Featured Urbex Video
Hunting for abandoned places in North Carolina? You’re in the right place. Below are 19 of my favorite abandoned places across North Carolina.
Abandoned Places In North Carolina
1. Rockingham Speedway
Located in Concord, North Carolina, the Stonewall Jackson Reform School is a former juvenile detention center and one among the abandoned places in North Carolina.
It grew from a few hundred youths to a massive student facility and was widely criticized for the mistreatment of its inmates. It was a thriving institution during its early days, publishing a newspaper called The Uplift and teaching valuable trades. In the early 1970s, the school’s size fell drastically, and a number of critics claimed it was not safe. The school is on the National Register of Historic Places. A visit to the Stonewall Complex will give you an insider’s view of the former school.
What is Stonewall Jackson Reform School now? It has a history that is both fascinating and horrifying. It was one of the first institutions of its kind, opened to house troubled youths. Despite its progressive intentions, the school was also the home of six boys who were subjected to vasectomies. This sad history of the school is reflected in its current reputation.
2. Henry River Mill Village
You can’t skip Henry river mill village when you talk about abandoned places in North Carolina. The Henry River Mill Village was an active spindle mill in the early 20th century, but the mill closed down in the early 1970s and eventually burned down. Wade Shepherd, who owns the buildings in the abandoned mill village, rescued the ruins in 1977 and reopened the mill as a museum.
The mill village was built in 1905. It became the set for the film “The Hunger Games,” which was released in the United States. The mill village was used to film the movie and has continued to receive attention. It will also have a museum and restaurant and will be able to accommodate tourists in the future.
3. North Wilkesboro Speedway
Located on US Route 421, five miles east of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the North Wilkesboro Speedway is a short oval racetrack. The track has a distinctive uphill backstretch and a downhill front stretch. North Wilkesboro Speedway offers both sprint car and stock car racing events. The North Wilkesboro Speedway has hosted several NASCAR races over the past 40 years, including NASCAR’s first in the United States.
While the speedway hasn’t hosted a NASCAR event since 1996, it is planning to return for a limited slate of non-NASCAR events starting in the summer. After the asphalt finish, the speedway will return to dirt for additional races, and then paving will be added to the track. Although the speedway is not likely to host another NASCAR race for some time, it still remains a popular venue.
4. Land of Oz
Theme parks have been popping up all over the country, but one of the most unusual is the Land of Oz. Located in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, this theme park was opened in 1970 by the Carolina Caribbean Corporation, an investment group led by Grover Robbins, a former Tweetsie Railroad entrepreneur but was later destroyed by a mysterious fire. The park’s ruins are stunning and offer the perfect photo opportunity for those looking to capture the “Wizard of Oz” in the real world.
The Land of Oz is one of the creepiest abandoned places in North Carolina located in North Carolina, but this park is rarely visited. Visitors must park at the nearby Beech Mountain resort and board a shuttle to get to the site. While the park is under 24-hour surveillance and heavily monitored by park management, its history is tinged with death.
5. Fugitive Train Wreck
The Fugitive Train Wreck in North Caroline is an iconic location from the hit 1993 movie. The wrecked train is situated near a river and the mangled remains of a prison bus. Drivers passing by may wonder if there are survivors. The scene is reminiscent of the famous train wreck in the 1993 film The Fugitive, which starred Dr. Richard Kimble. However, the wrecked train is a historic site instead of a chopper.
If you’re a fan of the 1993 film “The Fugitive,” you’ll want to visit the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and see the crash scene. The film was shot in the same location as the real train wreck in North Carolina. The scene shows a train tearing apart a bus. The crash scene cost a lot to shoot and uses a real train and bus.
6. Ghost Town In The Sky Amusement Park
Ghost Town Village is an abandoned amusement park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The amusement park is under contract for sale and sits on Buck Mountain with a top elevation of 3,370 feet. The amusement park advertises itself as North Carolina’s mile-high theme park.
This amusement park once had several popular rides but is now closed to the public. Visitors can see photos of these abandoned rides all over the internet.
