New Jersey was one of the original colonies settled in America. Before that, Native Americans have called this land their home for thousands of years. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that New Jersey is home to some cool abandoned places. Here is a list of our favorite places to explore and connect with the past.
Don’t be stupid. Be prepared.
Before you head out into any of these areas, you must know the limits and respect posted signs. Also, there are a few essentials we think every abandoned adventure needs:
- Solid shoes or boots protect your feet, and avoid open-toed shoes
- Headlamp for easier sight in darker areas
- Consider wearing a dust mask in buildings
- While grabbing and touching various things, you may want to protect them with gloves
- Don’t forget to grab a first aid kit too.
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Note: All of these spots are accessible via trails or public access. Please do not trespass and follow the posted rules!
Voodoo Bunker, Sandy Hook
You may not know about this “secret” spot on bunker beach, built as an ammunition bunker during WWII.
Feltville Deserted Village, Watchung Reservation
You can visit a few abandoned buildings (not inside!), the visitor’s center, and the graveyard. People still live there, so please be respectful of their space.
Use our guide for full features and what to look for – including some haunting stories!
White Lake Knickerbocker Ice Co. & Marl House Ruins, Blairstown
Built around 1850, the Knickerbocker Ice Company used to extract over 20,000 tons of ice from the lake in the winter. In the off-season, this large space was used as a marl factory. The ruins now sit along the trail of this park founded in 1997.
Follow our guide to see how to spot the ruins and the remaining lime kiln along the trails.
Six Mile Run Farmhouse, Franklin Township
Read Our Guide for Six Mile Run
Six Mile Run is an excellent State Park for mountain biking, hiking, and exploring abandoned places! If you know which trail to take among these looping trails, you will find yourself at an old farm complex with a farmhouse, silos, and barns. There’s a lot of graffiti now, but when we last visited, it was safe enough to walk around.
Check out our guide on visiting Six Mile Run State Park and the Abandoned Farm.
Ready to go? Don’t Forget Your
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Battery Lewis, Atlantic Highlands
The property on which Hartshorne Woods Park now sits was a defense site during World War II, built to defend the New York Harbor.
During this time, batteries for heavy artillery were built to modernize coastal defense efforts. These batteries (and a replica of a gun barrel) can still be seen today.
Check out our guide for more on the Highlands region.
Brooksbrae – Graffiti-Covered Brick Factory
Want To Go? Click For Guide
Nestled deep in the Pine Barrens lay the small town of Pasadena, New Jersey. To the naked eye of a weary traveler, the town seems almost vacant, but surprisingly, there is history all around you. Specifically, the ruins of Brooksbrae Terracotta Brick Factory.
There are many tales of murder, arson, death, and decay associated with Brooksbrae to fuel your curiosity. Check out our guide to see for yourself!
Estell Manor Park/ Bethlehem Loading Co. Ruins, Atlantic County
Use Our Guide To Get There
The Bethlehem Loading Company built this munitions plant in 1910 for use in World War 1. In addition to the remains of this large complex, you can also visit the Smith-Ireland Cemetery, which dates back to the 1800s.
With over 27 miles of trails in this park, you may want to use our guide to find these locations.
Futuro Houses, Willingboro & Greenwich
Initially constructed in the 1960s to serve as modern ski chalets, these fiberglass prefab houses were quite a sensation. Fewer than one hundred were built worldwide; only about sixty remain on the planet. New Jersey is lucky enough to be home to two of these structures, but they aren’t being maintained.
Visit our Guide for the exact location of these two remaining structures.
Jungle Habitat, Passaic County
Jungle Habitat WAS ONCE a zoo and safari park that housed 1,500 animals. It is now abandoned, but according to Atlas Obscura:
The park grounds are now a popular hiking and biking spot in a large public nature area. Visitors can still see the large sign scaffold and the remnants of animal enclosures and structures. Want more of Passaic County? Check out our scavenger hunt!
Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital, Glen Gardiner
We knew something was up as soon as we saw the street sign for Sanitorium Road. This sanitorium for those suffering from tuberculosis was built in 1907. The area is now heavily patrolled with cameras so I would obey all posted signs.
Union Hotel, Flemington
There have been reports of several ghosts on the property of this permanently closed hotel.
Paulinskill Viaduct (Hainesburg Trestle)
Explore this viaduct from below (or via drone!) and follow all posted signs! Want to find more ways to drone? Check out our guide on where to drone in New Jersey.
Suggested: Where NOT to Drone in New Jersey
American Cyanamid, West Windsor
Built-in the 1960s, this 653-acre campus was home to American Cyanamid’s Agricultural Research Facility. We remember seeing cows here, right along the busy Route 1 corridor. Well, American Cyanamid is gone. The campus has been sitting in disrepair since at least 2002.
But be careful here, security is in place now, and this tract of land is set for an extensive redevelopment plan in West Windsor. You may have missed your chance to explore this deserted site before it is reborn.
Van Slyke Castle, Ramapo Reservation
Hike to this abandoned castle in Ramapo Reservation via the Castle Point Trail. The fall colors would frame it beautifully!
Amatol Ghost Town, Hammonton
Our list would be empty without a South Jersey spot! According to Atlas Obscura:
After World War I ended, Amatol became a vacant town. The homes were deserted, and the plant shut down. Because most of the buildings were built to be temporary, they were dismantled, and little was left behind. The factory was eventually demolished.
Want more history? Check out Museums of New Jersey!
Essex Generating Station, Newark
This power station, erected in 1915, was designed by the same architect that designed the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. This was the essential power switching station for the Region for two decades. Hurricane Sandy may have been the final blow for this old station, now left in disrepair along the Passaic River.
Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson
Opened in 1932 and used primarily by the Negro Baseball League, this stadium, left to decay in 1997, is poised for a rebirth. After appearing on lists of abandoned sites for years, development is slated to start, and funding has been secured. If you always wanted to go, I would try now. It may be your last chance.
Mercer Hospital, Trenton
Completed in 1895 and closed in 2011 – this hospital/nursing school grew into a 650,000-square-foot facility. Numerous redevelopment plans for this site have fallen through, and the campus now sits vacant.
Morton Street School, Newark
Built-in 1873, the first elementary school in Newark was operational until 2007. Purchased by developers, the site still sits idle. It is purported to have once had beautiful stained-glass windows inside.
McMyler Coal Dumper, Port Reading
Commissioned in 1917, this equipment was once integral to the shipping industry. A catastrophic fire in 1951 nearly took Big Mac offline, but it was rebuilt and put back into production. Abandoned in 1983 as coal waned in popularity, it looms over Arthur Kills as a comfortable roost for Canadian snow geese.
Profanity House/Rutherfurd-Stuyvesant Estate, Allamuchy
Initially built in the 1700s, this house belonging to the Rutherfurd-Stuyvesant family stands in what is now Allamuchy Mountain State Park. What is extraordinary about the remaining structure is the amount of disturbing graffiti, full of profanity scrawled everywhere in the house. Despite a fire in 2007, the swear-laced screed remains intact.
Kinnelon Castle, Kinnelon
Built-in the 1920s by a stock market mogul, the remains now reside in the woods. The current owner plans to leave the ruins to decay into the natural landscape. The internet is ambiguous, and the old Untermeyer Estate may be under some redevelopment, so approach it with care.
Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, Jersey City
No longer used, this train terminal makes for great photos, inside and out. Make sure to explore Liberty State Park when you visit, too!
New Jersey is full of treasures to be explored. Read the signs, obey the laws, and be respectful. There’s so much to see out there; what are you waiting for??