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On the hunt for abandoned places in Georgia? Look no further. Below are 21 favorite abandoned locations across the state.
Abandoned Places In Georgia
1. McIntosh Sugarmill Ruins
Of all the abandoned places in Georgia, the McIntosh Sugarmill Ruins is a combination of beautiful, fascinating, and disturbing all at the same time.
The McIntosh sugar mill was created by John McIntosh’s labor force of two slave plantations in the 1820s. It became the first multi-level oxen-powered “sugar works” in the state. A place where sugar would be grown, picked, masticated, steamed, extrapolated, and dried to crystals all under one roof.
McIntosh owned not one but two plantations of slaves to accomplish this extremely lucrative endeavor of large-scale sugar production. With a more than ample slave labor force, Mcintosh’s hefty fortune grew at the expense of at least two different races, native indigenous people and African slaves.
Like almost all buildings of the early 1800s, the sugar mill fell into disrepair but somehow withstood over 200 years of neglect.
It remains a fascinating physical reminder hundreds of years later after all other structures of that time have disintegrated into dust.
2. Horton House
This tabby constructed on Jekyll island was built in the 1700s for William Horton. It was a gift granted by the trustees of the colony of Georgia for his outstanding military loyalty.
Over 10 acres were dedicated to the house and the first legal brewery on the island. Although alcohol was frowned upon by the colony at the time, Horton’s brewery took off when it became evident that his finely crafted beer was deemed safer for them to drink than the water on Jekyll island.
Attacking coastal ships of the Spanish burned the Horton house, barns, brewery, and other buildings down in 1742 leaving only the smoking, smoldering tabby walls behind.
Horton rebuilt and carried on. Once rebuilt, generations of prominent families such as the Vanderbilts and Pulitzers visited and enjoyed Jekyll Island.
The Horton house is listed on the national register of historic places and is one of the many famous landmarks known for hauntings and ghost activity, where folks check in but don’t check ou
3. Scull Shoals Ghost Town
Scull Sholes Ghost Town is drenched with the blood of war, the sweat of slavery, as well as the tears of eradication and abandonment. For at least 10,000 years, the Cherokee and their ancestors occupied the forest of Scull Scholes peacefully hunting and fishing the Oconee River.
In the 1700s The revolutionary war brought doom to the doorstep of these indigenous people. After wiping out their food supplies and most of the tribe through spreading smallpox and a myriad of other foreign diseases, soldiers of that war desecrated the land.
The newly founded American government decided to award the rich land and its abundant resources to veterans of the American Revolution. The Cherokee didn’t like their ancestral land being given away to the white man so they raged war. After being outgunned and outmanned they were killed off and driven away.
Poor farming practices brought alternating floods and droughts eventually destroying the economy and beauty of the area. By 1930 the mill was left abandoned and sold to the federal government where it became part of the Oconee National Forest.
Ecologist state that it takes 1000 years to build an inch of topsoil in the forest. The original topsoil was 12 inches thick so it will take approximately 12,000 years before the reforestation will be as robust as it was in the 18th century.
4. Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory
Like something out of an old black and white 1950s horror movie, the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory echoes of a time when America’s infantile curiosity with the atomic age mixed with dread, fear and anxiety of the nuclear cold war threat of the 60s.
This government top-secret test facility was facilitated to study the effects of nuclear radiation on military equipment and the natural environment around it. This eerie complex boasts tales and rumors galore of the bizarre.
This 10,000-acre top-secret nuclear facility was created in the 1950s to conduct experiments concerning planes carrying nuclear payloads and what that would do to the surrounding vegetation, military equipment, and wildlife.
This once-mighty nuclear experimental testing center was a joint proposition between the Air Force and weapons manufacture Lockheed to conduct research on what nuclear eradicates do to military equipment and their surrounding outdoor environment. Their goal was a nuclear-powered airplane to be used in war.
Although the lab was shut down in the 70s, most of what went on there is still highly classified.
Although deemed safe, you might want to sport your own Geiger counter if digging around into the many hidden buried tunnels just to ensure your family’s future generations and remain free from any fallout.
5. Statesboro Packing House
There’s much debate on many of the details surrounding the story at this location. One thing for sure is that the plant was inherited in 1917 by Brooks Simmons from his father, who received it from his father. This third-generation operation ran successfully for another three years but then caught fire.
