New Jersey is home to several ghost towns, many abandoned as the mining industry moved out of the state. Residents went where jobs went and towns were left behind to become part of history. Many of these gems are hidden away in the Pine Barrens, but there are a handful of ghost towns in the northern portion of our state, one of which is under water.
Round Valley At Night
Round Valley Reservoir is located in Lebanon, New Jersey. A popular recreation destination, visitors enjoy activities on the water including swimming, fishing, boating and scuba diving. Reaching depths of around 180 feet, it is the deepest lake in the state.
Trails Around Round Valley
A truly stunning spot, it is surrounded by tragedy. The cool blue waters have claimed over two dozen lives since 1971. Many of the deaths were determined to be accidental drownings but some visitors have disappeared without a trace. Occasionally referred to as the "Bermuda Triangle of New Jersey," some believe the area is haunted. Once a popular Native American hunting ground and later a recreation spot for Revolutionary War soldiers, this certainly is possible, but it's more likely that the drownings are caused by failure to follow safety procedures.
Round Valley Area Map
The reservoir was built in the late 1950s to provide water to the surrounding areas. It wasn't built on empty land however, the town of Round Valley stood in its place. A small farming community, residents were forced to relocate to make way for the flooding. 16 homes were moved to nearby locations, along with barns and other buildings - everything else was demolished. Still, the foundations of several structures along with unique ruins and artifacts remain.
Round Valley Before The Reservoir
With just over two dozen total homes and one main road, the town was quiet and safe. Sadly, the area was struggling while eastern neighborhoods in New Jersey were rapidly increasing in population - industry was winning out over farming. There was a drought, and something needed to be done to provide water to the state. A vote was taken, and all New Jersey counties except Hunterdon voted to fill the valley.
Round Valley Today
The community put up a fight, but ultimately the reservoir was built. Many chose to move up the hill, overlooking what would become the lake. Under the surface of the water, remnants of the town can be found. According to local divers, the best spot to see the ruins is about 1500 - 1800 feet from the shore. In additions to foundations, you'll find tree stumps, plant and wildlife.
To see the site for yourself, check out this footage from YouTube user, Blanchard Family Posts: