PDA

View Full Version : Does anyone know of any hikes that include a ghost town?



slowpoke
04-19-2007, 08:56 AM
I was surprised to learn on New England Chronicle recently that Vermont has ghost towns. Sure Enough, http://www.ghosttowns.com/ lists ghost towns in New Hampshire and Vermont. At least one of them says you can't get there on a 4-wheeled vehicle, which makes me think some of them might be part of a nice hike. Does anyone know of any hikes that include a ghost town?

Toe Cozy
04-19-2007, 10:49 AM
After getting back from a fairly epic weekend backpack recently I stopped in to McNeills in Brattleboro for a replenishing brew. There are lots of interesting folks to chat with there. One of the older guys I know, Lee, is an antique book dealer and local history buff. He informed me that there is quite a bit of history around disappearances on and near Glastenbury Mtn. The loop hike on that mountain is pretty great with a fantastic shelter on the LT. He also informed me of a book called Mischief in the Mountains. An old book about strange happenings in the New England mountains.

If you're interested in this kind of stuff I suggest checking out books by Joseph Citro. He's the resident chronicle-er of the strange and paranormal and creepy in New England (specially VT) Green Mountain Ghosts (http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Ghosts-Ghouls-Unsolved-Mysteries/dp/1881527506/ref=sr_1_6/103-5087108-9878230?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176997351&sr=8-6). He has a book called Curious New England that might give you some ideas too. Maybe not long distance stuff, but off the beaten path for sure.

And way over in Mass there is Dogtown. That one is fairly well know though...
Dogtown (http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ma/dogtown.html)

I'm planning on checking the Joe Citro books out of the library so I'm armed with good frightening stories to freak me out(and any hiking partners) while I ramble through some of VT's 100 highest in the coming years!

Have fun!

David Metsky
04-19-2007, 10:56 AM
The now abandoned Mt Peeling trail (?) off Rt 118 took you past the cellar holes of Peeling NH. You can find the trail description in old guidebooks but the trail was a mess of downed trees when I was there 20 years ago. I don't know if you follow it from the north, but might be able to from the south.

Pamola
04-19-2007, 11:11 AM
Glastenbury! Isn't that where the sasquatch is supposed to roam? That would explain everything.

There's an extensive ghost town in Little River State Park in Waterbury, VT. It was quite an area up on the hill overlooking what is now the reservoir. There are many trails for biking or walking in the area along with informational pamphlets given out by the park service that describes all the sites. Pretty interesting and beautiful in the fall. Not exactly untouched and unreachable, but a ghost town nonetheless.

jmegillon149
04-19-2007, 11:12 AM
I don't know that it qualifies as a ghost town - but there is what was once an Indian reservation off of the CT AT. Not sure exactly what is still there, but I have read that there are certainly remnants.

MichaelJ
04-19-2007, 11:40 AM
Hiking or biking around Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts you can see the remains of the towns of Dana, Prescott, Enfield, and Greenwich.

Actually, I don't think you can get to all 4, but still what's there is pretty cool. An example (http://www.northquabbinwoods.org/entries/170).

peakbagger
04-19-2007, 11:58 AM
Not much of a hike but the town of Livermore on the Sawyer River road is preety large. The old ways for the sawmill are real impressive. I find that its better to visit in the winter as the old cellar holes and ground distrubances show up better than in the summer when the undergorwth blocks the views.

funkyfreddy
04-19-2007, 11:58 AM
If you're interested in this kind of stuff I suggest checking out books by Joseph Citro. He's the resident chronicle-er of the strange and paranormal and creepy in New England (specially VT) Green Mountain Ghosts (http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Ghosts-Ghouls-Unsolved-Mysteries/dp/1881527506/ref=sr_1_6/103-5087108-9878230?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176997351&sr=8-6). He has a book called Curious New England that might give you some ideas too. Maybe not long distance stuff, but off the beaten path for sure.

