Archive for the ‘Skunk Train’ Category

Hometown Holiday Celebration Continues

Posted on: December 8, 2014 at 10:26 am by Julia Conway
Festival of Lights

Holiday lights at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Our Hometown Holiday celebrations may peak with the visit from Santa Claus, the Tree Lighting and the Holiday Lights Parade, but the festivities go on throughout the month of December!  Trade your big city malls for the small town warmth of our historic downtown and experience Christmas coastal style.

Starting on the 11th, the Skunk Train’s special Christmas Train departs the Fort Bragg station at 3:15PM for a 90-minute round-trip ride through the redwoods with Santa Claus!  A wonderful trip for children of all ages; click HERE to purchase tickets now, before they are all sold out!  This excursion is spectacular on a rainy winter day, and the forests have never been more beautiful.

Speaking of trains, the Mendocino Model Railway and Historical Society has a special Thomas the Tank Engine exhibit at their Model Railroad Layout in Fort Bragg.  Tickets are available at the Skunk Train depot, or click HERE for more information.  The exhibit is open every day the Skunk Train runs, from 1:00P to 3:30P through Christmas in the train barn at the Skunk depot.  Admission is free with a Skunk Train ticket, $5 for adults and $3 for children if you are not riding the train.  For a virtual tour of the barn and layout, click HERE.

This Saturday the 13th of December, gather in one of the many wharf-side restaurants in Noyo Harbor for the annual Lighted Boat Parade, sponsored by the Traditional Small Craft Association of Noyo Harbor.  Participating boats will gather at the US Coast Guard station at 5:30P and the parade is slated to begin at 6:00P, weather permitting.  The forecast for Friday looks good, so take the opportunity to share in another special tradition in our working harbor.  If you saw the boats in last weekend’s Holiday Lights parade, you will love them even more on the water. Dungeness crab is coming in by the bushel, so enjoy some while you watch the parade from the cozy warmth of one of the restaurants facing the harbor.

Ongoing through December 14th, rain or shine, is the Festival of Lights at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens!  Wander through the Gardens and view the beautiful bloom of holiday lights.  Special suppers will be available for purchase from David’s Deli, so this is a great outing for the whole family (please leave your pets at home, however).  More information and specific can be found HERE on their website.


Beer, Wine and Mushroom Festival Arrives … Check Out the Skunk Train

Posted on: November 3, 2012 at 3:40 am by bruce

There’s plenty to see and do in Fort Bragg year-around. But for the next 10 days, there will also be a celebration of mushroom (a product in plenty supply in Mendocino County forests).

Here’s some of what’s happening. Check out the complete schedule here. There’s plenty of lodging available!

Skunk Train Beer, Wine & Mushroom Train

Saturday, November 3 – 10:30am – 5pm

Mushroom Cook-Off • Wine, Beer and Mushroom Tasting • Mushroom Hike

In the heart of the redwoods at Camp Mendocino

$95 adult, $75 child. Reservations.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Naturalist Mario Abreu will have specimens and handouts to guide you in understanding the wild mushroom during walks and workshops  from Nov. 10 – 17.   707-964-4352 ext 16. or visit

Liquid Fusion Kayaking River PaddleLiquid Fusion Kayaking Mushroom Paddles

November 3 & 4 – start at 11am

(707)962-1623 / /

 Reserve now.

Ricochet Ranch

Join the mushroom hunt horseback rides every day during the festival. –

Skunk Train Brunch A Father’s Day Adventure

Posted on: June 9, 2011 at 3:30 am by bruce

Riding in an open car. Surrounded by a giant redwood forest. A warm breeze rushing through your hair. The sound of a train whistle signaling the approach to a tunnel. Finally,  at North Spur a big brunch greets your arrival. That’s the promise of the Skunk Train this Father’s Day. For tickets and other details.

