WASHINGTON -- All too soon, much of America will turn into an
autumn rainbow, as the flora begins to resemble an impressionist
painter's palette of deep reds, striking oranges and bright
Mother Nature's annual pageantry of
color can be seen on many different itineraries on an Amtrak train.
Here's a sampling of the most scenic routes and best viewing
Northeastern foliage (Peak Dates: First to second week
Amtrak's Northeast Direct trains (Richmond-Washington-New
York-Springfield-Boston) treat customers to spectacular vistas of
gold, crimson and bronze, with incredible views between New Haven,
Conn., and Boston.
Amtrak's Empire Service (New York-Albany-Niagara Falls-Montreal)
offers panoramic scenery of the Hudson River and the majestic
Adirondack Mountains. Several trains operate daily along this
route, including the Adirondack, which continues along the shore of
Lake Champlain, and the Maple Leaf, which heads west to Buffalo,
Niagara Falls and Toronto.
The Lake Shore Limited (Chicago-New York/Boston) offers superior
views of the autumn scenery and the red maple treesblaze with color
as the Vermonter (Washington- St. Albans, Vt.) travels deep into
the heart of New England.
Mid-Atlantic foliage (Peak Dates: Mid-September to
The Pennsylvanian (New York-Pittsburgh) and the eastbound Three
Rivers (New York-Chicago) offer views of the scenic Allegheny
Mountains and the fall color of picturesque Pennsylvania Dutch
The Capitol Limited (Washington-Chicago) passes through the West
Virginia panhandle and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Amtrak's tri-weekly Cardinal (Chicago-Cincinnati-Washington)
approaches the Skyline Drive area of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Southeastern foliage (Peak Dates: Mid- September to Late
Amtrak's Crescent, (New York-New Orleans) passes through
Virginia's foothills and the Piedmont region of Georgia and
Amtrak's New York to Florida trains, the Silver Star, Silver
Meteor and Silver Palm, whisk travelers through the colorful
hardwood forests of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
The Carolinian (New York-Charlotte, N.C.) and the Piedmont
(which features a refurbished dome car to enjoy the passing scenery
between Raleigh and Charlotte) showcases brilliant stands of oak,
maple, birch and sycamore, punctuated by crimson sumac.
Western foliage (Peak Dates: Early to Mid-
Amtrak's Empire Builder (Chicago-Seattle/Portland) voyages past
Wisconsin and Minnesota, and along the banks of the Mississippi
The California Zephyr (Chicago-Emeryville, Calif.) treats
passengers to the yellows of Aspen trees, as it rises into the
Pacific Northwest Corridor trains between Eugene, Ore. and
Seattle offer views of autumn wildflowers against towering
To obtain a copy of an illustrated Amtrak Travel Planner and
schedules for fall-foliage watching possibilities on Amtrak, call
(800) USA-RAIL. Information also is available at its web site at