If you’re searching for ghost towns in New York, we’ve got you covered! Below are 11 different ghost towns you can explore across New York along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.
We rate ghost towns in New York based on their status. Here’s how our system works:
- Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
- Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
- Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
- Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
- Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
- Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.
This historic town near Kingston was founded in 1799, but experienced a devastating flood in 1927. After the flood, a man tragically murdered his family and then shot himself. Visitors have reported hearing ghostly sounds and feeling watched throughout the town at night.
While exploring the town, you can view the foundations of abandoned buildings from Lundy Road in the Vernooy Kill State Forest. When exploring Pottersville, make sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. The road to the town is rough, and best accessible by hiking or biking.
2. Jones Point
Jones Point was a former hamlet located just east of Bear Mountain State Park along the river. During World War I, Jones Point was home to Jones Point Chemical Weapon Research Laboratory. The lab experimented with mustard gas, liquid propellants, and incendiary weapons.
Today Bear Mountain State Park has taken over the former ghost town, with many trails, historic buildings, and a few ruins for urban explorers to see for themselves.
Parksville is one of the many semi-abandoned ghost towns in New York. The town got its start during the top of the 20th century when the Ontario and Western Railway passed through the area. The town was a popular summer resort town, with over 100 hotels and resorts constructed in the area.
However, many hotels didn’t survive the great depression, and many of the resorts faded from existence during the 1960s.
Parksville has a variety of abandoned structures for urban explorers. There are many old homes located along Route 17 and along with an old church and drugstore in town.
In the 1850s New York Law stated that African Americans must own at least $250 in real estate in order to vote. To bypass this law wealthy abolitionist Gerrit Smith divided his 120,000 acres of land into 40-acre plots and began assigning ownership to over 3000 free African Americans.
Sadly however the families from urban areas that moved to Timbuctoo were unable to clear the dense forest and survive on the land. By 1855 nearly all the residents of the town moved away. You can check out this article for more details on this lost settlement.
Timbuctoo is one of the most unique ghost towns in New York, sadly almost nothing is left outside of the stories we have today.
Jayville is home to several historical buildings and was once an active mining town. Jayville was originally established in 1850 and was located in the southwest of St. Lawrence County. Mining stopped in 1892 and the town survived on railroad traffic and the saw mill industry.
In 1914, Howard Hughes tried to revive the mines in Jayville but failed to do so due to flooding. He spent three years trying to pump the water out of the old mines. He had high hopes for finding a motherload of ore under the Twin Ponds, but failed to find it.
Today, the only structure left is the former train depot on Jayville Road. However, the town is now mostly a ghost town. While Jayville isn’t the most exciting of ghost towns in New York, it is still possible to visit the town to experience the ghostly past of the area.
There are no visible relics of the past in Doodletown, but the small town holds both mystery and beauty. The area was once home to a large number of settlers. These individuals mainly worked as loggers, miners, and farmers. In the early 1800s, the area was home to several iron mines.
The area was also home to soldiers during the Revolutionary War and during battles at Bear Mountain’s Fort Montgomery. As of the 1920s, the town consisted of about 70 homes. Some families lived in the area for generations. Some were employed by the military, while others worked for the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.
In the early 1900s, New York authorities planned to use Doodletown as a state park. The last residents were evicted in 1965.
Outside of a few mossy rock walls little remains of Doodletown. While not much is left there are numerous trails that keep the memory of Doodletown alive.
This abandoned village is located in the uninhabited northern section of the Town of Newcomb, in Essex County. Its history dates back to the 1800s, and it offers a fascinating look at the lives of early American settlers. Its residents were mostly German and Italian, and many of the local residents were renowned for their skills in woodworking and blacksmithing.
Today, campgrounds and residential homes sit where the town of Tahawus once was.
Johnsontown was first settled in 1758, making it one of the oldest ghost towns in New York. In later years the town was known as “Glove City” as it manufactured gloves for the state for close to 90 years. In 1889 a devastating flood destroyed a large portion of the town.
The only thing left behind are small ruins located next to the pond.
9. Love Canal
During the 1980s, Occidental Chemical Corporation began dumping toxic waste into Love Canal. As the disaster raged on, the local residents began burning effigies of President Jimmy Carter and Amy Carter. The EPA detained two of its officials, and residents flooded the streets to complain about the health conditions in the area. Their plight led to public outcry and a federal disaster declaration.
In October of 1980, President Carter ordered a complete evacuation of the area. The state reacted by purchasing the homes of the 236 families closest to Love Canal. In the early 1990s, the state began to clean up the area and declared it safe for residents.
It renamed the area north of the dump site, Black Creek Village, and began auctioning off Love Canal houses. In 1994, Occidental reached a settlement with the federal government and the state for $129 million. While the town is now a ghost town, the repercussions of the chemical spill are still felt.
Only a large empty field sits where Love Canal once flowed.
10. Trapps Mountain Hamlet
The town’s population peaked at about forty or fifty families in the 1840s and early 1850s. In the early 1900s, the local industries, such as millstones and barrel stave hoops, went out of business. In 1907, the town abandoned part of the Van Leuven Road because it was too expensive to maintain.
The Eli Van Leuven Cabin was built in 1889 in plank house style. Today, it is the only surviving building of the former hamlet. It has undergone restoration and tours are offered periodically.
11. North and South Brother Islands
One of the most famous ghost towns in New York is undoubtedly the North and South Brother Islands. The North Brother Island had no human habitation until 1885, when the Riverside Hospital was built on its twenty acres. It was initially intended to quarantine patients suffering from smallpox, but was quickly expanded to include people suffering from other diseases.
By the 1930s, the island was home to several more hospitals. Public health progressed and the need to quarantine large groups of people became unnecessary. After the war, the island was used as a housing center for war veterans.
Both islands are managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The conservation project was supported by U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano, who secured federal funds to make the project a reality. The hospital is completely abandoned and there are numerous graves scattered across the island.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of ghost towns in New York 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.