10 Things To Do for a Great Fort Bragg Vacation

Posted on: May 12, 2011 at 10:12 am by bruce

1. Ride the Skunk Train with the engineer; eat BBQ at Northspur.
2. Take the “Street Corners of Fort Bragg” Tour.
3. Visit the Guest House Museum
4. Sign up for a class at Living Light Culinary Institute
5. Kayak the Noyo River with Liquid Fusion.
6. Hang out at Virgin Beach.
7. Spend the day at the C.V. Starr Center.
8. Hike to the Russian Gulch Waterfall.
9. Check out the lighthouse at Point Cabrillo Light Station.
10. Stroll the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

Spoonful of History Features Two Treasures

Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 7:05 am by bruce

“Spoonful of History” is a brief video tour of historical spots all within walking distance of downtown Fort Bragg, California. Fort Bragg’s founding dates to 1857 with U.S. soldiers creating a garrison to move local indians onto a 25,000 acre reservation. As we look back, not a great moment in our history. Within 20 years, however, a booming town with wide streets and interesting alleys replaced the fort. The rest, as they say, is history. Besides all the wonderful architectural history showcased in this video, two treasures are featured: Ruth Sparks of the Native Daughters of Golden West, Fort Bragg Parlor #210, and the silver spoon at the beginning in which Main Street Fort Bragg is carved. Ruth, as much as anyone on the Mendocino Coast, has generated new interest and excitement in Fort Bragg’s cultural resources and history. She has produced history tour guides, such as “Street Corners of Fort Bragg” which bring town’s rich past to life.

As for the beautiful spoon, it was donated to the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino and its origins and age are still a mystery. When we find out, sometime in the next few months, we will let you know. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this tiny video created by the Fort Bragg Promotion Committee. One more reason to visit Fort Bragg.

Street Corners of Fort Bragg … A Historical Walking Tour

Posted on: May 8, 2011 at 3:40 am by bruce

With leadership from the ever-energetic Ruth Sparks, the Native Daughters of the Golden West Parlor #210 (Fort Bragg), have created a wonderful new history walking tour of Fort Bragg.

The tour brochure, called “Street Corners of Fort Bragg” covers nine different locations and 26 historical points of interest. It is packed with information and places to see. A related video history tour of the town is also in the works.

Guest House Museum on Main Street Fort Bragg

Perhaps one of the quietest (off Main Street/Highway 1) and most interesting spots is the SW Corner of Fir and Stewart. Among the finds there:

  • Four Craftsman bungalows (1915-1918)
  • The 1886 Charles Weller House (the only house in town listed National Register of Historic Places)
  • The 1876 Calvin Stewart House (Stuart mapped out the original town)

In the distance you can see the old Skunk Train and, above it, the Guest House Museum.

Check with your lodging host for a copy of the brochure and drive into take a step back in time.

Never too old to ride the Skunk Train!

Posted on: October 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm by fbpc

On Friday evening, the old steam engine pulled out of the depot, under a full moon. I see the historic train crossing the highway every week, but this trip was special, because I got to ride along! Which reminding me that I’ll never outgrow the thrill of riding the rail.

Why I still love riding the Skunk:

Gimmicks & Nostalgia

I am a sucker for all things related to trains, and especially the gestures toward historical re-enactment and old-timey charm. Like this guy, who played old country songs on his banjo for us!

Moving slowly

It’s nice to slow down once in a while, and enjoy the ride. Especially nice if you are accompanied by some of your best girl friends, in seats facing each other so you can talk the whole way.

You never know what you’ll find in these woods…

The redwoods are unquestionably beautiful, but you never know what will come out of the cracks in these parts.  Like this train we passed full of Burning Man attendees! Story has it that they rent out a train for their annual Halloween Party and dressed (or not-so-dressed) in costumes they bring the party to the train, with multiple kegs of beer on board.

The caboose

This would be the prettiest picture – if I had taken it. But truthfully, the view was so lovely from the back of the train car that I didn’t want to leave it to get my camera. We stood against the rail, looking back on the tracks with a trail of mystical steam marking the sky above us, against the redwood canopy.

Beverages served on-board

Drinking and riding is totally legit! The lively bartender did a very good job of keeping us “hydrated” with local beer and wine (and carrying full glasses through the train cars).

In conclusion: To get in touch with your inner child, consider riding the Skunk! Visit their website for tickets and info.