You could call it the river run: up the Connecticut and Williams rivers from Bellows Falls to Chester Depot through thickets of maples, birches, and beeches. Lush and green for the July and August trains, the route becomes a kaleidoscope of color from mid-September to mid-October. Its not all leaf-peeping, though. From the vintage railcars, passengers have great views of dramatic Brockway Mills Gorge and the Worrall and Bartonsville covered bridges, both dating from 1870. For an extra $5, you can ride in a fully restored 1913 Rutland Railcar, one of the oldest passenger cars still in active service. The same company also runs excursion trains in northeast and northwest Vermont.
Union Station, 54 Depot St., Bellows Falls, Vt.; 800-707-3530, 802-463-3069; rails-vt.com. Begins service July 3. Ages 13 and older $19, 3-12 $15.