Essex Steam Train Eagle Flyer
So you’d like to get out and see the great outdoors without getting out in the cold? The Eagle Flyer – a 2 ½ hour eco-excursion aboard the vintage Essex Steam Train – may be your answer.
If you’ve been on the Essex Steam Train in the summer, you know it travels through the picturesque Connecticut River Valley. In winter, the route is the same, but with the trees stripped of their leaves, you get clear views of the surrounding forest and (it is hoped) all the wildlife that calls the Valley home. (Bring your binoculars as eagles, red-tailed hawks and even a harbor seal have been spotted.) The Eagle Flyer allows you to be on the lookout from the cozy confines of heated vintage rail cars, with Master Wildlife Conservationists from DEEP (Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) on board to share their knowledge.
The train departs Essex at 11 AM, makes stops in Deep River, Chester and Hadlyme, and arrives at Haddam’s Goodspeed Yard at noon. You then have the option of staying on the train for an extended ride on newly opened scenic track, or spending the half hour exploring the Goodspeed Station Country Store. At 12:35, the train makes returns to Essex. If you can’t make it on this trip, there are two trips the following weekend, February 23 and 24.
Coach tickets a re $25 adults; $15 for kids. There is a dining car you can walk to for soups, sandwiches and even wine and beer. If you want to make a cushy experience even cushier, opt for First Class seating that includes individual black leather chairs and food and beverage service at your seat -- $40 for all ages.