Boston December 30, 2017
We Dare You To Take This Road Trip To Boston’s Most Abandoned Places
Although Boston is a densely populated city, it still has its share of derelict and forgotten spots. You can drive up to or hike through these abandoned places, although – in many cases – the buildings themselves are out-of-bounds for safety reasons. If you like to discover Boston’s history through its abandoned places, you’ll love this trip around the city.
The journey takes just under two hours in light traffic (not including stops) and covers 62 miles. Here’s a handy
map to guide your trip.
Note: Please abide by all trespassing laws and be mindful of private property signs when exploring.
1. Old Bear Dens (Franklin Park)
You could visit Franklin Park multiple times without having a clue that Long Crouch Woods contains abandoned enclosures that once housed bears. When Franklin Park Zoo opened in 1912, the bears were an early attraction. However, the enclosures stopped being used in 1971 and were left to gently decay in the woods.
An unexpectedly dramatic stone staircase hidden in the middle of the woods leads to dens decorated with elaborate stonework. This faded grandeur paired with the forest setting make this a hauntingly beautiful spot.
2. Brook Farm (West Roxbury)
Visit the remains of a utopian commune from the 1840s that was part of the transcendentalist movement. Life at Brook Farm involved a careful balance of work, relaxation, and community responsibility. Nathanial Hawthorne spent time here and the commune served as inspiration for a similar community featured in his book:
The Blithedale Romance. Unfortunately, Brook Farm wasn’t an economic success and it closed after only a few years. The white building still standing today is the farm’s old print shop.
3. Medfield State Hospital (Medfield)
The town of Medfield owns Medfield State Hospital, an old asylum turned park. Unlike many abandoned places, visitors can walk around, although access to the derelict buildings is off-limits. If this hospital looks familiar, that’s probably because parts of "Shutter Island" were filmed here.
In early 2018, residents will vote on the future of this old asylum and the surrounding land.
4. Wompatuck State Park (Hingham)
There’s more to Wompatuck State Park than first meets the eye. During World War II and the Korean War, part of this land was used as an ammunition depot for the U.S. Navy. As you explore the park, you can glimpse a few derelict bunkers and also the train tracks that connected the depot to Hingham Shipyards and Fore River.
5. Fort Revere Park (Hull)
Fort Revere isn’t just historic and abandoned; it’s also rumored to be haunted. Perched on Telegraph Hill in Hull, the earliest fortifications on this site date back to 1770s.
During the Revolutionary War, French soldiers stationed here succumbed to smallpox and were buried under the hill. This tragedy spawned tales of ghosts, and many have claimed to see mysterious, moving shadows and hear disembodied voices speaking in French. You can wander around this disused fort to your heart’s content.
Have you ventured into any abandoned places in or around Boston? Share your adventures in the comments!
If you enjoy a good scare, you should check out these
8 Disturbing Cemeteries Around Boston That Will Give You Goosebumps. More interested in offbeat history? Then read about the strangest things that ever happened in Boston.