The prettiest forest railways in Hungary
You would like to go out in the nature, but you do not want to go long kilometers on foot? The nostalgic forest railways run on the most scenic places of Hungary. They started building them in the 1870s, their main purpose was to transport the wood exploited in the forests.
There are other very nice narrow gouge railways and museum railways that do not run in forests, but I would like to show you the prettiest forests railways first, for they are my favorites. Today they are all only used for touristic purposes and there are about 380 kilometers of narrow gouge railways in the country altogether.
The State Forest Railways of Lillafüred
The longest narrow gouge railway in the country goes through a wonderful landscapes, two tunnels and two viaducts and passes next to a lot of interesting sights. The first station of the railway is Diósgyőr where you can see the castle built in the 13th century but along the way there are a lot of beautiful things to do, like the 20 meters high Szinva waterfall or the Palota Inn surrounded by terraced gardens.
The amazing Hamori lake is also an amazing sight, on its side you can get amazing fish food made of ingredients freshly cought in the lake after which it is worthy to go on a short boat trip. The last station at Garadnán Forest Museum waits with breathtaking lookouts at the Örvény Stone and Magos Stone. Because of the many things to do, you should make it an all day long program.
Forest Railway at Királyrét
If you are planning a trip somewhere near Budapest, than this is the forest railway for you. The train departs from Kismaros and goes through scenic places like the valley of Morgó Creek, the main street of Szokolya village and gets to the popular tourist station, Kiralyrét in about half an hour.
The area was the hunting ground of the Hungarian kings of the Árpád ruling house in the Middle Ages. From the last station you can go forward on more tour routes or you can get on a draisine, a rail-cycle with four seats you can ride safely on the forest railways they are not electrical, but riding them is quite the adventure so I can only recommend it!
Szilvásvárad Forest Railway
The shortest, highest-pitched and at once most popular forest railway goes through the beautiful Szalajka valley from Szilvásvárad to the Fátyol waterfall. There are very many things to see, the only Outdoor Forestry Museum in Hungary that also shows interesting old forest crafts.
From the last station you can easily get to the neanderthal-man’s cave at Istállós stone, the Szikla spring and the Fátyol waterfall. This special ambiance gives home to the 400 year old lipicai stud, the world famous horse breed. This is a place of beautiful natural water forms and amazing lookouts.
Have you ever traveled on a forest railway or any narrow gouge railway? How was it? Do you know any other such railways in Hungary or anywhere in the world? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us!