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1880s still roar at Roaring Camp, inland from Santa Cruz.

Echoing through redwoods, six miles north of Santa Cruz, the throaty whistle of a steam locomotive recalls the sounds of the 1880s. Back then, the Santa Cruz Mountains were alive with lumberjacks and their railroads. Those memories still reverberate near Felton at the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow-Guage Railroad.

Winding up Bear Mountain on 6.5 miles of narrow-gauge track, steam locomotives fro the late 1800s take passengers daily through towering redwood forests.

A round trip excursion takes little more than an hour, but the effect is as if one had stepped back in time to the days when lumberjacks used narrow-gauge engines to pull giant redwood logs from forest to sawmill.

The railroad traces its ancestry back to 1875 when the first narrow-gauge locomotive entered Felton with a trainload of lumberjacks and picnickers. Although the lumberjacks have long since left, the picknicking tradition continues. You can pack a picnic lunch to take to the top of the mountain or picnic nextdoor in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Roaring Camp's famous Chuckwagon barbecue is open on weekends from May through October.

A favorite excursion on moonlite Saturdays, June through October, is Roaring Camp's romantic Moonlight Steam Train Party. it includes a nighttime ride to the top of Bear Mountain with a Bar-B-q dinner and country hoedown on return. Be sure to call ahead for Moonlight Party reservations.
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Title Annotation:advertisement
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1985
Words:227
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