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Credit Valley Explorer: A Toronto Mini Rocky Mountaineer

Updated on March 29, 2009

 Toronto is set on a flat as a pancake lakeshore area bulldozed into even greater horizontality through the endless sea of concrete which has turned everything between Hamilton, Barrie and Oshawa into one unbroken megalopolis. Of the millions of visitors who come to Canada’s largest city to enjoy the infinite panoramas available from the top of the CN Tower, savor any of T.O.’s thousands of ethnic restaurants, or take in some world-class theatre, art and culture, precious few are aware that just about an hour’s drive to the northwest they could board a sightseeing train that will take them through scenery that could easily be considered a miniature version of the stunning mountainscapes viewable from the renowned Rocky Mountaineer in the West.

The Credit Valley Explorer offers an unique opportunity to tour the area of the Forks of the Credit River, which although on the doorstep of one of the world’s great cities, remains as wild and unspoiled as it was when the first European explorers first portaged across the region. The nearly 3 hour, 40 mile tour travels aboard restored 1950’s classic rail cars from travels from Orangeville south through the Hills of Headwaters region, through the Caledon Hills and the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park, then through the Peel Plains region to Snelgrove in north Brampton. The highlights of this marvelously scenic tour include a breathtaking 1,146 foot long railway trestle bridge which spans the memorable Credit Valley and the natural wonder of the most picturesque section of the Niagara Escarpment. Many of the tours make a stop in the tiny, quaint village of Inglewood to allow the passengers to take in the charms of this nostalgic rural community.

Although you certainly wouldn't guess that in such close proximity to Toronto you'd be treated to vistas worthy of Mini-Rockies, the Credit Valley Explorer will certainly surprise you with its otherwise unaccessible panoramas. This entire area represents the headwaters of four major river systems thus provides a phenomenal backdrop for the Credit Valley Explorer’s journey. While you relax in the Credit Valley Explorer’s first-class seating, large picture windows and complimentary refreshments, you can enjoy vistas of rolling hills, deep valleys, and spectacular sights in any season. Each season offers unique views and different tour train services through the heart of the Credit Valley, including the Snow Train which allows you to view this magnificent area shrouded in a lush coat of virgin white.

One of the best day trips to escape from Manhattan wannabe Metro Toronto’s concrete jungle is to enjoy the experience offered by the Credit Valley Explorer. It is not surprising to learn that the most popular time for the Credit Valley Explorer Tour is during the fall colors, when the entire area is ablaze with crimson reds and stunning yellows in a spectacle that has to be experienced to be believed. An advantage of this train is that it slows down at the most scenic areas to offer you the best viewing opportunities so that you have plenty of opportunities to shoot breath taking photographs that your friends will never believe were taken within a few miles of a vast urban sprawl of hundreds of McDonalds and Tim Horton Donut Shops!

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