See Why Salem Is the Place To Be This October

Derby Square Tours offers the “Witch Trial Trail” walking tour. These one-hour, candlelight tours depart at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday nights from October 11 through October 27, as well as October 28-30, from Old Town Hall on Front Street, two blocks from the Salem Visitor Center. All are welcome. The cost is $12 for adults, $3 for ages 7-17. Check the Derby Square Tours Web site or call 978-745-6314 for more information.

On October 11-13, 18-19, 25-26 and 31, 2013, tour The House of Seven Gables and meet characters from Hawthorne’s famous novel. Tours run from 7:15 to 11 p.m. each evening (7:30 to 9:30 p.m. only October 11-13 and 7:15 to 10 p.m. on Halloween). Tickets are $15 per person. Call 978-744-0991, ext. 104 for more information and reservations.

The Salem Wax Museum and The Salem Witch Village provide entertainment for all at the world famous epicenter of Halloween, “Haunted Happenings” in October.salem ma halloween Both are located on a dead-end street across from the Peabody Essex Museum and adjacent to the Tricentennial Witch Trials Memorial and The Charter Street Old Burying Point – reputed to be the 2nd oldest burial ground in the country. Interred within are some of the notable of Salem’s History including “The Hanging Judge” John Hathorne.

The Hawthorne Hotel will host a Scream Out Loud 18+ dance party and concert on Halloween night, October 31. Adults 21 and older will love the annual “Nightmare on Hawthorne Boulevard” Halloween Costume Ball on Saturday, October 26, 2013. Call 978-744-4080 for tickets and details.

Step into the Spirit Parlor of OMEN and experience an authentic séance in Salem with true spirit mediums who were born with the uncanny ability to connect us with our loved ones on the other side. Our beloved dead often reach out to us from beyond and the authentic spirit mediums at Omen have helped thousands of people reunite with those who have crossed over. Seating is limited so reserve your tickets early. You can also purchase your tickets at OMEN, located at 184 Essex Street along the outdoor pedestrian walking mall or call them at (978) 666-0763.

The annual Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, an evening of reveling and cavorting with the spirit world, takes place Friday, October 25, 2013 at the Hawthorne Hotel in the heart of historic Salem. The event is presented by Witch Elder Christian Day. This year’s theme is “The Witches’ Familiar,” and guests are invited to incorporate their favorite animal companion into their costumes or to dress as familiars. Dragon Ritual Drummers will perform. At the evening’s pinnacle, the Salem Witches welcome the Witches’ New Year by casting a Magic Circle to draw open the veil to the spirit world. Tickets are $150 per person. Purchase tickets online or by calling 978-666-0765.

Mahi Mahi Cruises & Charters will take you on a spine-tingling 75-minute voyage filled with spooky stories set in Salem Sound and along the New England coast. Haunted Harbor Cruises depart from Pickering Wharf daily at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. September 28 through October 31. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Reserve online or by calling 978-825-0001. Other Haunted Happenings cruises include daily Creepy Cocktail Hour cruises at 7 p.m. and 21+ Boo’s Cruises on Saturday nights in October and on Halloween.

Sample local ales from Pamplemousse, then settle in for a spine-tingling hour with Sir Arthur Hennessey spinning terrifying tales. Tickets are $23 for these sell-out evenings at Salem’s Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre on October 4, 5, 10, 11, 13, 17, 19, 24, 25 and 26. Tickets can be purchased online, or call 978-825-0222 for information.

Fun Family Activities This September on the North Shore

The Trustees of Reservations in Ipswich are Celebrating Appleton Farms’ 375th Anniversary at their Annual Family Farm Day Event on Sunday, September 15th starting at 10:00am. The family-friendly event features local healthy foods, music by Ben Rudnick and Friends, barnyard animals, a 4—H Calf Show, antique tractors, and traditional farm crafts and activities including pumpkin painting, pony rides, and a hay obstacle course! Rolling grasslands, grazing livestock, stone walls, extensive forests and historic farm buildings are part of Appleton Farms’ 1,000-acre pastoral landscape that sits a mere 25 miles north of Boston.

appleton farms Founded in 1636 by Samuel Appleton and farmed by nine successive generations of Appleton’s, Appleton Farms is the oldest continuously operating farm in America. Colonel Francis R. Appleton, Jr. and his wife, Joan, donated the property to The Trustees in 1998. Over the last 14 years The Trustees restored the farms’centuries-old infrastructure and developed a suite of sustainable agricultural enterprises, including grass-based beef and dairy operations, a dairy store, and a 550-share Community Supported Agriculture program. The farm manages more than 12 miles of trails ideal for recreation, has a year-round visitor cell, and offers a suite of year-round farm-based education workshops, special events and volunteer opportunities for adults, families and children.