I'm planning on checking the Joe Citro books out of the library so I'm armed with good frightening stories to freak me out(and any hiking partners) while I ramble through some of VT's 100 highest in the coming years!

Check out "Passing Strange" By Joseph Citro. That's a great book about weird things in new England and a real fun read!

Dudleytown is a legendary haunted ghost town in CT that gets a lot of press. The NY section of the AT between Fahenstock State Park and Bear Mountain Bridge has a lot of cellar holes, stone walls, and chambers near by with interesting history as well. Ninham Mt. is also close by Fahenstock as well, and it has a lot of stone walls, a firetower, cellar holes, and a stone chamber..... it is also reputedly haunted by either aliens or the ghost of Wappinger chief Daniel Ninham. :eek: :)

Kevin Rooney
04-19-2007, 12:30 PM
I grew up in a tiny town in central VT and there were a few 'ghost towns' around in the hills. I remember one called NoTown in particular. The hills and woods are filled with old, long-abandoned settlements, often as a result of mining or logging activities. There's a particularly fascinating cemetary high on South Hill just south of the town of Pittsfield, with lots of old, slate headstones dating back hundreds of years. But, if you're hoping for a town with recognizable buildings - I think you'll be disappointed for the most part. At best, there are cellar holes and maybe a stone wall, and sometimes the cellar holes are hard to distinguish. With the amount of rain and freeze/thaw cycles, structures simply deteriorate and vanish rather quickly.

rocket21
04-19-2007, 01:41 PM
If you hike Pocumtuck Mountain in Massachusetts (the 1.872 foot one, not the Pocumtuck Range in Deerfield) via Colrain, you'll go through the old Catamount area (they had the first schoolhouse in the country to fly the American flag). No buildings stand, but there are still old roads, foundations, and cemetaries throughout. It's been abandoned for almost a century now.

http://www.franklinsites.com/catamount/

It used to be travelled frequently by Jeeps, however since the ban about a decade ago, it's a pretty remote area - no trail blazes, etc. Nice view from Pocumtuck's southern ledge.

Jay H
04-19-2007, 01:54 PM
In NY, there is Doodletown in Harriman SP. Not exactly a "ghost"town but it is an abandoned town with a really good book written on it by a person who lived there... It's in Orange/Rockland county...

Jay

jrichard
04-19-2007, 06:30 PM
Monson is a southern NH ghost town with trails around and through it. The hike itself is tame, perhaps a couple miles if you walk all the trails.


http://www.oldnh.com/monsongt.html

dr_wu002
04-19-2007, 06:49 PM
This thread had a lot of info last year, I believe:

http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=8511

-Dr. Wu

dr_wu002
04-19-2007, 06:53 PM
Speaking of Ghost Towns, this one isn't even in the US but this account is pretty interesting:

http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html

I'm pretty sure it's been posted here before but it's worth rementioning.

-Dr. Wu

Jazzbo
04-19-2007, 07:15 PM
Towns have come and gone in many many places in New England probably more than can be counted. Quabbin Reservoir reservation has quite a few abandoned towns under and above water. In particular areas where there was mines that got played out or logging exhausting the forest (Think Livermore on Sawyer River). One spot of interest would be Dogtown on Cape Ann near Gloucester and Rockport MA. The town was located in a boulder field. One enterprising stone cutter carved numerous messages and mottoes on the sides of boulders and they remain today for the curious hiker to discover. See this website for story of Dogtown and collection of photos of the Babson Boulders.

