Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Urbex Underground
On the hunt for abandoned places in Maryland? We got you covered. Below are our 24 favorite abandoned locations throughout the state.
Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Urbex Underground
Abandoned Places In Maryland
1. Old Town Mall
Old Town Mall is a small collection of abandoned buildings in inner Baltimore leftover from the post-war boom. As families moved towards the suburbs and away from the big city, shopping districts like Old Town declined quickly. Many businesses were forced to close and the neighborhood became one of the poorest in Baltimore.
In the late 60s, there was an effort to breathe life back into the area. The city spent nearly $1 million on renovations, adding a large fountain, repairing some decay, and adding art pieces to the area. While this brought back some commerce it ultimately failed. Unemployment in the 1980s paired with a rising crime rate plunged the area back into ruin.
The area showcases many different abandoned storefronts and a look at some early 1800s architecture. I particularly like the brick-lined streets and photographing the area during sunset with the glow of the modern city behind it.
2. Winderbourne Mansion
This Victorian-style home was built in 1884 by a Civil War Veteran by the name of Enoch Totten. Locals believe the house is haunted due to the death of two Totten girls.
One died from Typhoid fever and the other hit her head sliding down a wooden banister. In 1929 the property was sold and stayed in the Pickrell family until 2004. The current owner has been trying to sell the property for years to no avail.
The house is beautifully overgrown with many personal belongings still inside. Unfortunately, taggers have decided to cover the place in graffiti. If you’re nearby this place is still worth shooting.
3. Fort Armistead
Fort Armistead was constructed in 1896 to protect the Maryland coastline. It was used during the war of 1812 to repel British bombardment. It was in service for many years until eventually being abandoned in 1923. The city of Baltimore eventually reclaimed the property but never did much with it.
It was reactivated briefly during WWII by the navy but was used as an ammo dump rather than an actual fort. The fort was once again returned to the city in 1947 where it was transformed into a park. Today you can visit this concrete behemoth yourself without even trespassing.
4. Abandoned Tome School For Boys
The Tome School for Boys is a unique piece of architecture located off Bainbridge road in Port Deposit. The school was constructed back in 1894 by Jacob Tome where it educated children grades K through 12.
In1942 the campus was purchased by the government and expanded to include 1132 acres of the surrounding area. Soon the property was the new home of the United States Naval Training Center at Bainbridge. The boys school used the funds from the sale to move a few miles east of the old site.
The base was closed down in 1986 and returned back to the state of Maryland. Many of the 500 buildings on campus were demolished, but roughly 20 or so still stand today. The original Tome School for boys still stands today but is in rough shape.
5. Curtis Creek Ship Graveyard
It’s tough to miss the collection of wrecked ships just north of 695 protruding out of the water. While many shipwrecks have a great story, these ships were simply unwanted and left to rot in a shallow watery grave off the coast.
Over the years Mallow’s Bay has been used as a dumping ground for unwanted ships since the 1940s. During WWI, the US Navy constructed hundreds of wooden ships to help aid Europe. These ships were never used and it was deemed more economical to burn them and sink them in their nearby ports.
You can spot the ships from a small pier just north or the largest wreck, or visit them by boat. The nearby Jaws Marina rents kayaks you can use to explore the ships up close.
6. Daniels Ghost Town
Daniels was once a booming cotton mill town formed in the 1820s. With so much overgrowth it’s hard to even imagine a town ever existing here. Many of the homes and stores are long gone, only their shell remains. Explorers can still visit the old Pentecostal church that sits eerily by itself in the woods.
The town would slowly die off as the railroad that ran through it redirected to more popular rail lines. The mill suddenly closed in the 1960s and shortly thereafter hurricane Agnes flooded much of the region forcing anyone left behind to move out.
Vigilant explorers can still find old cars, abandoned cemeteries, and other relics from the past tucked away in the thick vegetation.
7. Klotz Throwing Company
The Klotz Throwing Company was a massive silk mill that employed nearly 300 people before its closure. In the 1940s silk was made here in the United States and played a huge role in the local economy for small towns. When the mill closed its doors in 1957 the community was severely impacted.
While the property seemed abandoned, it was never truly uncared for. The current owner Herb Crawford took the old mill under his care, leaving a time capsule sealed inside. He allows photographers to legally explore the mill and photograph what they’d like. Very few places like this remain in such good condition today.
