Viewing the rolling countryside of the Upper Midwest is always a treat, but is additionally special in the summertime, with the sights and colors rolling by as guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind trip. This year the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad celebrates its 23rd season of train rides with a schedule loaded with dining experiences, natural excursions, and overnight packages designed to create a highlight of your summer for families, couples on a romantic getaway, and anyone who thrills to the beauty of views never seen from the highway.
The Wisconsin Great Northern came into being to save the railroad track from Spooner to Trego after its commercial use ceased. Today, trains on this historic route carry about 15,000 visitors throughout the year—with a passenger operation including dinner trains and bed and breakfast trains running five days a week. They depart from a depot and regional tourist information center conveniently located four miles north of Spooner.
Families checking off their summer itineraries often opt for the Family Pizza Train, which departs at noon on Saturdays and features a 16-mile hour-and-a-half ride with food provided by Tony’s Riverside in Spooner.
For a more-adult option, the original elegant Dinner Train features service on a 1950s vintage dining car, with a delicious meal prepared fresh on board and served while the train makes its luxurious way through farm fields and lush forest along the Namekagon River and over the Bean Creek Trestle. Guests choose from among five entrees during each romantic evening. Dinner and motel packages include a night at Spooner’s Country House, a bus to provide transportation to the train station, and a pool and hot tub for a relaxing and luxurious experience.
Guests looking for an immersive experience opt for the Bed and Breakfast Dinner Train—the only moving B&B in America, with a traditional Pullman upper-lower bedroom complete with enclosed toilet and sink. Also available is the delightful upgrade of the 1914 railroad president’s car, with a full-sized bed and bathrooms with private showers in each of three staterooms.
This summer, Great Northern proudly introduces the spectacular glass-roofed Hi Level Sky Parlour car, nicknamed the “Namekagon View,” with two levels featuring a mahogany bar, six restaurant-style booths, cocktail sofas and a 20-person movie theater. This car was one of five recently operated by Amtrak between Seattle and Los Angeles, and is considered by many to be the finest operated in regular service. This special experience will host the Sky Parlour Wine and Cheese Train twice a day on Sundays starting in June—a relaxing two-hour trip with local wines and cheeses to please all tastes.
Whether you choose to visit overnight, for a daytime excursion or a nighttime dinner, the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad offers a one-of-a-kind, thrillingly memorable experience for travelers who love to combine unique experiences with a dash of luxury and good food. For schedule information visit the Great Northern website or call 715-635-3200.