During the Great Depression, Simmons Lost all that remained of his inherited fortune. Distraught and depressed, he, unfortunately, committed suicide.
If the thought of thousands of hogs and beef cattle coming to their grizzly, inhumane end here isn’t enough to disturb you, at one time or another Simmons tragic death story developed into a rumor that he purposely set the plant ablaze killing himself and 20 innocent workers who were permanently locked inside the fiery concrete tomb.
A direct quote from a plant supervisor in a newspaper of the time stated “On the 15th of October, the slaughtering of hogs will commence in earnest.” A bloody prediction of what would go on for years behind the 4 story concrete walls of the packing house.
Some who have explored there today swear they’ve seen a screaming woman on the top floor pounding on a wall to get out. Many other similar horror stories like ghost tales emulate from the location, although most researchers have found no significant evidence of such matters.
In 2015 Scott Taylor bought the structurally sound concrete building in thoughts of rehabilitating it into apartments, but it’s still unused. Although many states that it’s just a cool old structure to explore and nothing more, others swear of distinct paranormal experiences abounding there. It’s definitely worth a shot for you to determine for yourself.
6. School Bus Graveyard
What happens when a former school bus has chugged its last-mile and pumped its hydraulic doors for the very last time? It graciously retires to the famous School Bus Graveyard, of course.
This amazing 5-acre area is owned by Walter Wade and contains over 120 unique hand-painted schoolbuses. Wade also happens to be a school bus driver himself, who started adding junk school buses to his family’s salvage and parts yard in the early 2000s.
When thieves started stealing all the scrap from the yard to cash in on the booming junk metal prices of that era, Walter started parking the buses around the scrapyard perimeter as a burglar deterrent security fence. And it worked!
Suddenly, one day he awoke to a beautiful mural sprawled across the entire bus warning people to stay out. He embrace the idea and more street artists started their work on the other buses.
These masterpieces are all unique and majestic to see first hand and of course, photographs.
The busses are so magical and full of whimsy, you’re almost waiting for Miss frizzle and the gang to exit one and greet you. Seatbelts everyone!
7. Braswel Mountain Rail Tunnel
This fascinating tunnel was opened in 1882 on the now-closed section of the Southern Railway. It was used for nearly a century and shut down in 1980 when the railway rerouted its line.
What’s so cool about this railroad tunnel is how it’s fully accessible from either end and how perfectly preserved it is right down to the black soot-stained walls and ceiling from coal-stoked train engines of long ago rumbling through it.
I particularly loved the little enclaves sunk neatly into the walls of the tunnel. They were a partial safety feature for anyone caught traveling the tunnel by foot while a train was passing through it. A walker would cleverly duck into the shelf area to save themselves from being flattened like a pancake.
There are many stories of ghosts and unsettled spirits in the tunnels from those unfortunate enough to not quite make their way into a recess before the whistling train chugged past their standing position in the corridor.
To make it to this well-preserved 750-foot train tunnel, mud boots are required. You will slip through deep muck, sludge, and wet leaves to make your way there.
Once inside, fire up your strong flashlight to enjoy the antique brick and pocketed enclaves that make this tunnel so enticing.
8. Dolls Head Trail
This quirky and ever-growing attraction is built on the abandoned South River Brick Company established in the 1800s and abandoned in 1907.
So who is the founder and creator of this unusual 125 acres spectacle on Constitution Lakes Nature Preserve?
Joel Slaton was a laid-off carpenter in 2011 still reeling from the trade slow down and layoffs spanning from the 2008 recession. While unemployed, he started exploring the far eastern section of the area where he found all the doll parts along with other discards.
As a Carpenter, he just had an urge to build something, so he started using the rubbish and old bricks to build the vignettes along the trail. The leader of the park system Dave Butler fell in love with what Joel was doing with the re-purposed artwork and officially named it Dolls Head Trail in 2012.
Slaton started seeing people finding trash in the nature preserve and building their own creations. As the trail grew to over 100 art pieces, more folks took an interest in cleaning the ever flooding debris from the area.
So when you go to explore and photograph the unusual vignettes, feel free to build one of your own.
