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The city of Erie, Pennsylvania is in the northwestern part of the state on the south shore of Lake Erie. It is the second largest port city in the state. (Philadelphia is number one.) It is home to a maritime museum where the U.S.S. Niagara is docked, and it is home to a few lighthouses. Then you have Presque Isle State Park. Like other cities, it has a zoo. The Erie Zoo may not compare to the big city zoos, but it is still an enjoyable place to visit.
Some of you are saying, “This is great. It is a small zoo compared to many zoos across the country. It has animals like any other zoo, but there are no trains. Therefore, I will not waste my time at this place.”
Yes, it is a zoo. Yes, it has animals just like any other zoo. This zoo also has something that rail fans like. Why is it? A train. It is a miniature train. It is a small version of a C. P. Huntington which was used on the transcontinental Railroad. This C. P. Huntington runs at the Erie Zoo.
Some of you are saying, “I know. It goes down the track, around a loop, and comes back. I have been on these mini trains. It is the same thing.”
It does go down the track, and it crosses a bridge. It goes through a tunnel, and then it goes across a long trestle. Yes, it is a long bending trestle. Then the fun begins. It becomes a safari train. The tracks go through an animal pen where you get up close to rams, deer, antelope and ducks. Be advised. This is not your average mini train ride.
While you are walking around looking at the animals, you will find another discovery. What is this discovery? You will discover a model train. It includes a huge train trestle, a farm, a covered bridge and a few structures.
The Erie Zoo is located at 432 West 38th Street in Erie, Pennsylvania. It is minutes from downtown and from Interstates 90 and U.S. Route 20. It is open from March to November (closed in December, January and February) from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission to the zoo is $10.00 for those 13 to 62, $8.00 for those over 62 and $6.00 for those 2 to 12. The train will cost $3.00 more. It runs weather permitting, and it is accessible to those who are handicap and for those in wheelchairs. You can get more information at https://www.eriezoo.org/.
Now you have a reason to visit the Erie Zoo for something other than seeing animals. You can take a train ride. It is worth a visit.
This article first appeared on johncowgillstoriesoftherailroad.com
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