On Sunday, September 15, Golf Country, next to Richardson’s Ice Cream at 160 South Main Street in Middleton, will be hosting a Mini Golf Tournament – Families Fore the Wenham Museum. Bring the whole family to a multi-generational mini-golf tournament! Dads and moms, aunts and uncles, grandparents and kids are invited to participate in this fun-filled day. Proceeds benefit the Wenham Museum’s educational exhibits and programs, serving families and children on Boston’s North Shore since 1922. Activities include 18 Holes of Mini Golf, Ice Cream, Prizes, and a chance to win a kid’s bike from Pinnacle Bikes of Beverly. $15 per person, register at wmgolf.eventbrite.com

Curious about social media? Undecided about how or why you might best utilize it in the messaging and overall strategy of your nonprofit? Go to the Essex County Community Foundation, 175 Andover Street, Danvers on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM. In the presentation, nonprofit professionals will learn how to implement a successful social media strategy in 10 steps. Workshop participants will learn how nonprofits are using social media to raise money and awareness, tips to engage supporters on social networks, how a nonprofit can integrate all communication channels for maximum success, and which channels are right for your organization. The presenter is Julia Campbell, Principal, J Campbell Social Marketing: Marketing With Social Purpose. Julia, a Beverly native, is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, mother, and a social media marketing enthusiast. Julia helps nonprofits and small businesses maximize their impact and accomplish their missions by effectively harnessing the power and potential of online marketing and social media tools. Julia’s clients include local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and universities. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions, group seminars and college courses and writes a twice weekly blog about nonprofits and social media. Julia has been featured on Social Media Today, Business 2 Community, Forbes and The Glass Heel.

Golf Slowly Returning To Pre-Recession Levels

Golf in the United States seems to be growing for the first time in five years, probably due in part to the nation finally feeling secure enough in their jobs to increase their leisure spending. The number of rounds played on American golf courses has steadily risen over the past year. Golf product companies such as Callaway Golf Co., mower-maker Toro Co., and Nike Inc., which makes golf gear and clothes, are experiencing revenue growth and stock gains outpacing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Callaway Golf saw returns rise by 25 percent this past year compared with a 12 percent gain for the S&P 500 Index. The returns of Toro, which has about a quarter of its sales tied to the golf industry, have risen 18 percent. Nike’s revenues have climbed 14 percent. Golf’s resurgence demonstrates an improving U.S. economy. The country’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent in January and February of last year, while payrolls increased more than 220,000 per month in December, January and February.

golf picAnother reason for more golfers hitting the links, according to Tom Stine, co-founder of Golf Datatech LLC, is that, “there’s been a lot more attention being paid to the PGA tour this year. Tiger is back playing a lot.” Woods is currently atop the FedEx Cup standings with 2,481 points and 4 wins. Tiger Woods’ victory last year at the AT&T National produced a TV rating increase of 188 percent from previous year’s final round of the PGA Tour event at Congressional in Bethesda, MD.

Though it appears golf has thrived over the past two years, statistics from the National Golf Foundation (NGF) prove otherwise. According to the Foundation, in 2012, more than 150 golf courses in the U.S.  closed. The number of course closings continues to outpace the number of course openings.  In fact, courses opened in just 18 states last year. Also, according to the NGF, 2012 started with 15,753 courses in the U.S., a number which is down 299 from 2005. NGF estimates that 25.7 million Americans were considered “golfers” last year, a number which is down 4.3 million from 2005.

The golf-course building boom that ran well past the game’s pinnacle of playing popularity only “diluted the product” according to Steve Friedlander, manager of real estate giant Irvine Co.’s golf operations. He says the closing of courses in certain markets is probably best in the long haul for the sport. That being said, at least golf is back at pre-recession levels –  and not just in terms of greens fees, but with rising dining revenues and pro shop gear too.