The only rule is that you must use discards from within the preserve. No bringing in your own items because like a sign that Joel Slaton wrote there says, “Litter makes the angels cry “
9. The Cartersville Abandoned Plane
How did this twin turboprop G-159 Gulfstream aircraft wind up abandoned near a river for over two decades?
The who, how, and why are somewhat of a mystery. What is for sure is that you can explore the most stripped and heavily graffitied fuselage of this little gem today. You can even sit in the dilapidated remains of its once luxurious set of leather seats in its spacious private interior.
Where the aircraft rests, an island owned by the city of Cartersville. This spot contains a parking lot nearby for kayakers and river tubers. It connects to a walking trail and graveled service Road. Follow that road to the right.
When you see the fork, keep veering right. After passing the fork, start watching for an open meadowland to the left. Walkthrough the meadow and at about 60 feet start watching for bright graffiti through the trees and there she’ll be, nestled in the trees on your left.
Be advised that this has become a popular site and be aware of locals who may be using it as a private hang out. This heavily wooded area is also brimming with snakes and ticks so long pants and leather boots are a wise choice.
This little gem is one of the more unique abandoned places in Georgia, and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
10. Old Car City
If you love exploring old ruins in a forest and taking pictures, you’ll most likely relish digging into this 32-acre old vehicle graveyard which branches off into 6 miles of trails through mostly woods.
Many of the cars are covered in moss or half-buried in Pine needles. Some have distinct personalities with roots and plants bulging through windshields and engines.
With over 4,400 unique, antique forested vehicles in every stage of decay, you’ll be guaranteed a distinctive photo to call your own.
Dean Lewis, founder and longtime caretaker of the place will entertain you with his stories and tickle your funny bone with his homemade signs and artwork. Be prepared to possibly encounter a line at opening time, but you’ll soon be away on your own exploring 6 miles of twisty trails throughout the woods.
At only 25 bucks a head, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more fun-filled exploring photographic adventure. This location is great for beginners and is one of the more accessible abandoned places in Georgia.
11. Corpsewood Manor
LSD, sex parties, and murder. While Corpsewood Manor is a shell of its former self, its story is one of the wildest of all the abandoned places in Georgia. While the full story is too much to write in this list, here’s a rundown of what happened.
Corpsewood Manor was Morbidly named by its original owner Dr. Charles Scutter because of the way the bare wood trees looked in the winter’s forest. At least that’s how he macabrely described the 40-acre property to his longtime roommate and lover Joseph Odom.
Although from a wealthy family and once asked by the Chicago Symphony to play his harp at a performance, Charles was described by colleagues as pleasant but somewhat eccentric, one co-worker in the 60’s remembering how he once owned a monkey and dyed his hair purple.
He moved Joseph and their two beloved Rottweilers to somewhere outside of Somerville Georgia. There he built a remote manor along with several outbuildings. Charles was very interested in the occult and moved to the bucolic manner with two pilfered humans skulls from the university in which he worked, along with over 12,000 doses of laboratory-grade LSD, presumably made in the same place.
On the fateful night of December 12, 1982, Kenneth and Samuel picked up Samuel‘s nephew Joey Wells and his girlfriend Teresa Hodgins to party and later rob the residence of the manor. When the two realized there was no fortune to steal, they executed everyone inside – even Joseph’s dogs.
Today the location in the woods is posted on many sites turn for turn. But be aware that the area is now privately owned and watched closely.
12. Concord Woolen Mill
The Concorde woolen mill was in full swing during the Civil War making confederate uniforms with the mighty power of the Nickajack Creek.
It was situated in a community of many Power Mills such as paper mills, sawmills, grist mills, cotton and woolen mills. When Sherman’s soldiers got wind of the mapped area of “Mill Grove”, it soon met its demise. They were all burnt down.
Throughout history mills like so many glass factories, always burn sometimes two or three times in their existence and Concord Woolen was no exception whereas in 1889 it would catch fire once again, only to remain abandoned.
The Concord Woolen Mill eventually reopened but like so many glass factories, always burn sometimes two or three times in their existence and Concord Woolen was no exception whereas in 1889 it would catch fire once again, only to remain abandoned.
