7 Abandoned Ghost Towns to Explore in New York


New York is known not only for its vibrant city life, but also for its rich and diverse history. Ghost towns are among of the most fascinating spots to explore in the state, as they are abandoned settlements that once thrived but are now forgotten. Whether you’re searching for a terrifying adventure, a historical lesson, or a picturesque escape, these seven ghost towns in New York are worth seeing.

1. Tahawus

Tahawus, which means “cloud-splitter” in Native American language, was a mining town in the Adirondack Mountains. It was founded in 1826 to harvest iron ore from neighboring mountains and eventually became a titanium production center. The settlement featured a blast furnace, a railroad, a post office, and a school. However, by the 1960s, the mining operations had halted, and the village was abandoned. The remnants of the furnace, railroad tracks, and some of the houses are still visible today. You can also walk to adjacent Mount Marcy, New York’s highest summit.

2. Doodletown

Doodletown was a small hamlet in the Hudson Highlands that dates back to the 18th century. It was home to approximately 300 people who worked as farmers, woodcutters, and quarrymen. The town contained a church, a school, a cemetery, and a few stores. However, in the 1960s, the state of New York acquired the site to build Bear Mountain State Park, forcing the people to relocate. Today, you may walk around the Doodletown Loop Trail to explore relics of the town, such as stone walls, foundations, and signage. You may also see some animals, such as deer, birds, and snakes.

3. Love Canal

Love Canal was a suburb in Niagara Falls that was developed on top of a hazardous waste dump. It was named after William T. Love, who planned a canal to connect the Niagara River with Lake Ontario but never built it. During the 1940s and 1950s, Hooker Chemical exploited the abandoned canal as a chemical waste disposal. Residents of Love Canal began to encounter health issues in the 1970s as a result of trash leakage into the soil and water. These issues included cancer, birth defects, and miscarriages. The neighborhood was declared a federal disaster zone, and its occupants were relocated. Today, visitors may see the fenced-off area where the canal once stood and learn more about the environmental tragedy at the Love Canal Museum.

4. Bannerman Castle

Bannerman Castle is an impressive edifice on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River. It was constructed by Francis Bannerman, a Scottish-American businessman who specialized in surplus military equipment. He purchased the island in 1900 and built a castle-style warehouse to store his inventory. He also erected a smaller castle for himself, as well as a garden. However, in 1920, a major explosion damaged a portion of the warehouse, and in 1969, a fire devastated the remaining buildings. The island was abandoned, and the castle began to crumble. Today, you can take a boat tour to the island and visit the castle ruins. In addition, you can take a guided tour or attend one of the island’s cultural events.

5. Centralia

Centralia is a ghost town in Pennsylvania, yet it’s close enough to New York to be worth the journey. It was a coal mining town established in 1866 with a population of more than 1,000 people. However, in 1962, a fire broke out in one of the coal mines and spread underground. The fire has been burning ever since, resulting in sinkholes, smoke, and hazardous fumes. The town was evacuated, and the majority of the structures were razed. Today, you can see the graffiti-covered roadway leading to town, as well as the steam rising from the ground’s fractures. You may also see the few remaining structures, including the church, cemetery, and municipal building.

6. Glenwood

Glenwood, a lake vacation town in the Catskill Mountains, was popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was famous for its mineral springs, which were said to have medicinal effects. The village boasted many hotels, villas, and a casino where tourists could relax, get spa treatments, and watch live entertainment. However, by the 1930s, the town had fallen due to the Great Depression, competition from other resorts, and lake pollution. The town was abandoned, and the structures had either burned down or collapsed. Today, the remnants of the Glenwood Hotel, casino, and spring house can be seen along the lake’s shoreline.

7. Rensselaer Ironworks

Rensselaer Iron Works was an industrial facility located near Troy, New York, on the Hudson River. It was established in 1846 by Erastus Corning, a notable businessman and politician. The complex manufactured iron rails, pipelines, and machinery and employed hundreds of people. During the Civil War, the ironworks supplied guns and ammunition to the Union Army. However, by the late nineteenth century, the iron business had deteriorated, and the complex was closed down. The structures were either demolished or modified for other purposes. The iron works’ relics, including as the blast furnace, rolling mill, and water tower, may still be seen at Riverfront Park today.


New York is a state with a lot to offer those interested in its history. The ghost villages dotting the terrain reflect the state’s history, culture, and ecology. They also serve as a reminder of the impermanence of human undertakings and nature’s resilience. If you want to have a one-of-a-kind and exciting experience, these seven ghost towns in New York are a must-see.

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