26 Best Abandoned Places In Connecticut To Explore

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Connecticut may be known for its picturesque landscapes and quaint towns, but hidden amidst its natural beauty lies a world of abandoned places waiting to be explored. These abandoned sites offer a glimpse into the state’s rich history and an opportunity for urban explorers and history lovers to satisfy their curiosity. The state features abandoned rail yards, mills, towers, hospitals, and much more. In this blog post, we showcase the 26 best abandoned places in Connecticut to explore!

Looking for more awesome abandoned locations in Connecticut? Check out our full Map of Abandoned Connecticut Places

1. Abandoned Cedar Hill Rail Yard

Abandoned Cedar Hill Rail Yard in Connecticut

The Cedar Hill Rail Yard, once a bustling hub of railroad activity, now stands as a testament to a bygone era. This classification yard, located in New Haven, North Haven, and Hamden, was a critical transportation link during World War II but eventually lost its significance. Today, visitors can explore abandoned switch towers, maintenance buildings, and miles of tracks, all while walking along the public Tidal Marsh Trail. Always exercise caution and stay on the designated trail to ensure your safety. There is also a super cool polar bear sculpture made from recycled materials. It can be found in the old maintenance building!

Learn more about the Abandoned Cedar Hill Rail Yard

2. Adams Mill Dams

Abandoned Adams Mill Dams in Manchester, Connecticut featuring a large decaying brick building with two windows

Hidden behind what was once a thriving paper mill, the Adams Mill Dams in Manchester, Connecticut, are remnants of an industrial past. The site can be explored along the Adams Mill Trail, offering an opportunity to witness the abandoned dams and structures. It was said that the Adams Mill once produced some of the finest paper in the world during the 1800s. Mark Twain was even believed to be a customer! Once the mill was shut down in the late 19th century, nature has been reclaiming the area, giving it a unique blend of industrial history and natural beauty.

Learn more about the Adams Mill Dams

3. Boardman’s Bridge

An overgrown and abandoned iron bridge known as Boardman's Bridge in Connecticut
“Boardmans Bridge” by jimmywayne is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Boardman’s Bridge, a historic lenticular truss bridge, stands as a testament to Connecticut’s industrial past. Built in the late 1800s, it once carried traffic across the Housatonic River. Closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic since the mid-1980s, it’s one of only three such bridges remaining in the state. As you explore this abandoned bridge, you’ll be transported back in time to an era of wrought-iron craftsmanship and engineering ingenuity. This is truly one of the most unique bridges you will see in all of New England!

Learn more about Boardman’s Bridge

4. Camp Columbia Tower

Castle looking stone tower in Connecticut with an exterior stairway leading to an observation post known as Camp Columbia Tower
“File:Camp Columbia State Park Class Of 1906 Tower.jpg” by Morrowlong is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

The Camp Columbia Tower, constructed in 1942, offers visitors a unique view of the past and present. Replacing an older wooden water tower, this stone tower stands as a symbol of its time. Visitors can climb its exterior staircase for a 360-degree panoramic view, including stunning sunsets. The tower’s accessibility may vary, so it’s best to check before planning your visit.

Learn more about Camp Columbia Tower

5. Camp Nepaug

Abandoned jail cell of the former Camp Nepaug now decaying in the woods and covered in graffiti

The abandoned Camp Nepaug, located within Nassahegon State Forest, offers a glimpse into the past when it served as a refuge for those affected by the Great Depression. While the camp itself closed in 1936, its old jail cell, a remnant of the camp, still stands. Exploring Camp Nepaug allows you to imagine the lives of those who once lived there and appreciate the historical significance of this site. 

Learn more about Camp Nepaug

6. Fairfield Hills Hospital

A big abandoned building at the Fairfield Hills Hospital in Connecticut
“DSC05970” by Cory Seamer is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Fairfield Hills Hospital, once a bustling psychiatric facility, is now an expansive reminder of the history of mental health treatment in the United States. Opened in 1931, it housed over 4,000 patients at its peak. However, the hospital’s closure in 1995 marked a shift towards deinstitutionalization in mental health care. Today, it offers a haunting landscape of abandoned buildings amidst public spaces and walking trails.