It’s fascinating to experience only a short distance away, the deserted trails to take you back in time to a simpler more profound beauty inside rustic Concord Woolen Mill.
13. Kellum Valley Farm Ruins
In 1928 Callum Valley was developed into a working farm, school, and dormitory for underprivileged children.
The 1000 acres at the foothills of the breathtaking blue ridge mountains was owned by Mrs. Elizabeth Carnegie Kellum once thought to be the wealthiest woman in America.
She took great pleasure in raising Arabian horses angora goats, and other exotic animals on this working farm.
She built a school and three-story dormitory for underprivileged children who attended from as far as California, Colorado, and New York.
While on a worldwide tour sailing upon their private yacht, the school and dorm burned to the ground leaving only the exquisitely crafted stone foundation and large chimneys which are used today as backdrops for an elaborate wedding venue.
14. Sope Creek Paper Mill Ruins
Built in the late 1850s the mill was once a production facility for making confederate currency during the Civil War it was tucked in the woods using the ample supply of pine for material and running After creeks water power.
When discovered by the union, the productive, lucrative mill and its entire operation were burnt to the ground.
After the war, several attempts were made to revive it to its glory, but a series of accidents and financial mishaps prevented any further operation of the site.
Now one can easily explore the still-standing walls of this once great paper, twine, and currency mill complete with its creek, spillway, and mini waterfall.
It’s an easy one-and-a-half-mile-long hike through beautiful terrain that makes for a relaxing and enjoyable exploring adventure. No matter if you are a novice or expert explorer, this gorgeous little gem is a treat for young and old alike.
15. The Briarcliffe Mansion
To describe and understand this complex property that wore many hats over the decades, one must first contemplate the mansion builder Asa (Buddie) Chandler Junior and his endless ambitious ventures.
Son of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler Senior, Buddie seemed to be in constant competition for attention from his father over his older brother Harold, who was co-president of the soft drink empire with Asa Senior.
If buddy were alive today, he’d likely be deemed a “bipolar, manic depressive “alcoholic genius with a touch of ADHD. “
It took buddy two years to get the mansion built and another two for renovation later. Nothing that he did was plain old ordinary. When Buddie had a grand idea, he had to execute it to the far reaches of the spectacular.
After a tragic murder-suicide on the property, the Briarcliffe Mansion fell into disrepair. Left abandoned the property caught fire, presumably from arson. Sadly the mansion was demolished after needing over $14 million in repairs.
16. Georgia Mental Health Institute
Amid the once opulent grounds of Briarcliff Mansion was built the Georgia Mental Health Institute which at first was used to house the Georgia Clinic County Addiction Center. The very first addiction center of its kind in Georgia.
When a planned veterans hospital never materialized, the owners of the property, Buddy Chandler, sold the estate in 1948 to the General Services Administration.
From 1965 to 1997 the estate housed the Mental Health Institute which was a multi-story tower surrounded by multiple cottages that were connected by underground tunnels.
Patients who were deemed too dangerous for the main building were often held in the heavily secured cottages. They were transported from cottage to cottage through tunnels so there would be less chance of escape from the facility.
The campus does not have plans to renovate or make public access tours available to this fascinating historic site. Experts state that security is heavy and its exploring capabilities have all but vanished.
The TV series Stranger Things (think the upside-down) and a few movies have been filmed here by promising to make cosmetic improvements to the structures in exchange for its use.
Some think that the university is simply waiting for all structures on the property to fall long beyond repair so they can eventually be demolished.
17. Dungeness Ruins
Upon Georgia’s Cumberland Island, part of the Cumberland National Seashore, sits hauntingly beautiful Dungeness Ruins.
James Oglethorpe, the man who founded Georgia, was the first to occupy the breathtaking island. He built a grand hunting lodge in the late 1700s and named it Dungeness after a favorite spot of his in England. The island still hosts planned hunts of wild hog and deer during the fall and winter seasons.
The Dungeness was rebuilt over the years by several other owners and became abandoned during the Civil War when it burnt down.
18. Atlanta Prison Farm
What would you think of a 300-acre prison that could house up to 1000 inmates with no armed guards or lockable cells? Well, this was the experimental long-running concept of the Atlanta Prison Honor Farm.