8. Fort Foote Rodman Guns
The old Roadman guns at Fort Foote quietly sit where they were first constructed in 1864. These massive 15-inch gun barrels weight nearly 50,000 pounds each and required 300 soldiers to move them. The cannonballs they fired clocked in at about 500 pounds each and could decimate enemy troops from up to 3 miles away.
While Foot Foote is no longer in operation, these cannons still stand guard in Fort Washington Park. While I wouldn’t divert a road trip to see these cannons, they are still definitely cool to check out. Considering the grounds are now a national park, this makes for a simple entry-level location.
9. Maryland Gold Mine Ruins
The remanence of this Civil War-era gold mine are now the centerpiece a hiking trail located in southern Potomac. It all started when a Union soldier randomly decided to pan for gold while cleaning some of his supplies. To his surprise tiny gold flakes settled in the bottom of his pan.
Shortly after the Civil War, the Maryland Mine Company began to prospect and dig the nearby area to uncover what the land had in store. Tunnels were dug from 1867 to 1939, ultimately concluding that there was not enough gold to be profitable.
While the old tunnels have been backfilled in, the wooden structures and stonework is still visible. The most prominent structure left is the wooden water tower which is now just barely standing. The trailhead is open to the public making this one of the easier abandoned places in Maryland to explore.
10. Holland Island
One of the most iconic abandoned places in Maryland was the old Holland Island house left eroding into the Chesapeake Bay. In the early 1900s farmers and fishermen inhabited the island to make a living off of the land and sea. This home was just one of nearly 50 others that dotted the island.
In 1914 years of wind and harsh winters had taken its toll on the western half of the island, forcing those living on the island to abandoned their homes to live somewhere safer.
A few attempts were made to try and save the island, one idea was to build a stone wall around the bay but that ultimately failed. The infamous Holland Island house remained standing until 2010 when it finally collapsed into the sea. The home was 122 years old.
While there isn’t much left on the island today, its still cool to check out if you’re in the area.
11. Glenn Dale Hospital
The Gleen Dale Hospital served as a tuberculosis sanatorium and was first constructed in 1934. The property would slowly grow over time to encompass 23 buildings across its 216-acre campus. Like many hospitals of the early 1900s many buildings on the property were connected via a series of tunnels.
Each hospital basement contained its own mourge which also was connected to these maintenance tunnels. This allowed nurses to move bodies without upsetting the patients above. A popular rumor is that the incinerators were used to cremate human remains, this is not true. Staff used the incinerators to destroy medical waste.
In 1981 the building was shut down due to large amounts of asbestos found inside the facility’s construction. The property was almost sold in 1994 for restoration as a retirement community but ultimately those bids were rejected. Today the hospital sits in ruins and is carefully watched by the local police. In 2014 the hospital was listed as a possible threatened historic property.
12. Fort Carroll
Fort Carrol is a long-abandoned sea fort that sits right off the side of Key Bridge. It’s tough to miss this massive concrete hexagon fortress situated smack in the middle of the Patapsco River.
The fort is 100% man-made, meaning this structure was not built on any existing island. It was constructed in 1847 and served to protect the waterways outside of Baltimore. The fort was active throughout four major wars serving in the Civil War, The Spanish-American War, World War I, and II.
The island was eventually abandoned in 1921, leaving all their military equipment behind. There was talk of converting it into prison but plans fell through. Eventually, the island would be used again in WWII as a checkpoint for ships and a firing range, but no real permanent use.
The property is was purchased by a Baltimore battery in 1958 with plans to build a casino there. These plans never even broke ground. Today the fort is abandoned and home to many birds looking for a rest stop. Access to the island isn’t easy, so either get out your floaties or get your hands on a boat.
13. Forest Haven Asylum
Forest Haven was a sprawling campus of over 250 acres designed to treat and house the mentally ill. While the facility started out with good intentions, it would ultimately become synonymous with death and abuse.
Opened in 1925 Forest Haven was designed to teach the mentally ill how to care for themselves. Inmates were taught how to do household chores, farm, and learn basic skills they could use if they ever returned to the outside world. This was seen as a cutting-edge approach to treating mental illness until a lack of funds changed everything.