Learn more about Fairfield Hills Hospital

7. Gay City Ghost Town

Stone foundations that have been overgrown at the Gay City Ghost Town
“Stone foundation south of Gay City Pond, west of Yellow Trail and Blackledge River in Connecticut’s Gay City State Park” by Morrowlong is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Gay City Ghost Town is an 18th-century village that once thrived but now lies abandoned within Gay City State Park. Founded in 1796, it was named after one of its founding fathers, John Gay. The village’s decline began in the 1800s, and it eventually became a ghost town. While exploring the park’s hiking trails, you’ll stumble upon the remnants of the old town, including mill ruins, stone farm fences, home foundations, and more.

Learn more about Gay City Ghost Town

8. Hearthstone Castle

Abandoned castle sitting in the middle of the woods known as Hearthstone Castle in Connecticut
“Hearthstone Castle in Danbury, CT” by Svmrs007 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Hearthstone Castle, built as a summer retreat in 1897, has traversed through various hands and names over the century. It was often referred to as one of the finest homes in Connecticut. It was abandoned in the mid-1900s and eventually was acquired by the town of Danbury. The town left the home abandoned for decades and it has been targeted by graffiti artists and arsonists. Despite its current state of disrepair, the castle’s storied past and architectural remnants make it a hidden gem worth discovering. Efforts have been made for its restoration, but for now, it stands as a poignant reminder of a bygone era.

Learn more about Hearthstone Castle

9. Holy Land USA

Abandoned religious amusement park in Connecticut known as Holy Land USA featuring many abandoned homes and structures
“holy land, waterbury ct” by fuxxxia is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Holy Land USA is an 18-acre abandoned theme park inspired by biblical passages. Founded in 1955, it once drew thousands of visitors annually. However, after its closure in 1984, it fell into disrepair. In 2014, it reopened its gates, allowing visitors to explore its unique spiritual landscape. Today, you can walk amidst the echoes of its past glory and ongoing revival efforts. Walking around this abandoned park is truly surreal.

Learn more about Holy Land USA

10. I-84 Stack Exchange

Two abandoned highways in Connecticut that lead to the  I-84 Stack Exchange
“Abandoned I-291 – Connecticut” by Dougtone is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The I-84 Stack Exchange, an unfinished four-level stack interchange, stands as an enigmatic relic of transportation history. While not open to the public, it captivates passersby on Interstate 84, serving as both an intriguing relic and a symbol of unfulfilled plans in the world of transportation. Fortunately, the abandoned stack exchanged can be easily viewed from I-84, or visitors can park at Nelson Park in Farmington and then walk to admire the abandoned highways.

Learn more about the I-84 Stack Exchange

11. Johnsonville Village

Abandoned farmhouse at the Johnsonville Village in Connecticut a decaying home
“Emory Johnson Homestead, Johnsonville Village CT” by John Phelan is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Johnsonville Village evolved from a bustling mill community to a Victorian-era tourist attraction and finally to an enigmatic ghost town. Currently owned by the Iglesia ni Cristo, this unique village offers glimpses of its past life, including the old Neptune Mill, white chapel, covered bridge, and various other abandoned structures. While the village’s accessibility is currently restricted, it remains a fascinating historical site to explore from a distance.

Learn more about Johnsonville Village

12. Mansfield Training School and Hospital

An overgrown abandoned building of the Mansfield Training School and Hospital in Connecticut
“Mansfield Training School Main Building” by reivax is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Mansfield Training School and Hospital, established in 1860, offers insights into the history of mental health treatment. Its campus, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, provides an exploration opportunity for those interested in the evolving practices of mental health care. While some parts of the site are accessible, it retains an air of abandonment, reminding us of both progress and past mistakes in the field of mental health. All buildings are completely off-limits, but still great to admire from a distance.

