Lookout Point Visit and Review

The Lookout Point, as it is called now, has been overlooking the BNSF (ex-Santa Fe) transcon for over 10 years. We cannot begin to count the number of folks that have enjoyed it, had birthday’s and other celebrations there, or just caught up on some work using our table and chairs in between trains. Occasionally, we do still get questions about how to find it or if it is open. This article will get you and your friends up-to-date on the where’s and how’s of the Lookout Point.

What is the Lookout Point? It is an enclosed cabin and deck that sits on the old Wabash right of way where the bridge over the BNSF used to be.

Now, how do you get there? The road to the Lookout Point begins at the back of D’Abolengo’s Mexican Restaurant parking lot. This restaurant is located just down the street (Route D) from the Depot Inn and next to Casey’s.

Always be cautious driving through the parking lot during business hours.
This sign will greet you at the “official” entrance.

Once you reach this area, you follow the old right of way to the Lookout Point. This road is not maintained during the winter, so you are on your own if you choose to drive down it during big snows or ice. Once you reach the end of the road, you will pass an opening that shows the “Lookout Point Park” expansion. This area is under construction and not open to the public. For more information about the expansion click here.

Even though it is closed to public access, you will be able to watch and see how things are progressing as you visit the area.
Here is the parking area. There is plenty of room to turn around and park your vehicle for the day. Do be careful of the area that has the cones, as we have an active groundhog that is causing the ground to sink. Also this area is fenced off and BNSF has given us a no trespassing sign. Please stay on the deck or in the cabin area.

Once inside the cabin, you will find a heater for the cooler days (It works well to about 35 degrees.). You will also find the table and chairs that was mentioned earlier. Yes, you can sign the wall too. Please keep it clean and simple. There is a code of conduct posted inside the information board that hangs on the wall. We have a scanner mounted in the attic that is loud enough for you to hear the radio chatter. There is a donation box on the wall. All donations help to pay the electric bill and do maintenance, since this cabin is open 24/7. If you turn the heater on, please turn it off when you leave. If the weather looks like rain after you open the windows, please close them. Same goes for the door, please close it when you leave. I know those things are basic but you would not believe the number of “special trips” that are made to take care of one of those things weekly.

When you approach the building, you will see a Virtual Railfan sign. As most of you know, the APRHF Lookout Point is host to the LaPlata PTZ camera. You can still enjoy your privacy while you are on the platform because the area has been blocked from the PTZ. Please be kind with what conversation(s) that you hold on the platform because it will still be picked up with the camera. You can see it on its cantilever mount (to the right of the deck) in the photo below.

The entire cabin area can be seen here. It is a fun place to watch trains for all.

We sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to the Lookout Point and LaPlata in general, should you decide to come and relax in our fun little town. If you would like to join our organization or just simply donate to one of our many projects, please visit this link. http://www.aprhf.org/join/

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