Wings Of Freedom Tour Returns To Beverly Municipal Airport

The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour featuring rare World War II aircrafts will be returning to the Beverly Municipal Airport from September 20 to September 23. In honor of our WWII Veterans, The Wings of Freedom Tour brings an extremely rare bomber and fighter aircraft for local living history display as Part of 110-city Nationwide Tour.

The P-51 Mustang is one of many planes that will be featured at the Wings of Freedom Tour this fall

The P-51 Mustang is one of many planes that will be featured at the Wings of Freedom Tour this fall

Also participating in the tour will be the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber, P-51 Mustang fighter “Betty Jane”, PT-17 Stearman, and T-6 Texan WWII trainer aircraft. This rare opportunity allows visitors to explore and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history. The B-17 is one of only ten in flying condition in the United States. The B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the World.

A donation of $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Visitors can also take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. PT-17 Stearman flights are $230 for 30 minutes and T-6 Texan flights are $450 for 45 minutes. Hours of ground tours and display are: Friday, Sept. 20, 2-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Monday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m.-noon. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.

Need a ride to or from the Beverly? We provide Beverly Minibus Transportation, Beverly Limobus Transportation, Beverly Car Service, Beverly Limo Service, and just about any other service you can think of!

Culture Change in Today’s Nursing Homes

In 1987, the federal government passed a law called the Nursing Home Reform Act. This act established standards of care in nursing homes throughout the United States. These standards focused specifically on quality of life issues and the rights of nursing home residents. Following the passage of this act, there has been a movement in long term care called “culture change.” Culture change focuses on resident-centered care, and attempts to create a warmer, homier environment in nursing homes. Additionally, culture change encourages residents to become more involved in their care, from staff assignments to choice of activities.

The administration and staff at Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a 36-bed skilled nursing home in Wakefield, MA, had known well before the culture change movement that the initiatives in the Nursing Home Reform Act just made sense.greenwood The facility is a suburban residence located in the Greenwood section of Wakefield.

What sets Greenwood apart from most other nursing homes is its comfortable setting. It was originally founded in a private residence, and maintains the charm of a home, as opposed to a hospital-like setting, to this day. Most nursing homes are built modeled after hospitals with long corridors and nurses stations scattered across every floor. Many elders don’t want the feeling of living in a hospital or hotel; they want to feel like they’re at home. In addition to its more personal, home-like feel, Greenwood features beautiful outdoor landscaping, wall hangings, flower gardens, and multiple porches with plush seating so residents can enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors peacefully. Family and friends are encouraged to visit loved ones and join in on summer cookouts and other events, such as outings to the movie theater, foliage trips, and Christmas light viewing. Greenwood also provides residents with fun daily activities such as light exercise, in-house film viewing, informative and enjoyable discussions on current events, and many other interactive games. Greenwood stresses resident independence and assists as needed. Their staff understands the value of letting residents feel they are in control of their daily routine. At the end of the day, they provide resident-centered care and will go above and beyond to ensure the comfort and security of their residents. Culture change is alive and well at Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center!

One of the many transportation services we offer at WebbTrans.com is medical transfers. For more information, give us a call at 978-750-6666

Senior living….What are the options?

Today, senior citizens have many different options for where and how they live out their retirement years. Depending on the level of care needed, options include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rest homes, and retirement communities.

Retirement communities are very popular especially in warm weather locations. There are basically 3 types of retirement communities; Active communities, Supportive Communities, and Active/Supportive communities.  Each offer uniquely different living arrangements.senior living Active communities provide only housing units with community recreational facilities. Supportive communities provide long-term care, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. Active/Supportive communities combine residential and healthcare facilities under one roof.

Retirement homes and assisted living facilities usually offer apartment style units. The amenities may vary widely but some form of healthcare is usually provided. Seniors who live in these communities typically are self-sufficient and require minimal assistance. Often times the personnel in these facilities only provide cueing and reminders to residents to take their medications, participate in activities, attend meals, etc.

Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities provide continuous nursing care to residents and are required to have a nurse on duty 24 hours a day. Over the past decade, nursing homes have changed dramatically. They focus on providing a home like environment and giving residents more control over daily routines and choices. This new focus is referred to as “culture change.” Examples of culture change include: doing away with nurses stations, decorating hallways with paintings, plants, and flowers, encouraging residents to make choices in their daily routine, extended visiting hours, and encouraging residents to decorate their rooms with furniture and personal items from home.

Depending on their physical health, financial means, and personality seniors have more options today regarding their living arrangements than they ever had it the past!

Bruins Shake Up Leaves Team In Better Position For Cup Contention

This 4th of July, it was the Boston Bruins who provided the fireworks, dealing Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars along with Rich Peverley. In return, Boston received Loui Eriksson, a forward who has consistently tallied over 70 points a season over the past few years. Eriksson is a 6’2,’’ two-way forward who is a right wing with a left-handed shot. In an interview on 98.5 Sports Hub, Bruins team president, Cam Neely, predicted that Eriksson would join Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to form a very formidable second line. The departure of Rich Peverley was a positive one for the Boston Bruins as he was an under performing third-line winger making a whopping $3M+ a season.

The biggest story line from this trade, however, was the lack of professionalism and maturity Tyler Seguin showed as a member of the Bruins. There have been several reports of Tyler Seguin arriving to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto during the Bruins’ first round playoff series with the Maple Leafs wearing the same clothes and looking haggard for days in a row. Evidence of his out-of-control partying didn’t stop there.

Loui Eriksson will provide a more stable and mature presence for the B's this season.

Loui Eriksson will provide a more stable and mature presence for the B’s this season.

The Bruins supposedly hired a body guard to make sure Seguin wasn’t sneaking out of the team hotel at night during the following rounds of the playoffs. At the end of it all, the Bruins simply felt that Seguin was never going to “get it,” and felt that he did not have the drive to be a great player.Though it is understandable for a 21-year-old professional hockey player to want to have fun, there are certain expectations that come with receiving a 6-year, $34.5M contract extension. While the Bruins gave him his walking papers, the story has yet to be told on Tyler Seguin’s career. He could end up scoring 40 goals a season in Dallas and show he really was worth the second overall pick in the 2010 draft. Bruins fans, however, should not be upset if Seguin ends up with exceptional statistics, as he would likely not have achieved them here in Boston’s defensive system that rolls four lines. Seguin will be at his best when allowed to roam free playing center, and not having the media and an aggressive Boston fan base breathing down his neck.

Some prospects coming Boston’s way included in the Loui Eriksson deal were Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser. Morrow is a young defenseman who was selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL draft. Smith and Fraser are both forwards who are in their early twenties. Reilly Smith may fill the Rich Peverley void as a third-line winger, as he gained some valuable experience playing with Dallas this past season. Along with this trade, the Bruins signed Jarome Iginla, now giving the Bruins two new two-way forwards that should fit well within Claude Julien’s system. The 8 year $56M contract given to Tuukka Rask ensures the Bruins will be a viable hockey club for the foreseeable future. In the end, fans should expect Boston to be competing for a cup again in the 2013-2014 season.

Prep Eagles Soar High

The 2012-13 sports season was just like every other sports season for St. John’s Prep: a success. There were multiple Division 1 state championships, several final four appearances, and many players either got drafted into professional leagues or committed to major Division 1 colleges and universities. Discipline and sportsmanship are typical of what spectators will see in a team coached at St. John’s Prep. These values are instilled in St. Johns’ athletes by teachers in the classroom and they translate to the athletic arena as well.

The St. John’s Prep football team has been to the Super Bowl twice in three years. This year they defeated Brockton in the big game by a score of 48-28. They used a steady dose of the running game this past season with their talented running back, Jonathan Thomas, who has committed to the University of Maryland. John ThomasThomas is rated as a four-star prospect who runs a 4.47 second forty yard dash. He still has a year to go at the Prep, guaranteeing them to be Super Bowl contenders for the upcoming season. Lucas Bavaro, a Dartmouth commit, has also been a strong contributor at linebacker for St. John’s. Along with leading the Catholic Conference in points scored, they also lead the league in fewest points allowed. Their overall record for this past season was 11-1.