There have been several attempts to revive it, but it has remained closed since. Of all the abandoned places in North Carolina, this spot is among the toughest to reach. Not only is the park on a mountain, but the owner patrols regularly and isn’t kind to visitors…
7. Pea Island Life Saving Station
Pea Island Lifesaving Station is no longer in use. It was decommissioned in 1947, but its foundation remains. The crew of the Pea Island Station was made up of all-black men, and they were trained to be reliable and dependable seafarers. Nevertheless, if you’re a history buff, you should take some time to see the Cookhouse Museum and learn more about the lifesaving station.
Today, visitors can view this place, which is a perfect reminder of the past. It’s also a good place to learn about the abandoned places in North Carolina. This museum features the first all-black lifesaving station in the United States. The museum also houses a Lyle gun that was used by the crew.
8. Yates Mills
The Yates Mill in Wake County, North Carolina, is the oldest building in the area. It was the area’s only operational gristmill and produced lumber and milled grains for almost two hundred years.
The mill was saved by the floodwaters of Hurricane Fran in 1996, but its 250 years old dam burst. Although Yates Mills is an abandoned place in North Carolina, it’s well worth a visit if you’re looking for a unique way to spend a day.
Located on the east bank of a twenty-acre pond, Yates Mill is open for walking and fishing. It has interpretive exhibits and a picnic area. The park is also open to the public and offers special community events and volunteer opportunities.
9. Endor Iron Furnace
The Endor Iron Furnace is a huge underground complex that once smelted pig iron and cooled it to produce useful products. Despite being abandoned for decades, this historical site retains its industrial past. The abandoned site is also a great place to take photos of nature and wildlife.
Despite floodwaters, it has survived and stands tall today. To visit the Endor Iron Furnace, take a short trail from the Iron Furnace Road. It is a popular destination for urban explorers who want to get a feel for the area’s history.
10. Bunker Hill Covered Bridge
The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is one of only two remaining covered bridges in the NC., and it’s the last one made of truss construction. It was constructed in 1895 in Claremont, North Carolina, and crosses Lyle Creek. A private owner owned it, but it was donated to the Catawba County Historical Association in 1994.
The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is one of two remaining covered bridges in the country, and it’s the only one of its kind in North Carolina. While many people still visit Claremont to see this bridge, few know it’s now an abandoned place.
11. Heritage USA Amusement Park
If you’ve been wondering why Heritage USA Amusement Park is an abandoned place, it’s because of a legal dispute. Once, a thriving Christian theme park in Fort Mill, Heritage USA, was closed due to the Bakker family’s scandal. The park owners decided to sell the property to a Malaysian investment group, MUI. The company renamed the site New Heritage USA.
What’s left is a partially-finished structure, complete with cracked windows and missing bricks. Although it’s no longer a functioning amusement park, the park’s ruins have left a lasting impression.
12. Fort Macon
Fort Macon was constructed in 1826 by the US Army as a defense system for the Beaufort Inlet and Harbor. Visit Fort Macon State Park, a restored Civil War fort on the southern tip of North Carolina. The fort was deactivated in 1946 and is now open to the public. Entry is free. You can tour the fort daily.
If you love the beach, you’ll love to visit Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina. The park is one of the most popular in the area, and it’s located near the Atlantic Beach area. There is a large parking lot, and you can visit the bathhouse, one of the nicest public beaches in North Carolina.
While you’re at the park, don’t miss the historic fort’s guided tours. You can see why this park is popular today, and plan a trip there soon! You’ll have a great time exploring the historic site and taking advantage of all it offers.
13. Castle Mont Rouge
If you’ve ever wanted to see a castle in a beautiful setting, look no further than Rougemont, North Carolina. The former castle on the mountain of Red Mountain is a perfect example. The castle was designed by renowned American sculptor Robert Mihaly, known for his work in the National Cathedral and Duke University. Mihaly envisioned it as a country studio and private residence and then abandoned it once it was no longer used
This abandoned castle is located about 15 miles north of Durham and is a perfect place to take a trip if you’re looking for a unique and memorable vacation spot. It is constructed with marble on the exterior and cinderblock on the interior. The building’s design is meant to resemble the architecture of European towers and Middle Eastern minarets. The spires of the building are decorated with copper cupolas.
