Forest Co. steam engine offers family fun at fall festival - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Forest Co. steam engine offers family fun at fall festival

Laona (WAOW) -

The sights and sounds of a Wisconsin autumn are best viewed from the seats of the Laona Lumberjack Steam Engine, 5068 Old Highway 8, Laona, in Forest County.

That's according to Peter Widucki, engineer of the 1916 original locomotive that at one time was used extensively in the state's logging industry.

"It's awesome. You burn coal, make steam, and it runs off steam pressure," Widucki told Newsline 9.

And though the massive steam engine's days of hauling logs are over, today it has a new purpose. Hauling people. The train comprises a big part of Fall Fest in Laona. That's an annual event at Camp Five Museum, an old logging camp that has been transformed into a living history museum of Wisconsin's past.

"It's just a neat experience," Widucki said.

The train picks up visitors just west of the community of Laona and takes them along a 20 minute ride through southern Forest County to Camp Five Museum. With fall colors at near-peak stage this time in September, the scenery is spectacular.

Combined with activities at the logging camp, the train ride offers an afternoon of new experiences for young visitors.

"It's awesome, really fun" said Catherine Genke and Olivia Holschuh of eastern Wisconsin.

The two friends are visiting the areas with Genke's grandfather. One of the activities the trio got to see was how blacksmiths worked in the 1900's using heat and strength to bend metal.

But their favorite stop during the afternoon was unanimous.

"The candy store," both girls said smiling.

Their excitement was echoed by Adison Villar. She and her younger sister were visiting the site with their grandparents.

Villar pointed out the petting zoo area of the farm as her favorite spot. The farm comes complete with chickens, roosters, turkeys, goats, two cows and a donkey.

"It's really fun," Villar continued.

The Fall Fest continues on Saturday, Sept. 28th and Saturday, Oct. 5th. The first train departs Laona at 11:00 a.m. and the last train leaves the lumberjack camp at 4:00 p.m.

According to organizers at the festival, visitors are encouraged to designate at least two hours for the activities at the lumberjack area.

Tickets cost $21 for adults, $9 for children ages four to 12 and admission is free for children younger than three. Additional discounted admission is available for seniors, groups and active duty military personnel.

For more information log on to this link.

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