Learn more about the Mansfield Training School and Hospital

13. Mine Hill Preserve

Abandoned furnace at the Mine Hill Preserve in Connecticut
“File:RoxburyCT IronFurnace 1.jpg” by Magicpiano is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

In the picturesque town of Roxbury, Connecticut, Mine Hill Preserve is a captivating blend of natural splendor and historical significance. Covering 360 acres, the preserve safeguards the remnants of a 19th-century iron mine and furnace works that played a pivotal role in America’s industrial history. Originally known as Spruce Hill in the 18th century, the discovery of carbonated iron ore in 1865 led to the establishment of the Shepaug Spathic Iron and Steel Company, which included a railroad, furnace, and workers’ town.

Today, Mine Hill Preserve invites visitors to explore this unique historical site through miles of trails. The main attractions include the blast furnace, foundational remnants of the ironworks, and interpretive signage detailing the site’s rich industrial heritage. It’s a window into the past, offering an immersive educational experience amidst picturesque natural beauty.

Learn more about the Mine Hill Preserve

14. Norwich State Hospital

Abandoned administration building of the Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut
“P1010212” by Muchadoville Studios is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The Norwich State Hospital, once a bustling psychiatric facility in Preston and Norwich, Connecticut, now stands as an eerie testament to a bygone era in mental health treatment. Established as the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane in 1904, it served a diverse group of patients, including those with mental illnesses, geriatric patients, chemically dependent individuals, and tubercular patients. It’s patient capacity peaked in the mid-20th century at 3,000.

The hospital’s decline began in the 1970s with deinstitutionalization, leading to reduced patient numbers and the closure of many buildings. The property’s future remains uncertain under the management of the Preston Redevelopment Agency, now known as the Preston Riverwalk. As of 2024, many of the original buildings have been razed and only a few remain standing. Sadly, the buildings are off-limits and private.

Learn more about the Norwich State Hospital

15. Old Newgate Prison

Decaying walls at the Old Newgate Prison in Connecticut
“Old Newgate Prison 009” by hlkljgk is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Old Newgate Prison in East Granby, Connecticut, presents a fascinating dive into early American struggles with crime, punishment, and industrial exploitation. Established in 1705 as a copper mine, it transitioned into Connecticut’s first state prison in 1773. The underground tunnels and shafts, initially carved out for copper extraction, became prison cells, marking a significant shift in the penal system of the time.

After its closure as a prison in 1827, the site transitioned back to mining attempts and eventually became a tourist attraction, showcasing its unique history. Today, it’s preserved as the Old Newgate Prison & Copper Mine Archaeological Preserve.

Learn more about the Old Newgate Prison

16. Old Stanley Mansion Ruins

The remains of the Old Stanley Mansion that now sits in ruins in Connecticut surrounded by fall foliage

The Old Stanley Mansion ruins, nestled in New Britain, Connecticut’s A.W. Stanley Park, offer a glimpse into the history of the Stanley family, prominent figures in the city’s history. Visitors can explore the remnants, including walls, floor supports, and a dual fireplace. Covered in graffiti and litter, it’s a picturesque yet decaying structure that tells the story of a bygone era.

Learn more about the Old Stanley Mansion Ruins

17. Pineville Mill

Walls in the woods that once were Pineville Mill in Connecticut
“Pineville Mills (Killingly, Connecticut)” by jjbers is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Pineville Mill of the Attawaugan Manufacturing Company stands as a haunting echo of America’s industrial past. Founded in 1859, this cotton mill was part of a trio of mills along the Five Mile River, including Attawaugan and Ballouville. The Pineville Mill, constructed in 1865, was a formidable structure featuring stuccoed rubble walls, a near-flat roof, granite sills, and lintels.

During its peak in the late 19th century, the mill employed hundreds of workers and played a critical role in the local economy. However, it couldn’t withstand changes in the economic landscape and was eventually abandoned in the 1950s, leaving behind a shell of its former glory. Today, visitors can witness the crumbling ruins, offering a stark reminder of a time when manufacturing was the lifeblood of communities like Killingly. The mill ruins are not open to the public, but they can be easily admired right from the road.