Babson Boulders and Dogtown (http://www.thedacrons.com/eric/dogtown/babson_boulders_gloucester.html)

marchowes
04-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Glastenbury VT is one of the best ghost town examples in VT. The old route of the LT used to pass by an old village which was once the home of several kilns and toward the end of the villages lifetime a casino. The corridor up to the old village (on the south fringe of the town above harbour rd in Woodford VT) once was the home of the steepest friction base railroad ever (so they say). And yes, Sasquatch is supposed to live there, not to mention Glastenbury is the centerpiece of the infamous Bennington Triangle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennington_Triangle
http://www.xprojectmagazine.com/archives/paranormal/benningtontriangle.html
http://bennington-triangle.blogspot.com/2006/01/beast-of-bennington.html

Sadly when I hiked the mountain I did not see sasquatch (or maybe thats a good thing?). Getting to the old Ghost town section is a bit tricky too as parking at the end of the road is restricted. The town was abandoned after a sever washout in the 20s or 30s (I forget which). There was also an interesting settlement on the north side of Glastenbury called (I think) Fayeville but its a bit more out of the way and not nearly as interesting as the south settlement! I believe one of the early "Bennington monster" stores comes from there (frightened hunter hide in a cellarhole from -something-)

-----

Also, Somerset VT (next town east of Glastenbury) is chock full of goodies, including dozens of abandoned logging camps, old logging rail grades, and a big Reservoir with nice views of Stratton! There are a few summer homes along the main road. There used to be a decent sized town near where the graveyard is presently. Lots of hidden goodies in those hills!
http://www.hoosactunnel.net/HTW/images/DeerfieldR.GIF (note everything north of the Searsburg reservoir is basically gone).

TDawg
04-19-2007, 11:35 PM
I've heard of one (probably on this board??) between Mt. Cilley and Grandview Mtn. SSW of North Woodstock, NH.
Anyone know details? If that Mt. Cilley trail is still discernable? Maybe the best access is via 118 and Elbow Pond, bushwack to the site?Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=43.99665&lon=-71.71783&s=200&u=4&datum=nad27&layer=DRG)

Artex
04-20-2007, 07:14 AM
Not really ghost towns per say, but there are quite a few old abandoned houses within Harriman State Park in southern NY that I've come across when I used to live in that area. Nothing left but stone walls, and if I were to guess they were from the 1800s (but what do I know). Neat to see and always left me wondering what the story was behind them.

SkierSteve
04-20-2007, 07:17 AM
If you hike the Bigelow Range in Maine, from any of the summits, you look down on Flagstaff Lake. There are a number of ghost towns flooded under this man made lake. The really neat thing is, if you canoe or kayak the lake on a very still day, you can look down and still see some of the structures.

David Metsky
04-20-2007, 07:44 AM
I've heard of one (probably on this board??) between Mt. Cilley and Grandview Mtn. SSW of North Woodstock, NH.
Anyone know details? If that Mt. Cilley trail is still discernable? Maybe the best access is via 118 and Elbow Pond, bushwack to the site?Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=43.99665&lon=-71.71783&s=200&u=4&datum=nad27&layer=DRG)
Change my earlier post mentioning Peeling to the Mt Cilley trail. The trail from 118 is gone, but it can be followed from the other side. It was a pretty neat place 20 years ago; all that's left is cellar holes and stone culverts.

DougPaul
04-20-2007, 08:15 AM
There are some buildings from the town of Livermore beside Sawyer River Rd. Someone posted a link to some pics a while ago--perhaps a search might turn up the report.

Doug

NewHampshire
04-20-2007, 05:14 PM
Ok, I may be losing it, or my memory is shot, but I think one of Dan Doans "50 Hikes" books mentions that the Quintown Trail to Mt. Cube passes through the abandoned "town" of Quintown. But I would not necessarily trust my memory if I were you :p .

Brian

Sheomet
04-21-2007, 10:51 AM
There is a number of cellar holes and other remnants in Pisgah Park.

bcskier
04-21-2007, 01:37 PM
I was surprised to learn on New England Chronicle recently that Vermont has ghost towns. Sure Enough, http://www.ghosttowns.com/ lists ghost towns in New Hampshire and Vermont. At least one of them says you can't get there on a 4-wheeled vehicle, which makes me think some of them might be part of a nice hike. Does anyone know of any hikes that include a ghost town?