The swimming team at the Prep won their 8th straight State Title this past season. St. John’s truly ruled the water, despite experiencing over 50% turnover from last season. Alex Swaim, a junior, dominated his competition leading the Eagles to first-place finishes in the 200 medley relay, the 200 freestyle relay, and the 100 butterfly. Cole Malatesta also became the first St. John’s Prep athlete to win in the diving event for the Division Title.

Some of St. Johns’ most high-profile athletes hail from the hockey team. Prep stars have been drafted into the NHL each of the past three years. In 2011, Colin Blackwell was drafted by San Jose in the seventh round. Sam Kurker was selected in the second round in 2012 by the St. Louis Blues. Kurker was the second highest Prep grad to be picked in the NHL draft behind Bobby Carpenter. Carpenter was the third overall pick in 1981 and the first U.S. born hockey player to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. Brian Pinho from this year’s squad was selected by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round. Pinho led the number-one ranked Eagles to a 17-2-2 regular season. They were an offensive juggernaut in the regular season, leading the Catholic Conference in goals with 98. Unfortunately, they were upset by Austin Prep in the State Semi-Final by a score of 2-1. Overall, it was a very productive season for a team that is at the top of the super eight division year in and year out.sam kurker

The Basketball and Soccer teams at the Prep both made the state semi-finals this past year. The soccer team was ranked 4th overall in the state. They had a flawless 10-0 record on the road, demonstrating the team’s grit. They climbed up the rankings as the year went on and even overachieved, according to some writers’ preseason predictions. The Eagles’ season came to an end in a tight loss to Somerville in the state semi-final. The basketball team had a 19-3 record with the highest points per game in the conference. The basketball team lost to Central Catholic in the state semi-final in a close contest. One player to keep an eye on is Ben Judson, a guard who is entering his junior season. He is a lights-out left-handed shooter beyond the arc and has significantly improved his scoring off the dribble.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Prep baseball team, which was ranked the number one team in the state this past season. They won twenty-two straight games before their season ended with a loss in the Division 1 State Final to Billerica. After 33 seasons as the Prep varsity skipper, Pat Yanchus is set to retire. Under his leadership, Prep baseball teams have an impressive 437 wins, 11 Catholic Conference titles, six North Sectional titles, three Eastern Mass Championships, and two back-to-back state titles in 1999 and 2000. His teams have also compiled a post-season record of 55 wins and only 20 losses. Two years ago, Yanchus was inducted into the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The honor recognizes outstanding character, longevity in coaching, activity in the association, and coaching record.

More Scenic and Historical Train Rides Across New England

In part 2 of the scenic train rides blog, we feature 3 more train rides across New England that allow people to combine activities such as road-tripping, hiking, biking, having a picnic, shopping, or sightseeing in a single day. Traveling on these trains will make passengers feel like they have been sent back in time riding on railcars that are over a century old. Many of the rides featured in these two blogs pass historical sites that are at times only accessible by train.
Vermont’s Green Mountain Railroad offers three round trip train rides, the White River Junction in Hartford, VT to Thetford, VT or Montshire, VT, and Montshire to Thetford. Scenic views of the Connecticut River and the White Mountain Foothills are visible from the railway. Coming this fall is the Glory Days Dinner Train, a rail service that provides an exquisite dinner aboard the White River Flyer. You can enjoy a beautiful dinner while meandering into the sunset. One ticket includes a 3-hour ride, dinner, cash bar, and entertainment along the White River.green mountain Those who want to experience the fireworks in Burlington, VT can beat the traffic and ride to the fireworks on the Burlington Waterfront. The trains depart Charlotte, VT at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00, and return after the fireworks at 10:30. Tickets can be purchased online or at 1 College St. in Burlington at Ice Cream Bob’s. Though reservations are highly recommended, tickets will be available on site at the boarding locations.
The Maine Eastern Railroad is a 57-mile track that operates from May through the fall, servicing four points between Brunswick, ME and Rockland, ME. The Maine Eastern passenger fleet is comprised of restored streamlined stainless steel railcars from the 1940’s and 1950’s and has recently been fully rebuilt to today’s standards of safety and comfort. The 54-seat coach cars are accompanied by a restored railway dining car that provides passengers with snacks and beverages, served cafe style. Passengers should consider upgrading their ticket to Maine Eastern’s lounge class, which offers leather captain’s chairs, where you’ll have a front row seat to some of Maine’s most breathtaking seascapes from expansive windows. Along the way, you’ll spot charming, historical seaside villages like Bath, ME and Wicasset, ME. Boothbay Harbor is another attraction for sailing, shopping, concerts, and many other activities.
Rhode Island’s Old Colony and Newport Railway on 19 America’s Cup Ave, Newport RI allows passengers to relax in a 1904 open platform coach car or an 1884 Parlor car. The ten-mile route runs along the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay. Both the coach and parlor cars are heated by potbelly stoves and feature wicker chairs facing the scenic bay. Along the train ride, passengers enjoy a continuous view of Jamestown Island and the Quonset Point area. Many power- and sail- craft tugs with barges and tankers bringing home petroleum products to New England are visible as well. Old Colony and Newport Railway trains leave from the OCNRR Depot at Newport RI., across from the Newport RI Convention and Visitors Bureau & Bus Station and just North of the Marriott Hotel.

