of The Best Train Rides In Ohio
The Zanesville and Western Scenic Railroad in Mt. Perry provides 40-minute scenic train rides in Ohio along the historic Glass Rock Spur rail line.
Enjoy views of Jonathan Creek and the surrounding nature on a relaxing ride.
If you want something a little more exciting, check their schedule for their next Train Robbery Mystery Show!
This family-friendly event features a staged train robbery with actors. Help capture the horseback riding robbers!
There is also a Pumpkin Train in October. If you want one of the best train rides in Ohio for Christmas, they have a Santa Train in December.
Dennison Railroad Depot Museum Is One Of The Coolest Train Rides In Ohio
One of the best things to do in Ohio Amish Country is to head to the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.
This National Historic Landmark focuses on preserving WWII-era history. In the museum, you will find amazing history exhibits, a model train version of Dennison, a gift shop, a theater, and a restaurant.
If you are looking for an amazing way to celebrate Christmas in Ohio, you will want to bring the kids to this awesome Polar Express train ride in Ohio.
The Dennison Depot’s Polar Express reenacts the famous book with storytellers who read aloud.
Sit in decorated vintage cars as elves sing and play games. Beverages and cookies are also served.
When you make it to the North Pole, Santa Claus himself with board the train! He will hand out jingle bells from his reindeer’s harnesses, just like in the book.
This is easily one of the best Christmas train rides in Ohio!
Packing List For Train Rides In Ohio
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing when heading to ride a train.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when taking a scenic railway excursion.
It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies while on an Ohio train!
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
The replaceable carbon filter ensures you always have fresh drinking water with you!
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc… while riding trains in Ohio.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors!
With so many Ohio train rides to choose from, there is truly something for everyone. There are dinner train rides and wine tastings as well as fun, themed rides both children and adults alike will enjoy!
Come ride a train in Ohio!