New England is not the best place to go looking for ghost towns with standing buildings. The climate definitely doesn't favor abandoned wood dwellings in the long term.

There is a state-owned abandoned farm (farmhouse, barn and outbuildings) at the junction of Schoolhouse and Windigo Rd. in Windsor State Forest in W. Mass. No hike is required to get there, but plenty of walking or mountain biking exist in the immediate vicinity. Windsor State Forest (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails/windsor600.gif)

Just down the road the state-owned Berkshire Snow Basin on Rt. 9 in W. Cummington MA still has many of the old buildings and towers. In fact ski areas are probably the best sort of "ghost" areas to explore in N.E. Visit the New England Lost Ski Areas Project website for a comprehensive list. NELSAP.org (http://www.nelsap.org) And remember, every lost ski area is a hill or mountain hike (though not all have public access.) Abandoned skating rinks are another matter.

Another western MA "ghost" hike that I could recommend is the Keystone Arches Bridge Trail in Chester, MA. KAB trail (http://keystonearches.org/) It's an abandoned stretch of rail line with some of the most impressive stone arch bridges you'll see anywhere in the world. The chief engineer was Whistler's "father."

bcskier

roadtripper
04-22-2007, 06:28 PM
Another western MA "ghost" hike that I could recommend is the Keystone Arches Bridge Trail in Chester, MA. KAB trail (http://keystonearches.org/) It's an abandoned stretch of rail line with some of the most impressive stone arch bridges you'll see anywhere in the world. The chief engineer was Whistler's "father."

bcskier

Those arches look very impressive. Thanks for the link!

TDawg
04-22-2007, 10:48 PM
Change my earlier post mentioning Peeling to the Mt Cilley trail. The trail from 118 is gone, but it can be followed from the other side. It was a pretty neat place 20 years ago; all that's left is cellar holes and stone culverts.

Good info, thanks Dave. I love old cellar holes. Now that Im thinking about it more, there are a number off the Smarts Brook trail if you explore some of the X-country ski trails in the area, some old cemetaries as well.

marchowes
04-24-2007, 06:45 AM
Wow very good point on the ski areas! That never even crossed my mind. Those places are also great for treasure hunts if you consider old rusting junk treasure :)

And those Keystone arches are amazing. They'll stand for a long time too, no mortar, its all rock on rock. Amazing stuff. Also one of the rock cuts for the abandoned grade over there was hand cut - picks and shovels! (and you can tell)

kltilton
04-24-2007, 09:48 AM
Not much of a town or a hike, but the Redstone Quarries in North Conway still have standing buildings and a lot of rusting equipment from the booming quarrying operation of the early 20th century. Much of the granite in the Lincoln Memorial came from Redstone.

It's pretty easy to get to if you park at Wal-Mart and follow the Corridor 19 snowmobile trail south.

Raymond
04-25-2007, 03:52 AM
Years ago in a Yankee magazine I read of a ghost town in Evans Notch — Stow, Maine? I haven’t seen it, but I thought it appeared on an old road map.

There are always those old buildings at Adirondac/Upper Works, at the end of Route 25 in New York. My 1977/1980 map shows 11 buildings there, but I can recall actually seeing only three. Maybe four. Anyway, I wouldn’t dare set foot in any of them.

RoySwkr
04-25-2007, 09:00 AM
Change my earlier post mentioning Peeling to the Mt Cilley trail. The trail from 118 is gone, but it can be followed from the other side. It was a pretty neat place 20 years ago; all that's left is cellar holes and stone culverts.
I have hiked this from both ends, but over 20 years ago. Once there were cardboard signs identifying the various cellar holes etc. There is also a side trail off the main road leading to the footings of the Grandview Mtn fire tower (on the far bump).

As to Hill village, you used to be able to drive through but it is now gated, it would be an easy hike as level paved road.

evilhanz
04-26-2007, 05:00 PM
There are some buildings from the town of Livermore beside Sawyer River Rd. Someone posted a link to some pics a while ago--perhaps a search might turn up the report.

