Mother’s Day weekend May 10–11, 2014, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wis., will open for weekend-only hours. Then on May 31 it begins daily operations through Sept. 1, 2014 with daily train rides at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. From 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. you can browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays.
For Mother’s Day weekend, the Museum teams with Baraboo’s Elite Catering to offer beverages and hors d’oeuvres on first-class service, and the popular dinner and brunch trains prepared by chef Mike Althen.
May 10 coach and first-class service: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
May 10 dinner train: 5:30 p.m.
May 11 brunch service: 10:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
May 11 coach and caboose service: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Enjoy a 55-minute ride in a 1915 steel coach along seven miles of former Chicago & North Western Railway track through the Baraboo Bluffs, regardless of weather. Currently diesel locomotives power the train while volunteers restore the massive steam engines. All trains depart from the restored wooden depot built in 1894. Docents dress in authentic, period attire.
This outdoor living-history museum is seven miles west of Baraboo in North Freedom, a small, rural crossroads. Step back in time at this museum that recreates and preserves the short-line railroad experience of Midwestern small towns from the 1880s to 1916, railroading’s golden age.
The grounds feature the depot, the Coach Shed filled with restored wooden passenger and freight cars, and displays from the turn of the 20th century in a historically accurate, rural railroad environment. In and around the Coach Shed are 13 steam locomotives; dozens of cabooses and passenger and freight cars; and service equipment, some restored and others in process or awaiting work.
A small, dedicated group of volunteers operate the Museum and restore the trains and artifacts. The 1903 Cooper Range Coach #60, which carried school children through Michigan’s upper peninsula, received two awards for its eight-year restoration by volunteers.
Reservations are not necessary for the daily summer rides, but are recommended for special events. Visit www.mcrwy.com or call 608-522-4261 to learn more, including correct coordinates for your GPS device.
The Mid-Continent Railway Museum is 25 minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point.
Ride the rails and stay with us. Book your favorite guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
May 30: Lawn Chair Bat Watch at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m. Meet near the north shore boat launch by the bat condo, five minutes west of the Inn, to watch bats emerge from their houses and learn fun information about bats. Bring a lawn chair. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
May 31: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
May 31–June 1: Portage Canal Days at the Market Square and Canal. Historic encampment and tours of the Indian Agency House and Fort Winnebago Surgeon’s Quarters, parade, downtown walking tour, live music and food. Call Sherry at 617-5409 for details.
June 1: Stroll the Sunday Market on the historic downtown square in Baraboo, Wis., every Sunday this summer through Oct. 19, 2014, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Antiques, vintage collectibles, art and crafts.