Hidden Adventures: Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. (KFSN) -- These passengers are returning from a trip back in time aboard the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.

The railroad attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every week.

The train is located just ten miles from the Yosemite National Park south entrance gate along Highway 41.

Engineer Greg Haywood helps run the 90+-year-old locomotive.

He gets a front row view and adventure every day.

"It's like being a kid again, it's like a peter pan thing," he says laughing.

Haywood loves keeping this piece of vintage machinery running, which has played a role in Central California's history.

"Madera County wouldn't be here if it wasn't for this logging operation, Madera Sugar Pine Logging Company. Madera is there because it was the railhead where this brought lumber to and was delivered to the Southern Pacific Railroad."

We got on board the train to see history in motion.

Just a year ago, employees had to be evacuated after the Railroad Fire came blazing in.

RELATED: Sugar Pine Railroad reopens to visitors after Railroad Fire

Most of the locomotives and trains were saved, but the land was impacted.

"You will see remnants of the fire: burned trees, fallen trees," says Shane Blackwell, the general manager of the railroad. "You will also see that the flowers are more lush than I've ever seen before in certain areas, the soil is extra fertile."

The rest of the four-mile excursion takes us through the Sierra National Forest, winding through trees until the bottom of the Lewis Creek Canyon.

Passenger Dave Sutherland said, "We have come up here for decades. When my kids were young, they loved coming here, and now we are taking our grandkids here."

Micah Rodgers, 9, was a fan, "I like it. I've been here a few times, and I think it's pretty fun."

For the employees aboard the train, its the whirring of the machine and the power of the steam that makes each trip youthful.

An unforgettable ride and an unforgettable adventure.

LINK: Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad website

You can go back in time and take in all the sites by riding the train. It's open every day until October or November, weather permitting."

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