I thought that might have been me, but I can't find the post unless I put it on another board. Anyway, here are a handful of low-res shots from a few years ago. If anyone wants a high-res copy or wants to see other shots, send me an email.

Main street, Livermore, NH (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_034.jpg)
Cellar holes from homes above the Sawyer RR (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_042.jpg)
Foundation of Livermore's mill (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_041.jpg)
Busted safe from the general store (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_037.jpg)
Foundation of the general store (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_027.jpg)
Footings for the pipes carrying Livermore's fresh water supply (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_026.jpg)
Inside the old mill building (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_018.jpg)
Bread oven in the foundation of a French-Canadian boarding house (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20011110_008.jpg)
Fireplace from the CCC camp, not part of the original town (http://www.amongtheclouds.com/images/20020126_019.jpg)

MichaelJ
04-27-2007, 12:09 PM
Hey, while we're on the subject of Livermore and Sawyer River Road, I'm curious what the story is with the cabin there that looks still inhabited? PM me if you feel it's off-topic...

RoySwkr
04-27-2007, 12:53 PM
Privately-owned seasonal cottage, that part of Livermore was not sold to the NF

JOD
05-04-2007, 08:31 AM
I walked to the cellar holes 2 summers ago from both ends. There isn't public parking on the Rt. 3 side. We did it the first time from rt. 118 through to rt. 3. The second time we went from rt. 3 to the summit of Grandview and had lunch. Here's an interesting article Peeling-Cilley-Woodstock (http://www.lincolnwoodstock.com/resources/docs/relocation_woodstock.doc) from the Lincoln Woodstock Chamber of Commerce. We had fun both times. So much fun we went 2 days in a row.

We kept wondering why would anybody want to live so far from the river or the "main" roads? It must have been brutal living there.

DrewKnight
06-08-2008, 07:48 PM
I've heard of one (probably on this board??) between Mt. Cilley and Grandview Mtn. SSW of North Woodstock, NH.
Anyone know details? If that Mt. Cilley trail is still discernable? Maybe the best access is via 118 and Elbow Pond, bushwack to the site?

Decided to go hunting for Peeling (nothing like a ghost-town hunt to get the kids out and rolling on a hot afternoon). Uncertain where the best trail (whack?) head might be, we stopped by the Mountain Wanderer, where Steve suggested trying to enter from Elbow Pond via a snowmobile trail (leaves Elbow Pond Road about 100 yards before the actual first pond -- found it, thanks Steve!).

Trail is marked with an orange placard for "Mt. Cilley", and runs up through a stand of hardwoods at steady but gentle grades. The trail is easy to follow and not too overgrown, with lots and lots of fresh moose-sign everywhere. We tramped to a large clearing with what I took to be over-grown cellar holes at intervals, though in shorts and with clouds of hungry blackflies swarming us, we opted out of tearing through the puckers for a better look -- will go back in the cooler fall weather for another visit.

bikehikeskifish
06-09-2008, 06:11 AM
Yesterday's Manchester Union Leader, Travel&Leisure, has a bit on "The town that used to be known as New Chester", aka "Hill". Construction of the Franklin Falls dam project forced the residents to relocate.

Tim

DrewKnight
06-09-2008, 09:51 AM
We tramped to a large clearing with what I took to be over-grown cellar holes at intervals, though in shorts and with clouds of hungry blackflies swarming us, we opted out of tearing through the puckers for a better look -- will go back in the cooler fall weather for another visit.

I found a good description of accessing the Mt Cilley trail from the Route 3 side in "Mountain Biking the White Mountains West" -- his description does not sound like where we ended up. I suspect we didn't go far enough up the snowmobile trail to the saddle between Mt. Cilley and Grandview... we were probably seeing the remnants of a logging cut or camp instead.

