Taltree Arboretum in Valparaiso, Indiana has one of the nation’s biggest and best model railway garden, miles of walking trails through woods, prairies, and wetlands, and gardens like its rose garden.
It also hosts great events like outdoor concerts, a nighttime glow, a fall festival and a winter lights festival.
Taltree Arboretum and Railway Garden in Valparaiso, Indiana
I am just as amazed now as I was the first time I saw the arboretum’s huge railway garden. The railway garden’s wonderful waterfalls, elaborate bridges, impressive 14-foot change in elevation, and more than 3,500 tiny trees and bushes are a hit with both kids and adults.
The G (Garden)-scale railway garden – which features seven different train engines pulling a wide variety of different train cars around the tracks at any time – opened in June of 2011.
The trains circle on and around what took a massive effort to build, including the installation of 850 tons of rocks, 3,000 feet of track, 500 different varieties of plant life, and plenty of water features, unique buildings and scenes – and, of course, the driving of the golden spike to finish the railroad tracks.
To enter the railway garden, visitors pass through an authentic-looking train depot with a gift shop and restrooms, as well as a large space to rent for parties and events. The model trains currently run daily from April to October, plus on weekends during special holiday events.
What’s Going On at Taltree Arboretum?
There’s always something. This Porter County attraction is also home to nearly four miles of trails, a native plant garden, a children’s adventure garden, a pond and more.
I’ve attended many of the summer concerts at the arboretum and had fun recently at the glow event.
The Haunted Railway & Fall Festival in October and the holiday lights in December offer extra reasons to visit later in the season.
Train Enthusiast’s Paradise
The folks at Taltree say Northwest Indiana is rich in train history and train-related attractions, so visitors who come to Taltree often visit other train attractions, like the Illiana Garden Railroad Society’s outdoor garden railroad in Valparaiso.
Other great places for train lovers are the Hesston Steam Museum in LaPorte, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Indiana, and the Elkhart Train Museum in Elkhart.
For a train-themed overnight stay, Riley’s Railhouse Bed and Breakfast, located along railroad tracks in Chesterton, has become a popular stop.
Visit Taltree Arboretum
As of this writing, the Taltree admission fee is $10 for adults and lesser amounts for seniors, students, military personnel, and children.
Taltree Arboretum and Railway Garden in Valparaiso, Indiana is fun for any age!
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