Hobo Railroad & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad – Creating Family Memories One Ride At a Time!

If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity in NH take a ride on the Hobo Railroad & Winnipesauukee Scenic Railroad. The nostalgia of riding on a train through scenic NH is guaranteed to puts a smile on your face and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. The Hobo Railroad delivers old fashioned rides in vintage railcars to capture your interest.  

Pick Your Ride At The Hobo Railroad & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

Hobo Railroad - Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

The Hobo Railroad & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad has a variety of options at their different New Hampshire locations. They have different options depending on where and when you want to ride. It is a popular tourist attraction in New Hampshire and offers a variety of old-fashioned train rides and even rail bike adventures. Here are some of the different options available:  

Hobo Railroad in Lincoln NH

Hobo railroad

The Hobo Railroad is based out of Lincoln NH up the 93 corridor right off exit 32, just South of New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains. The Hobo Railroad offers an 80-minute round-trip train ride on their old-fashioned rail cars. On the train ride you will cruise in comfort along the beautiful Pemigewasset River and through New Hampshire’s woodland scenery. The Hobo Railroad operates from late-May all the way through October during prime NH leaf peeping season. It operates again from Thanksgiving through late December for rides later in the season.

hobo railroad on bridge

After purchasing your tickets online or at the Hobo Junction Station, you will ride in style in one of their restored vintage rail car coaches. Your trip will take you along the banks of the Pemigewasset River.  This is a historic rail system that has been operational since the late 1800’s.  It was used for logging before it was transformed into a tourist attraction.  

hobo railroad near pemigewasset river

On your railroad adventure it is not uncommon to see fisherman and even kayakers enjoying the scenic NH outdoors. In the Fall the vibrant colors of the changing leaves make for a wonderful view and people from all over the country come to see the Fall Foliage. Having done a train raid with Hobo Railroad in Autumn, I can personally say this a wonderful time of year to take a ride on the Hobo Railroad.  

During the Winter season, the Hobo Railroad has their special “Santa Train” experience on the weekends. This is a great experience for young children!

The Hobo Junction Gift Shop offers a wide variety of train-related gifts, souvenirs, snacks, ice cream treats, soft drinks and bottled water, memorable post cards and collectibles. You have the option of packing a lunch to enjoy on your ride while you experience the views.

You can learn about the rides and ticket information on the Hobo Railroad information page: https://hoborr.com/hobo-rail-road/

Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

Lake Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad Ariel View

The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad offers old-fashioned train rides along the western shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. It travels from Meredith to Weirs Beach. It then continues to Lakeport and then returns back for a wonderful round trip. Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire’s biggest lake and has some wonderful views. It is a beautiful round-trip experience. 

meredith nh train station

The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad is located in the village of beautiful Meredith, NH. They have a satellite ticket booth located on the Boardwalk at the famous Weirs Beach, NH. In the lat 1800’s it was once the Boston, Concord & Montreal line and the owners transformed it into this popular NH attraction years back. 

Here is what the round trip of the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad experience will take you.  

winnipesaukee scenic railroad map

From the Meredith Station, you can enjoy 2-hour train rides along the Lake Winnipesaukee shoreline. Looking for a shorter ride? There is also a 1-hour train ride option available from their Weirs Beach location. 

The Lake Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad operates daily throughout the NH summer months. It runs weekends during the Fall season. The views from the train car offer up beautiful views of the ‘big lake’ on one side of the train. It delivers views of the stunning lakeside vacation homes on the other side of the car. (Don’t worry, you can see them both).

To learn more about availability and get tickets for the Lake Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad check out their page here: https://hoborr.com/winnipesaukee-scenic-railroad/

Fall Foliage Trains

Fall foliage train NH

Autumn is a special time in New Hampshire, and people from all over flock to see the array of colors the trees display. During the Fall season The Hobo Railroad offers a special 4-hour Fall Foliage train ride experience.  

On this NH old-fashioned Fall train ride, you will depart at 11:00am and head north where you’ll travel up and over Ashland Summit. Next up you’ll cross the Ashland High Trestle. You’ll pass through the Bonnie Brae Deer Farm. You’ll then pass by the Glove Hollow Christmas Tree Farm (see also ‘The 4 Best Christmas Tree Farms In New Hampshire‘) in Bridgewater before arriving in the quaint Plymouth, NH.

The train will deliver you to the Common Man Inn & Spa, located in Plymouth’s North End. Upon arrival at the Plymouth Common Man, you’ll step off the train and proceed in the dining room to enjoy a delicious, hot buffet lunch. After lunch you will have some time to explore the Common Man facilities and gift shop.  

After your lunch visit to the Common Man you will re-board the train with a full belly and carry on with your old-fashioned train experience.  You will carry on towards Plymouth and Bridgewater again before stopping in Ashland, NH. You will get to see the restored 1869 Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad Station. At this vintage NH train station you’ll see 1860’s vintage-dressed staff. The staff from the Ashland Historical Societyfstaff will greet you and provide guided tours of the historic station.

After your historic guided tour in Ashland, you’ll re-board the train for the final time and continue south over Ashland Summit. On your return trip you will pass Lake Waukewan and proceed towards Meredith Station where you’ll arrive just after 3:00pm in the afternoon.

When you purchase this special 4-hour Fall Foliage train ride it includes some great options. The Common Man hot buffet lunch, the guided tour of the 1869 Ashland Railroad Station and a souvenir booklet are all part of the package. This is a popular NH experience and it books up quickly so it is recommended to book your tickets well in advance.  