Anyway -- I still think this access point would work -- just carry the bugspray and consider wearing long pants.

erugs
06-09-2008, 10:16 AM
Should I admit that I rode my enduro motorcycle up there about 35 years ago? It was amazing to think of a village so far uphill and away from everything. It that's how it felt for me on a 250cc trailbike, how far away must it have felt on foot? I think I'll go back and find out.

Papa Bear
06-09-2008, 12:34 PM
Yesterday a friend and I were planning on going up Breakneck Ridge and Mt. Taurus (Putnam County in NY) but we got so exhausted from the high heat and humidity that after Breakneck, we skipped Mt. Taurus and came straight down the drainage between the two mountains and out to Route 9D.

We walked through a virtual town with cellar holes, stone and terra-cotta walls, dams and even a concrete path. I never knew this area was there. It's now Hudson Highlands State Park, but I don't know what 19th century town it was. I guess Google will tell.

Anyone know what the history of this place is?

Definitely on my short list for a revisit (during cooler weather).

Jay H
06-09-2008, 12:45 PM
Cornish Estate?
http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/219098/bull-hill-mt-taurus-.html

I've hiked it, it's somewhat in the valley in between Bull Hill and Breakneck Ridge. lots of carriage roads and various foundations in different states of ruin.

Anyway, Doodletown in Harriman State Park (NY) is kind of spooky, it's an old town that was abandoned when the park was created. there's a good book on it by one of it's residents, elizabeth Stadler and there is a cemetary there (to keep this with the haunting theme!).

Jay

DougPaul
06-09-2008, 01:06 PM
We walked through a virtual town with cellar holes, stone and terra-cotta walls, dams and even a concrete path. I never knew this area was there. It's now Hudson Highlands State Park, but I don't know what 19th century town it was. I guess Google will tell.

Anyone know what the history of this place is?

Don't have any specifics, but when I investigated (via web searches) Breakneck Ridge, I found quite a bit of historical info.

Doug

Papa Bear
06-09-2008, 01:20 PM
Cornish Estate?
http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/219098/bull-hill-mt-taurus-.html

I've hiked it, it's somewhat in the valley in between Bull Hill and Breakneck Ridge. lots of carriage roads and various foundations in different states of ruin.
..
JayYes. The Cornish Estate (an old dairy farm) must be the place a little ways east (uphill) of the turn-off to Taurus (Bull Hill). It's just below the reservoir/lake whatever. An AMC group was lunching there and they said it was an old dairy farm.

The other stuff, maybe 1/2 mile further west (down hill) is evidently the quarrying town mentioned in the Summit Post blurb

I knew Jay would know.

DrewKnight
05-13-2010, 04:37 PM
I remembered this thread from a couple years ago... have been meaning to get up to the Sawyer River area to check out Livermore. This gallery provides some interesting context, if you're thinking of heading there too:

http://photos.whitemountainhistory.org/GalleryThumbnails.aspx?gallery=219958&mid=7349350&mt=Photo

Little Rickie
05-14-2010, 12:16 PM
Fronteer Town but I don't know if many of the buildings are still standing and the old iron works just before the Upper Works Trailhead is kind of cool.

http://www.frontiertown.net/frontiertown/seefrontiertowntoday.html

http://www.institutionalgreen.org/frontiertown/

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2010/04/adirondack-wild-west-ned-buntline-to.html

http://www.adirondackjourney.com/Upper_Works.htm

http://www.thebackpacker.com/trails/ny/trail_870.php

This is the best one

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ny/tahawusoradirondak.html

gram
05-25-2010, 08:26 AM
http://whitemountainhistory.org/

Drew, I also just recently discovered this site - not just good for photos, but also for old maps, etc.

REK
05-26-2010, 05:31 AM
Peeling was a "hill town". The hilltops and high ridges got more sunlight and warmer temps than the low valleys thereby giving them a longer growing season. The road leading through the town was a main road then.
Pawtuckaway had a small village and some very interesting history.
Bob