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Looking to Get the Most Out of Your Summer Day Trip?

Looking to get the most out of your summer day trip? You’re in luck – there are many scenic train rides across New England that allow people to combine activities such as road-tripping, hiking, biking, having a picnic, shopping, or sightseeing in a single day. Traveling on these trains is certainly an adventure; not only will riders see historical sites that are only accessible by train, they will also undoubtedly feel like they have been sent back in time riding on trains that are over a century old.

The Cape Cod Central Railroad, originating at 252 Main St, Hyannis Port, MA, brings you up close to the hidden beauty of the Cape by taking you to areas only accessible by the railways. The train ride itself is a narrated journey with fun facts provided by the conductor throughout the ride. There is a whistle stop in Sandwich or full two-hour ride option. A snack bar is also on board. Onlookers will be left speechless when they gaze upon the morning sun reflecting off the famous Cape Cod Canal. If you’d like to take a train ride in the evening, the Elegant Dinner train was rated one of the top 3 in the nation by the Food Network. The Elegant Dinner train offers a romantic atmosphere that is candlelit along with fresh flowers and soft music. A selection of fine wines and full bar service is made available on board. The journey can be commemorated with a professional photo by Photo Reflect.

The Conway Scenic Railroad offers several different travel options that provide some of the most dramatic, natural scenery on the east coast. All trains begin at 38 Norcross Cir, North Conway, NH. On the Valley Train, patrons will enjoy an old-fashioned railroading experience as they journey on historic rail routes in century-old train cars. The trains depart from the train station in North Conway Village to either Conway or Bartlett and back again. Children under 4 ride free in Coach or the Valley Trains, and well-behaved dogs are also welcome at Conway Scenic Railroad. Dining on the trains is also a feature of these railroad lines. Travelers will board either the Chocorua train on the Valley Trains, or the Hattie Evans train on the Notch Train. It is truly a First-Class dining experience, with affable and prompt service. The Notch train provides breathtaking views of past sheer bluffs, steep ravines, cascading brooks and streams, panoramic mountain vistas, across Frankenstein Trestle and Willey Brook Bridge – enroute to Crawford and Fabyan stations.

The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is a 2½-hour journey that begins at the historic Essex Station on One Railroad Avenue in Essex, Connecticut. It was built in 1892 for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the untainted Connecticut River Valley, dubbed “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy. The steam locomotive sweeps across the New England towns of Deep River and Chester at 20 mph. The picturesque countryside includes pristine meadows, a quaint farm, a millpond with waterfall, trestles, bridges over rivers and creeks, and the undeveloped Selden Neck State Park, accessible only by boat. The train travels near the tidal wetlands of Pratt Cove and Chester Creek including bountiful, natural habitats for birds. Ducks, Swans, Greenland Geese, Blue Heron, Egrets, and Red-winged Blackbirds are typically spotted along the ride. In February and March, the exalted Bald Eagle captures everyone’s eyes when it migrates south to the Connecticut River Valley from Canada and Maine. The Becky Thatcher riverboat is a 1¼- hour adventure along the Connecticut River. Just as impressive as the deep water, coves, inlets, marshes, wildlife, and rocky shoreline are the historic sites including Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Haddam Swing Bridge.

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