Growing up, I was surrounded by small model trains that my father and brother used to collect. Okay, I’ll admit I was also into trains as well. My dad helped me collect the miniature train sets and I even had my own little layout. Our house even had train layouts set up throughout it. It was a little train-ca-o-tic. Every week my dad would pack the family up and we’d head to ‘The Red Caboose’ a local hangout for train loving people to all gather and play with trains. When we’d take road trips we’d often stop periodically at places that had those tourist cabooses and engines to climb and explore. Now as an adult, I want to allow my kids to experience the fun of trains as well. As I’m looking for new travel destinations, I found McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. It’s located in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona and is the most unique train park in the country. They provide the opportunity to take a ride on both the Paradise and Pacific Railroads. Other features include an antique carousel, museums, shops, playgrounds or picnic areas.
One of the parks newest attractions is the 10,000 square foot model railroad building. Inside you’ll find four model railroad clubs, three different layouts and a variety of exhibits which allows hands-on-access. This takes me back to my childhood days of growing up with trains all around me. What’s even more fascinating is that you can actually touch some of the exhibits and interact with the displays. They have orange hands displayed throughout the layouts which tells you those are okay to be touched and you can actually make things move and do fun things. All the layouts are fully accessible from all four sides so everything is within reach and eyes view. You might get lucky and have the opportunity to help operate the train if a member hands you a controller. Also in the background they have a variety of train videos on display for those who want to listen and watch.
The main attraction is the Paradise and Pacific Railroad rides. These small size trains were built exactly the same as larger models. How cool is that? They provide its passengers a mile-long train ride all through the park. The railroad features three steam locomotives, two diesel engines, several scale model cars, a turntable, a water tank, and also trestles. Want to experience one even smaller? The Scottsdale Live Steamers operate even more mini size trains about ¾-1 foot. This train ride is about a 10-minute ride which takes you through the parks desert arboretum. Don’t forget to stop by their antique carousel for a ride. It offers 30 horses and also two wheelchair chariots to accommodate everyone. Also available on site are two outdoor playgrounds for the young kids to play with while their train loving dads play inside.
Whether a young kid or just young at heart, this park has much to offer. Come check it out whenever you’re in the Scottsdale Area.