I recently visited Fairview and stumbled upon this hidden gem – The Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad. This amazingly beautiful train ride sits on 40 acres of Jack pine forest and overlooks the Comins Creek Valley.
I had the pleasure of speaking to the owners, Howard and Joanne Schrader about the property. The idea of this railroad came from Howard’s love of trains and ground was broken in 1994 with the construction of the engine house. Over the next 5 years the Schraders built two wooden trestles (one is over 220 feet long), a tunnel (115 feet long), the depot and gift shop, and many more buildings to make this a complete experience for the rider.
There is a 1/4 scale steam locomotive as well as two F-7 diesel hydraulic locomotives. There are 7 passenger coaches each with a unique name.
The Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays from Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day Weekend. The steam locomotive runs on select Sundays and Holidays – you can call ahead for the steam schedule.
For more information and directions, please visit: www.michiganausablevalleyrailroad.com