In the 1960s funding for institutions dwindled, leaving many of these massive asylums with very little money to operate. Recreational and education programs were cut, and many employees were laid off. Untrained staff replaced the nurses who took out their frustrations on the patients. Neglect and abuse ran rampant throughout the facility, so much so that many patients died from a combination of the two.
Bodies were moved along underground tunnels and buried in unmarked graves on the property. The facility was shut down in 1991 and has remained abandoned ever since. Forest Haven remains empty but still casts a dark stain on Maryland’s history.
The facility is a popular place for explorers, and police. Police arrest anyone caught on the grounds. So don’t go, or don’t get caught.
14. The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay
Mallows Bay is home to hundreds of sunken ships which can be seen from both the air as well as on land. From Google Maps you can see the outline of dozens of hulls in the murky water. Mallows Bay is the largest group of shipwrecks in the western hemisphere, making this a truly unique abandoned place in Maryland.
The most prominent ship visible is the SS Accomac, one of many ships retired by the US Navy. A combination of wooden ships and steam vessels were retired in the bay when the Navy simply did not need them. Wooden ships were constructed in an effort to curb the steel shortages that plagued World War I. After the war was over, there was no need for wooden ships anymore.
The area is now considered a marine sanctuary and is open to the public to visit. You can see the ships best from the Wilson Landing road docks. If you have a canoe or Kayak you can get up close to the ships.
15. National Park Seminary
The remains of the National Park Seminary have now been converted into gorgeous condominiums. While I usually hate when abandoned places are turned into apartments, I have to say I’m glad this place was saved.
There are still some relics from the past to be found here, and if you’re in the area you have to check out the ballroom, its seriously insane. The property is only accessible to residents but I imagine there are ways you can see it.
Construction dates back to 1887 where the property was first a college for girls. The ornate architecture was inspired by the Chicago World Fair. You can see this architecture preserved throughout the campus. The college was hit hard by the great depression and dwindled in attendance. Eventually, the grounds were used during WWI to help treat recovering amputees.
By the 1970s the property was abandoned in a state of decay. The army slated the buildings for demolition but the property was ultimately saved by the “Save Our Seminary” foundation.
A private developer purchased the land and transformed it into the condos you see today. It’s a cool bit for history, and fun to think about what this place looked like a hundred years ago.
16. Abandoned Hang gliding site
Located on High Rock in Smithsburg, this collection of graffitied rocks marks what used to be a popular place for hang glider launches. In the past, hang gliders would launch off High Rock and cruise through sky over the open fields.
This was deemed unsafe by the city who banned unauthorized hang gliding at the peak of its popularity. In order to legally hang glide, you need a permit and have to do a bunch of paperwork. Since then, popularity took a nosedive. The area is now a local hang-out spot with tons of painted rocks along the cliff’s edge.
17. Enchanted Forest Theme Park
The Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City was a fairy tale theme park that took truly took you to a place of make-believe. First opened in 1955, the park had multiple attractions ranging from Alice in Wonderland rides to Cinderella’s Castle.
The park was sold to a development company in 1988 where it sold for $4.5 million. The park sat abandoned and undisturbed from between 1995 to 2005. Eventually, a preservation group was formed called “Friends of the Enchanted Forest.” Their goal was to save and restore some of the relics left behind inside the park.
Today many of the relics have been saved and moved to Clark’s Ellioak Farm for display. The ground where the Ehcnahnted Forest once sat is now sadly a parking lot.
18. Springfield State Hospital
The Springfield State Hospital was initially an estate and salve plantation encompassing over 3000 acres. The land was eventually purchased by the mayor of Marland and transformed into a psychiatric hospital in 1896. While the facility is still in operation, there are numerous unused buildings that dot the campus.
The Warfield Complex and Hubner, and T buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Reports from staff and patients alike detail the abuse and harsh conditions inside. Many claiming of unsanitary conditions and patient abuse occurring through the 80s and 90s.
19. St. Mary’s College
Not much remains of the original St Mary’s College, however a strange “altar” has managed to stand the test of time. This gazebo has attracted ghost hunters, Satanists, and other nitwits since being published online.
St. Marys College was a boys’ school first opened in 1868. Over time the schools’ attendance decreased until eventually closing in the 1970s. This attracted explorers and teenagers with nothing better to do to hang out in the area. As folklore began to spread, the “Hell House” as the gazebo was called became more popular.
