Have you ever been to the Medford Railroad Park? If you are looking for something fun and inexpensive to do with the family this is a great place to spend your day. And if you are looking for a great place to have a birthday party, this is a great place to have it that keeps the kids AND adults busy for hours!
The park is free so there is no waiting in line for entry and you can get right down to having fun! The first thing we do when we get there is jump on the big train that all four of us can go on, you have to be able to sit up by yourself so no babies under the age of one . They have a number of 7.5 gauge / 1.5” scale trains that take you on an over one mile track. It weaves through their grounds going up to 6mph, passing various landmarks from Southern Oregon such as the Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point, and Jacksonville, passing through tunnels and speeding by ‘wild’ animals, all the while you get to wave at the happy volunteers and other passing trains. So much fun!
After that we usually head over to the train museum where you get to climb up into various train cars such as the caboose with the learning center inside that talks about the history of the railroad and the flanger which is a snowplow that is used to clear the snow between the rails and that are still used to this day. You also get to see a steam locomotive up close, though you don’t get to climb around on it, and another caboose, a Southern Pacific 1107 that you can climb up onto a seating platform that my son loves. As an added bonus you can get a telegraph sent to your kids while you are there that you can pick up at two different telegraph offices in the park. I highly suggest doing this, the gentleman we talked to was so very nice and he was a fountain of knowledge and history, he was 93 years old and was in World War II where he learned to use Morse code. Talking to him was definitely one of the highlights of the day.
Next, we will head over to take a ride on the motor car, which is what maintenance people use to get around on the tracks. It’s a short ride that the kids of course love and you can take the smallest babies with you so everyone can go. They also have a small Thomas the Train that the kids can go on. They sit in what I can only describe as long packing crates, so it is very safe unless they stand up, which the volunteers make sure and keep their eyes on the kids to ensure their safety. Our two year old jumped right in and said goodbye. She loved it!
The last thing we usually do is to walk through the garden railroad and it does not disappoint! It is trulyamazing to see all of the hard work that the Medford Garden Railroaders put into every detail. They have small towns with different themes that even include Harry Potters school Gryffindor, the Quidditch arena and a train that your kids can control around its garden. The artistry and detail is perfected down to every minute detail.
If you want to go, the Medford Railroad Park is right in town so you don’t have to travel too far to get there, which is perfect for the littlest ones in your pack. Plus, you can bring a picnic lunch which saves money on having to buy food while you are out; they do have a snack bar with treats like ice cream, snow cones and popcorn.
The Medford Railroad Park is such a treasure for Southern Oregon; It is a collaborative effort of five different clubs and their members, all who volunteer on a regular basis. Ages vary from about 10 years old to our 93 year old friend we spoke to; they are all so happy to be there and are eager to answer any questions you may have. And they are always looking for new club members. If you are interested in more information about any of the clubs or want to volunteer check out any of the links below. Don't forget: Medford Railroad Park is completely run by volunteers and funded by donations, so don't forget to help them, by dropping in whatever you can at the many donation spots throughout the park!
Medford Railroad Park is located at: 799 Berrydale Ave in Medford off of Tablerock Rd MAP
Hours: Every 2nd and 4th Sunday, April through October, 11am-3pm.
If you can’t make it during regular hours you can call Tony Johnson for a private tour at: 541-944-9176 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org