Learn more about Pineville Mill

18. Rocky Hill Foundry

Three abandoned silos of the Rocky Hill Foundry in Connecitcut

The Rocky Hill Foundry, operated by the Connecticut Foundry Company, is now an iconic abandoned location located in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Established in 1865, the foundry produced a wide variety of cast iron goods, including oil burners, piston-ring moldings, cooking equipment, and more. It counted well-known companies such as Remington Rand, Stately, GE, and Dictaphone among its customers.

The foundry experienced labor unrest in the 1970s and 80s, and in 1983, violent strikes led to the decision to shut down operations. Despite some demolition to make way for redevelopment, as of 2022, three massive silos remain on the property, leaving the future of the foundry uncertain. It seems the whole foundry will be razed within the coming years. The property is off-limits to the public, but can be easily viewed from the road.

Learn more about the Rocky Hill Foundry

19. Rocky Hill Stone Company

The remains of an abandoned stone crusher building at the site of Rocky Hill Stone Company in Connecticut

The abandoned ruins of the Rocky Hill Stone Company can be found in Quarry Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. This located was an ideal location for a quarry due to the trap rock ridge, formed around 200 million years ago. Trap rock is a dark-colored, fine-grained igneous rock used for construction, road base, and more.

Established in 1901, the Rocky Hill Stone Company was built adjacent to the Connecticut River and a railroad, making transportation convenient. The quarry was extremely successful for several decades and it increased production thanks to new tools and processes. Once the hill was successfully mined, the stone company was closed and it was abandoned. The town eventually acquired the land to make a park. Today, the remains of the crusher building, air compressor shed, and a few more structures can be seen!

Learn more about the Rocky Hill Stone Company

20. Route 11 Extension

A highway overpass leading straight into the trees, this is the abandoned Route 11 Extension in Connecticut.
“Abandoned CT 11 Interchange (Salem, Connecticut)” by jjbers is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The abandoned Route 11 Highway Extension in Salem, Connecticut, is a fascinating testament to an infrastructure project that never reached fruition. Beginning in 1953, the Route 11 extension aimed to connect Southeastern Connecticut with Hartford, forming part of a broader road plan. However, over the years, it became a financial drain, absorbing millions for an unfinished road.

The highway’s abrupt termination in Salem gives it the nickname “road to nowhere.” The cost to complete just the remaining 8-mile extension is estimated between $1.2 and $1.5 billion. Environmental concerns and financial constraints contributed to the project’s ultimate abandonment. Today, it stands as a peculiar sight, with nature reclaiming the unfinished roads and bridges. Trespassing is strictly prohibited, but the two abandoned overpasses can easily be seen from the public road.

Learn more about the Route 11 Extension

21. Seaside Sanatorium

Decaying building at the former Seaside Sanatorium in Connecticut right along the coast
“Image” by LeanneMarie1215 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Seaside Sanatorium in Waterford, Connecticut, is a hauntingly beautiful testament to medical history and architectural elegance. Founded in the 1930s, it was the first medical institution designed for the heliotropic treatment of tuberculosis in children. The facility’s Tudor Revival architecture, designed by Cass Gilbert, is a poignant reminder of the evolution of medical treatments.

Over the years, Seaside’s role shifted dramatically, serving as a home for the elderly, a traditional medical hospital, and a facility for the intellectually disabled. It closed in 1996 and is now part of Connecticut’s state park system, inviting visitors to explore its grounds and the perimeters of its various buildings. Visitors are not allowed in buildings. 

Learn more about the Seaside Sanatorium

22. Shade Swamp Sanctuary

Abandoned animal cages at the site of the former Shade Swamp Sanctuary in Connecticut

The Shade Swamp Sanctuary in Farmington, Connecticut, dates back to the 1920s and offers a glimpse into a bygone era. Initially established by the government in the 1920s as a wildlife management area, it provided shelter for injured birds and quadrupeds, nursing them back to health. Constructed during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, the sanctuary featured small steel cages and enclosures.

