steam train

Chugging Along in Chehalis Washington

Halfway between Seattle Washington and Portland Oregon is the tiny town of Chehalis. The town came about in the late 1800’s thanks to the railroads and today the steam trains are still going strong.

chehalis centraila railroad

We’re not train aficionados by any means but there was no way our inner child was going to let us pass up the opportunity to take a ride on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad.

steam train

The most popular times for a ride are fall, as the leaves are changing, or the Polar Express Train that runs in the winter. We visited in late summer and as the steam train chugged along, we noticed the scenery wasn’t all that inspiring and wasn’t much different than what you would see driving along the highway.  However, we found our imaginations were transported to a another time; where riding the train was out of necessity of transportation and not entertainment.

the wynns steam train

The coolest part of the ride is in the very back.  When the train is heading away from the station the back window has such a unique view of the world.

steam train

At the halfway point the steam engine disconnects, drives past the parked cars, and connects again to make its way back to the station. This is a good time to visit that same window on the ride back and it feels like you’re riding shotgun with the conductor.

steam train

The train is by far the most exciting part of Chehalis.  Downtown is pretty simple and there didn’t seem to be a lot going on while we were in town. We made our way to the Lewis County Historical Museum, drove around some of the restored Vintage homes, and checked out some of the antique shops. Unfortunately the Vintage Motorcycle Museum is closed on the weekends so we missed that attraction which sounded pretty cool.

We were in town to film the Chehalis RV Resort and Campground.  We were actually pretty excited about this job because this is where Thousand Trails began and was the first of what would become hundreds of campgrounds.

first thousand trails

And if any of you are wondering how Thousand Trails got it’s name, it was quite literal.  When the original founder first arrived to the Chehalis campground, he said something along the lines of, there must be a thousand trails here to explore!

thousand trails

Here’s the video we produced for the campground.

The park is set atop a hill and surrounded by lush forest and towering trees. We spent most of our time hiking and biking on the nature trails and lounging out at the pool; but the Slip-N-Slide totally blew us away!  We’ve seen our fair share of so called slip-n-slides at campgrounds which usually consists of a 5 foot blow up slide with some water trickling down it, but not here! Chehalis lays a huge tarp down on a tiered hill, gives you a tube, throws some bubbles on the bottom, then douses you with water as you fly down…yep we made sure to go several times! Quite possibly the best Campground activity ever!

So there you have it, our take on Chehalis.

Have you ever visited Chehalis?  Did we miss anything that’s worth going back for?  Give us your two cents in the comments below.

Disclaimer: While we were compensated to film the campground (thanks Thousand Trails!)…all of our experiences and opinions are NOT purchased and are still our own.

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (9)

  • JBenson2

    How do you get those great shots (perfectly framed) of both of you in the same picture? A tripod? A friend? A stranger?

  • trikepilot

    I see you are just off Soncy in Amarillo. Have you ever seen so many donut shops in your life? There must be 15 along the interstate in that town. Your schedule shows stops in Taos and Santa Fe. Give me a buzz when you get close. The wife and I will buy you dinner one night.

  • paul

    The Tarantula Train entering the station at the historic Fort Worth stockyards is awesome to watch with huge billows of steam from the engine.

  • paul

    I ‘ve always loved vintage trains. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad “Tarantula Train” between Grapevine, TX and The Fort Worth Texas Stockyards is really cool. Vintage Victorian-era cars with velvet seats.

  • Debra

    Love seeing the sites thru your prospectives.

  • Ginger Z

    This video looks great this time of year. I can’t wait till spring has sprung and its time to get rolling. I loved the video and will look this place up. Nikki love the blue shoes.
    May the grass never grow under your feet…

  • Stephen Zank

    Great pictures, and well done video as usual, looking forward to 2014! Lots of people love trains and could build a vacation around riding them and visiting the museums.


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