Arson and vandalism had plagued the property since the late 70s, with the owners eventually removing the altar and any other ruins of the college they could find.
20. Simpsonville Mill Ruins
Of all the abandoned places in Maryland, this one might just be the oldest. Located in Simpsonville, this mill was first constructed in the mid-1700s. The property was used to produce flour during the Napoleonic Wars, which caused basic necessities like flour to skyrocket in price.
The mill operated on and off changed owners numerous times, until falling on hard times during the great depression in the 1920s. To add insult to injury a fire ravaged the mill cause the owner to default on the mortgage.
In 1993 a $350,000 archeological dig took place on the site, uncovering blacksmith shops, multiple homes, and a post office. Today the site remains endangered with no further plans or funding for protection.
21. Rosewood Center
The Rosewood Center was an institution that opened in 1888 to help people with developmental disabilities. Initially named the Asylum and Training School for the Feeble-Minded, the facility was renamed the Rosewood Center when state departments merged the two disciplines.
In the late 19th century the facility helped young troubled white boys take care of themselves and learn basic skills such as farming, carpentry, and leatherworking. It was common for institutions during this time to use inmate labor to run the facility while teaching them skills for the outside world.
During the early 1990s, 166 women fled the institution claiming that they were being trafficked and purchased by the rich as indentured servants and unpaid laborers. This scandal was fiercely denounced but little evidence is available to validate either side.
Like all institutions across the United States, Rosewood also fell on hard times during the mid to late 1990s. Budget cuts and changes in mental healthcare shifted how facilities like Rosewood operated. The facility suffered from overcrowding and abuse, and was even called “Marylands Shame” is a 1940 publication of the Baltimore Sun.
The facility was closed in 1989 due to the abuse and lack of adequate care for its patient. It suffered multiple arsons before burning down in 2009. Today many of the buildings are gone, but some still remain.
22. Terra Maria Ruins
The Terra Marie ruins are all that is left of a 100-year-old seminary in Ellicott City. Once isolated in the wood the ruins are now tightly nestled around streets and residential homes. Like many abandoned places in Maryland this relic could have been completely lost if it wasn’t for the homeowners association who took on the challenge to maintain it.
The $70,000 for the project will be used to reinforce the walls and make some slight structural repairs to keep the ruins safe. What you see today is only a small fraction of what was once the sprawling St Charles College. The initial structure was built in 1831 but was completely destroyed by a fire in 1911.
The ruins are now the focal point of this small neighborhood. If you’re in the area definitely check it out, as its one of the easiest abandoned places in Maryland you can visit.
23. Dam 3 Ruins
While this is more of a rural exploration, checking out the ruins of Dam 3 is still a cool place to check out, especially if you’re looking to spend some time in nature. The dam was constructed in 1799 to aid the nearby armory at Harpers Ferry. Engineers used the rocks located around the river to create an oddly-shaped zig-zag dam structure.
This design choice would ultimately be ineffective at diverting water and would need to be rebuilt three times during the 1800s. Over the years the dam was unused and fell into disrepair. You can find the remains scattered across the Potomac River, and explore the several old locks in the area.
23. Seneca Mill Ruins
The Seneca Quarry and Mill date back to 1781 when a man by the name of Rober Peter purchased the land and began developing sandstone and marble from the ground along the Potomac. With the use of the canal massive amounts of sandstone could be transported hundreds of miles through the waterways. It’s thought that even slaves worked in the mill prior to the Civil War.
The business was booming until shortly after the Civil War. The property was bought by another company which ultimately mismanaged the businesses before it was shuttered in 1901. The Mill is now quiet and overgrown and fairly isolated but not too far of a walk. The property contains the ruins of the mill, quarry, cemetery, and quarry master house that can be explored.
24. Stone Fort Ruins
If you’re looking for an abandoned place in Maryland to hike, look no further than the Old Stone Fort Ruins located in Maryland Heights. This old trail was once used to access the old Naval Battery that was built in 1862. The trail passes the old battery and ascends upwards towards the fort ruins.
The fort itself was used during the Civil War and provided an overview of the surrounding landscape. At nearly 1500 feet above sea level, it’s quite a climb to the top, but the ruins and view are totally worth it, especially in fall.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of abandoned places in Maryland, 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.