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Hood River Express

Mt. Hood railroad's Fruit Blossom Special
Photo caption
All aboard! The Fruit Blossom Special loads for its return to Hood River.

Every April in the countryside surrounding Hood River, Ore., more than 15,000 acres of pear, cherry, and apple trees explode with pink and white flowers—a short-lived spectacle best viewed from aboard the Mount Hood Railroad's Fruit Blossom Special.

Riders travel in stylish restored Pullman coaches as a guide narrates the region's fruit-filled history. At a stopover in Parkdale, passengers disembark to enjoy live bluegrass and jazz tunes at the annual arts festival.

The blossom ride kicks off a calendar of seasonal excursions on the 100-year-old railroad: the Pumpkin Patch Express in autumn, the Polar Express in winter, and staged train robberies from May through October. "We've even had weddings on the train," says General Manager Michelle Marquart.

The Fruit Blossom Special runs April 18 and 19, departing from the railroad's depot in Hood River. $32.

Photography by RC Hall

This article was first published in March 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.