The land purchased in the late 1800s was originally to be used as a POW camp for the south’s war prisoners, but that soon fell through with the south losing that war.
Later the government scoured the state’s regular prisons for the most “honorable men” and those with the “lightest offense” to make up the 300-acre experimental prison farmworkers. These men served out their remaining sentences by growing a self-sustaining community of fruit and vegetable crops under the guidance of unarmed field bosses who were highly educated in agriculture.
There were odd tales of huge animals like elephants and giraffes being buried on the premises by the local zoo for soil fertilization and even a few rumors of supposed lynchings associated with black inmates.
But in general, the honor farm was a productive place for it’s time where men commuted their sentences into farm labor. I could find No other talk about lynchings, killing or forced lengthy indebted servitude on the Farm.
Once abandoned, the site quickly became grounds for massive illegal dumping and a local homeless squatters paradise, as well as becoming tagged from top to bottom with graffiti. Today, local law enforcement uses the property for live-fire exercises and conducts swat-like maneuvers around the building.
Of all the abandoned places in Georgia, this is one you’ll probably want to steer clear of.
19. Harville Road House
More than 100 years of tumultuous history surrounds this once sprawling landmark which was granted a centennial farm award in 2015. It was founded by Samuel Winkler Harville in 1862 and remains in the same family today, over a hundred years later.
The property included a sawmill, cotton gin, grist mill, smokehouse, ice house, maple syrup house, and even a commissary.
During its most productive phase, this sprawling farm expanded to 2,800 acres for livestock and crops which included their prize cash crop of peanuts and corn. The property even boasts a family cemetery that’s located 1/4 mile west of the house.
Shortly after they began living together, rumors of tumultuous behavior between the two of them sprang to life. Loud arguments and bizarre laughter were reported by others passing the 14 room farmhouse.
The Aunts reportedly died in the house together under mysterious circumstances where their possessions remained untouched.
My personal experience was very eerie there. As I stepped on the first floor grounds. I felt something hard under my feet give way to a cracking sound like stepping on peanut shells as I explored what was left of some of the first floors.
20. Pratt Pullman Yard
This fascinating site was originally built in 1904 by Pratt Engineering who manufactured sugar, fertilizer, and the patenting of liquid carbonated gases in the first brick and steel structure built on former farmland.
They produced fertilizer bombs during the first world war and later sold their liquid carbonated gases patent (carbon dioxide) to a new beverage start-up called the Coca-Cola company.
In 1922 the Pullman Company purchased and expanded the site to repair their world-renowned luxury sleeper train cars known far and wide for first-class travel by rail.
The site was abandoned in the 70s due to bankruptcy and the state of Georgia purchased the area in the 90s. During that time, many an explorer relished in combing the jungle-covered industrial debris which sat vacant for more than two decades.
In 2001 the Pratt-Pullman site was placed on the Atlanta Preservation Center’s Endangered Places List and in 2009 was put on the National Register of Historic Places. Since then many movies like The Hunger Games, The Fast and Furious, Baby Driver, MacGyver, Constantine, Sleepy Hollow, The Originals, Game of Silence, and Powers have been filmed there as well.
So for those of you who would like to explore the raw abandoned experience that this rich historic site has to offer, I suggest you run, don’t walk to see it before it vanishes like the old World War 1 fertilizer bombs and luxurious Pullman train cars of its significant past.
21. New Manchester Mill Ruins
A cruel and uncivilized history surrounds this beautiful abandoned side in Sweetwater Creek State Park. This resource-rich land originally was home to the Cherokee indigenous people and was called Sweetwater by them for the name of their chief Aam Kanasta in 1819.
A hunger for more land by the young American government result in the forced removal of all Cherokee by federal troops. In 1838, 20,000 Cherokee were forced west to Oklahoma via the infamous “trail of tears” which was enforced by the federal government’s Indian Removal Act.
The present-day mill remnants are protected by the Sweetwater Creek State Park. All that remains today are the slave build brick walls and the mill run that leads to the factory’s water wheel.
Its plush greenery was used as a film backdrop for The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1. The Mill is one of the easier abandoned places in Georgia to explore and is a time for both seasoned and novice explorers alike.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of abandoned places in Georgia, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.
If you’re having trouble finding abandoned places near you, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places.