However, by the 1960s, the need for such a facility had dwindled, leading to the sanctuary’s abandonment. Today, visitors can explore the decaying remnants of a once-thriving refuge and appreciate its rich history amidst a serene natural setting. 

Learn more about the Shade Swamp Sanctuary

23. Spiderweed Preserve Ruins

The ruins of a mansion sitting in the middle of the woods in Connecticut. This is known as the Spiderweed Preserve Ruins.

The Spiderweed Preserve Ruins are a hidden gem in Middletown, Connecticut. Located in the Spiderweed Preserve, these ruins are the remnants of a home built in the mid-18th century. Originally part of the Soloman Hubbard Farm, the property changed hands several times before being donated to the town in 1967.

Visitors can explore the beautiful home ruins, which include two stories, three outer walls, a standing chimney, and remnants of window trim and glass. Despite the slow decay and reclamation by nature, it’s a remarkable place that sparks the imagination of what it used to be. Easily access the ruins by walking along the old driveway, which is now a public trail.

Learn more about the Spiderweed Preserve Ruins

24. Suburban Park (Rainbow Park)

An abandoned water fountain at the former amusement park known as Suburban Park (Rainbow Park) in Connecticut

Hidden in Unionville Village of Farmington, Connecticut, Suburban Park, also known as Rainbow Park, had a relatively brief existence from 1895 to 1905. Owned and operated by The Farmington Street Railway Company, it was part of a trend to establish suburban amusement parks. However, declining patronage and trolley schedule changes led to its closure.

Today, Suburban Park stands as a natural open space dedicated to passive recreation. It offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the history and natural beauty of the area, with remnants of a bygone era waiting to be explored. The best sights to see include the ruins of the old fountain, dance pavilion, storage cellar, and ice cream parlor.

Learn more about Suburban Park

25. Sunrise Resort

Abandoned buildings that were once part of the Sunrise Resort in Connecticutr
“File:EastHaddamCT SunsetResortSP 4.jpg” by User:Magicpiano is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Sunrise Resort in East Haddam, Connecticut, was a thriving vacation spot for nearly a century. Established in the 1930s by Ted Hilton, it spanned 146 acres and was a hub of family fun. Activities included horseback riding, sailing, swimming, tennis, and more. Various accommodation options catered to visitors’ preferences.

However, in 2008, the resort closed its doors, and the property was sold to the Connecticut Government. By 2013, over 80 dilapidated buildings had been demolished, leaving only traces of its former glory. Now part of Sunrise State Park, visitors can explore the remnants, with three buildings still standing near the entrance and interesting abandoned fields and courts.

Learn more about the Sunrise Resort

26. Wadsworth Pump House

An abandoned pump house sitting along a river in the middle of the woods that was once known as the Wadsworth Pump House in Connecticut

Built in 1915 to supply the Long Hill Estate, the Wadsworth Pump House in Middletown, Connecticut, played a crucial role in maintaining the estate’s lush grounds. Located along Laurel Brook, it operated alongside a stone dam. Original pipes and parts of the structure remain, offering a glimpse into its history. The pump house stands within Wadsworth Falls State Park, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate its slowly decaying beauty, merging with the surrounding natural landscape.

Learn more about the Wadsworth Pump House

Conclusion:

Connecticut’s abandoned places offer a unique blend of history, mystery, and beauty. While exploring these sites can be an exciting adventure, it’s essential to prioritize safety and legality. Always conduct thorough research and respect the laws and regulations governing these locations. Exploring abandoned places can be dangerous, so do more research, be aware of your surroundings, and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This blog post serves as an overview guide, but additional research and responsible exploration are crucial for a successful urban exploration adventure.

Picture of Tom Riley

Tom Riley

Hi! I'm Tom. I am the creator of GoXplr. I started this website with a focus on helping people explore better and explore more. I am based in New England and obsessed with traveling. Here at GoXplr, you will find expert blog posts and also maps containing all of the best places to explore. These blogs and maps have taken thousands of hours to complete. I hope you enjoy this resource and it inspires you to get out and explore!

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