On this special train ride there are few different choices of seating. They have Coach Class, First Class, and even the luxurious Presidential Class.  

For more information and ticket prices check out the Hobo Railroad website here: https://hoborr.com/fall-foliage-trains/

Santa Trains

santa trains NH

The Hobo Railroad offers another very popular vintage train ride experience during the Winter months. Introducing the Santa Express Trains experience. Grab the kids as the magic of the Holiday season is in the air and board the train for a memorable experience. Generations of families come back to experience this special train experience year after year.  

The Santa Train Express ride is also known as “Santa Trains.” It begins running the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 26th, and it runs weekends all the way through to Sunday, December 20th. On this magical train ride experience everyone will get to meet Santa & Mrs. Claus.  Children passengers can complete their letters to Santa expressing their dream toy wishes. Every child on the train will get a gift from Santa while on the train!

NH santa train

You have your choice of First Class & Coach Class seating on all of the Santa Express Trains. Coach Class seating is bench-style seating while the First Class seating has dedicated tables. No matter which seating option you choose, the Santa Trains experience is guaranteed to create happy memories. Your children will cherish these memories for a lifetime.  

To learn more about the Santa Trains Express experience visit this page on their website: https://hoborr.com/santa-trains/

Rail Bike Adventures

In 2021 the Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad added an entirely new experience with its Rail Bike Adventures. If you haven’t seen these before they are really cool 2-4 person Rail cars that you pedal so you can get some exercise while taking in some excellent views.  

With the Hobo Rail Bike adventures you can enjoy the beautiful scenery NH Lakes Region has to offer on their state-of-the-art rail bikes. The rail line that these bikes ride along date back to the mid 1800’s so you will be taking in some great history along with the views. The guided rail bike adventure begins and ends at the historic in Veterans Square at the Laconia Railroad Station. This station opened back in 1892 and was operational until the late 1960’s so it carries with it plenty of history.

The rail bikes travel along beautiful route. You will travel over a trestle bridge (see also ‘Covered Bridges In New Hampshire‘) crossing the beautiful Winnipesaukee River. Then over Durkee Brook and then along the shores of Lake Winnisquam (which is NH’s 4th largest lake). The ride is mostly flat so don’t worry about any steep inclines. Expect the ride on the rail cars to take you about 2-hours. It is a perfect New Hampshire family-friendly activity is both enjoyable and relaxing. The rail bike experience is perfect for ages five and up.

Safety is primary concern at Rail Bike Adventures. All of these guided tours include well-trained guides at the front and rear of each rail bike group. Flaggers man all road crossings so rest assured you will be in good hands on your rail bike journey. The guides will assist your group as needed to help make sure everyone has a great rail bike experience.

These custom-made rail bikes have very comfortable seats.  Additionally they also have built-in hand-holds and pedals for up to four riders. They all come equipped with hand brakes as well as a basket to store personal items while on your rail bike journey. They also offer some snacks, bottled beverages, train & rail bike apparel at the Laconia Railroad Station Gift Shop.

Bottom line – the Rail Bike adventures is phenomenal way to get outdoors and have a unique experience in beautiful New Hampshire. 

To learn more about the Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad Rail Bike adventure visit this page: https://hoborr.com/rail-bike-adventures/

The History of The Hobo Railroad & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

Hobo railroad train

The rail lines that this tourist attraction rides along has a long and storied history. Back in the late 1800’s, the 54 miles of track was previously owned by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad.  It once served as one of the primary routes north through New Hampshire.  Tourists used this rail line to make their way from Boston, Hartford and New York to the beautiful lakes and mountains of northern New Hampshire. It also transported passengers to locations even further north such as northern Vermont and even to Montreal, Canada.  

Jumping ahead to the early 1900’s, the rights to the rail line sold to the Boston & Maine Railroad. That operation kept the line active between the Lakes Region and Lincoln, NH. It was primarily used for business purposes (the paper mills industry) but carried some passengers too.  

With the advent of interstate highways the passenger train service slowed down. When the New Hampshire paper mills closed down for good in the late 1970’s the train freight service finally came to an end. The rail line was ultimately purchased by the State of New Hampshire and then the state later put the rail line for lease.

In the late 1980’s Ed and Brenda Clark came to an agreement with the State of New Hampshire and transformed the old rail line into the Hobo Railroad. In the late 1990’s the railroad line expanded even more. Today the Hobo and Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad serves its passengers as a popular tourist attraction.  It transports passengers back to a previous age.  They’re keeping the railroad chugging along and creating memories on every ride!

Final Thoughts About The Hobo Railroad & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

hobo and winnipesaukee scenic railroad

If you are looking for a great experience take a ride on the Hobo Railroad & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. This NH treasure has great historic train ride options and rail bike adventures.  You and yours can take advantage of these great rides throughout the year. You’re guaranteed some great views! This is a great way to experience the wonderful New Hampshire outdoors. From the comfort of a vintage rail car (or rail bike) you can create some memories that can last a lifetime.  

Learn more about these rides at their website https://hoborr.com/

Location of the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln NH:

Location of the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad:

To see some of our other New Hampshire Guides visit here


Kyle Battis is a life-long NH resident that enjoys making his way around the state, sampling delicious food and drinks, and sharing his experiences. Follow us at www.HereInNewHampshire.com