Redwoods, railroads and dogs, oh my!

By: DogTrekker Staff
Skunk Railbikes with dog carrier.
Skunk Railbikes. Photo by Brendan McGuigan.

Step back in time for a magical ride through the redwoods on the world-famous Skunk Train. According to Chief Skunk Robert Pinoli, “In our 136 years of service, we’ve transported millions of passengers. We think it’s high time that our beloved canine companions should be able to join in the fun.” Here are some of the outstanding experiences you can ride, from classic daily trips to Magical Christmas, Easter and Pumpkin Express outings.

Experience classic Mendocino County on the California Western Railroad’s Redwood Route, a logging-era line established in 1885. Pungent odors produced by early-1900s motorcars earned the route its Skunk Train nickname—those units ran on gasoline and burned crude oil to keep passengers warm. Today, the Skunk Train’s refurbished (and very dog-friendly!) steam- and diesel electric-powered cars still showcase old-growth forests.

Choose from two Skunk Train routes departing from different stations. The Pudding Creek Express makes a 7-mile, 75-minute journey from Fort Bragg on the railway’s original 1885 route. Take in pretty Pudding Creek Estuary landscapes, marvel at ancient redwood stands, and hop off to roam the trails at Glen Blair Junction before circling back to the coast.

From the inland depot in Willits, the two-hour Wolf Tree Turn route tops a 1,740-foot summit, chugs through historic Tunnel #2, and descends into the redwood-shaded Noyo River Canyon. The trip pauses at the Wolf Tree, a redwood so massive that it slows the growth of the surrounding trees.


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