14. Cameron Village Subway Raleigh Underground
You’ve probably heard of the abandoned Raleigh Underground when we talk about abandoned places in North Carolina, but where did it go? It was once a bustling entertainment center featuring bars, restaurants, and shops. Now, this place is just a shell of its former self. In fact, it’s been empty for over two decades. The main cause of the abandoned place includes mentions of drug use and safety concerns.
Previously, the Village Subway in downtown Raleigh was known for hosting live music shows and other gatherings. The Village Subway is now a storage area beneath Fresh Market and Cameron Village Regional Library. The area is scheduled for refurbishment later this year.
15. St. Agnes Hospital
For decades, St. Agnes Hospital sat empty in Raleigh, North Carolina, but now it is being restored. The former Black-owned hospital was a pioneer in health care in the South before the Civil Rights Movement.
It operated as the only Black hospital in the Southeast for a few years. However, as financial burdens increased, it was put up for sale, and after that, the congregation never took its possession, which is why it was abandoned.
The ruins of this historic medical building remind the time when the black community was treated with respect. This North Carolina hospital is home to historical and architectural landmarks despite being abandoned. As of now, nature has started to reclaim the hospital’s interior as many plants and weeds can be seen growing.
16. Road to Nowhere Tunnel
The Road to Nowhere Tunnel in Swain County, North Carolina, is reputedly haunted. In 1943, construction began on the seven-mile-long, 365-foot Road to Nowhere Tunnel. Environmental concerns eventually forced construction to stop. It was originally planned to be a scenic drive but wasn’t completed.
You can walk the entire route of the Road to Nowhere or take the short loop. The 3.2-mile drive begins with a walk through a 1,200-foot tunnel built for a scenic drive that never materialized. The spooky tunnel is a popular destination for hikers and tourists. Many explorers encounter great horned owls on the high ridges.
17. Bellemont Mill
Bellemont mill was once a successful manufacturer of double-knit polyester fabrics that employed fifty workers. In 1977, Foster purchased the Bellemont Mill from the First Union National Bank of North Carolina, which was the executor of his father’s estate. In 1981, the mill was purchased by Tasker Industries. Since then, the mill has been vacant.
Despite the ruins, Bellemont Mill is a haunting and beautiful location. The quiet stillness of the abandoned buildings is undeniable. The only accessible portions of the mill are the basement and a few outbuildings.
As the earth and trees grow around them, you’ll feel the energy of the abandoned place. The mill itself is worth visiting, and there’s no shortage of places to explore. And in North Carolina, there is no shortage of abandoned places to explore.
18. Catsburg Country Store
If you’re looking for an interesting ghost place in North Carolina, look no further than Catsburg Country Store. Built-in the 1920s, this landmark is a well-known local landmark. While the location is well-known for ghosts and haunted houses, some locals claim to have experienced the hauntings at the store.
The abandoned store sits among abandoned railroad tracks. Locals report hearing an unnerving, eerie sound during the night. In addition, a headless ghost is rumored to roam the abandoned tracks. There’s also a ghost train that has been reported near the location.
The Catsburg Country Store is a historic building that once operated as a store in Durham County, NC. Whether or not it was an actual distillery, this abandoned place is still worth a visit. However, it is recommended not to visit unless you have the landowner’s permission, as with most abandoned places in North Carolina!
19. Crashed Passenger Aircraft
On a cloudy fall night in 1983, this small passenger plane was en route to Sylva and followed a seemingly normal flight path. Just before 6 pm, the pilot unknowingly crashed into the mountain that was blanketed in thick clouds. The crash killed both the pilot and passenger on impact.
Today, the remains of the aircraft have remained untouched since that fateful night, and have been slowly reclaimed by nature since the crash. This is one of the hardest to reach abandoned places in North Carolina, requiring a serious hike up the mountain.
You can find the plane by hiking the Waterrock Knob trail at mile marker 451.2. You’ll have to climb rocks off-trail to reach the plane so be sure to bring good shoes and some water for your journey.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of abandoned places in North Carolina, 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.