Woodland Express

Majestic North American Elk

If you live near Mendon, MA and are looking for a great way to spend the day with your family,  The Woodland Express is a fun-filled train ride for kids and even for adults! The Woodland Express is a rubber tire train ride that takes you on a tour of the North American Exhibit and wetlands around Southwick’s Zoo. Only four tickets are required for each train ride for kids, teens, and adults. Children 2 years and under are free of charge. The train ride is approximately 15 minutes long, round trip. The wonderful thing about the Woodland Express is that you may see and experience something different every time you ride.

Your adventure begins at the Woodland Express Train Station. During your short wait for the train, you may take advantage of what the train station has to offer such as refreshing drinks, soft pretzels, novelty ice cream and snacks. The train station also offers souvenirs as a keepsake of your time here at Southwick’s Zoo. As you greet your train engineer and board the train, you will begin one of the most lovely and peaceful experiences at the zoo.

Once you pass through the gate into the North American Exhibit, the tranquility and quiet beauty of the New England landscape reminds you how removed you are from the city and provides a welcome escape. A narration given by Betsey Brewer, M.A. (Executive Director of Earth Limited and Education at Southwick’s Zoo) about the North American exhibit and wetlands will be played to guide you through your ride.

During your train ride, you may spy the impressive sight of the North American Elk. Elk are amazingly graceful animals. Elk are related to deer, but are much larger with full grown males reaching over 5 1/2 feet tall weighing up to 1000 lbs. Males add to their imposing size with a large rack of antlers that can reach 4 feet in length making the size of the elk to over 9 feet in appearance. They will loose their antlers in March and new growth will begin in May to prepare for the late summer breeding season.

The gang at Southwick’s Zoo include a mixed grouping of males and females in colors ranging from white / buff to a rich dark chestnut. Last season was an exciting year, five baby elk were born in the North American exhibit! The elk have acres of wetlands to roam, so keep your eyes peeled as they are very good at blending with the scenery. Sometimes you will even see them in the water or grazing right next to the train road along with Red Deer.

North American Elk viewed from the Woodland Express!

Some of the other native wildlife you may spy on your train ride include Red Tailed Hawk, Great Blue Heron, Painted Turtle, Swan, and River Otter, just to name a few.

The Woodland Express is a visitor favorite and runs daily beginning at 11 am.

If you would like to view and print our complete 2014 Zoo Pricing sheet, click here for your downloadable pdf.