Minnesota January 28, 2017
A Haunting Road Trip Through Minnesota Ghost Towns To Take If You Dare
Most of us know that there are more than a few abandoned towns in Minnesota. The Arrowhead region is full of them, remnants of the Iron Range mining boom. But Minnesota is dotted with ghost towns, from the furthest southern stretches of the state to within a few miles of the the Canadian border. Each of these towns offers not only eerie emptiness, but also insight into Minnesota’s past. This haunting road trip through eight Minnesota ghost towns will give you a first-hand look at history.
To make the entire trip possible within a day or two, we've stuck to ghost towns in the northwestern corner of Minnesota. The entire loop is just under 400 miles, and the route can be found
Pitt is just about as far north as you can go without reaching the border. These days, it's little more than a wide place in the road, but it was once a station on the Canadian Pacific Railway. When the station closed up, everything went with it: the few people who lived there, the general store, the post office - everything.
Heading southeast, you will soon enter Faunce - but you probably won't know it. Here's another town that once had great potential. But with little left but a dirt road and a tall tower marking the spot, this ghost town is forgotten. It never quite recovered when tax policies forced settlers from the town by the 1930s.
You'll know you've reached Winner - about an hour's drive from Faunce - when you see its last remaining ruin. It's an old stone silo keeping watch over a dirt road. It's a pretty sad sight in a town that once had a thriving general store.
Mavie once held all that made a small town special: shops and farms and even a dance hall. But the town declined, like so many other communities in the area. By 1945, it was gone.
Huot was quite the historic town, making its demise all the more tragic. It once served as a crossing point for people entering North Dakota from the east. These days, few travelers find their way through these parts. But it's no surprise - the old general store was finally boarded up over 40 years ago.
There are quite a few former railroad towns in northern Minnesota, and Dorothy is one of them. It grew into a bustling small town with a church, grain elevator, and an all-important post office. But that is all gone today. There are still a few interesting buildings in Dorothy, but you'll find more memories than people.
About 30 minutes from Dorothy, Radium was first used as a stopping point along the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Starting in 1905, it had a post office for nearly 80 years. Today, a small country church is one of the only things left. Built in 1897, the church actually outlasted the entire town.
Orleans, Minnesota certainly did not live up to its lofty namesake, Orléans, France. Its attempt at greatness was short-lived, but the town did enjoy moderate success. It started as a trading hub and kept its post office in operation until 1984. Just a few buildings remain, and a railroad crosses through town here as it does in so many other ghost towns.
Would you ever go on a ghost town road trip? Let us know what you think! If you’re itching to hit the road, check out this
road trip to Minnesota’s most abandoned places.