The Coolest Abandoned Places in New Hampshire

Abandoned logging towns, empty granite quarries, and the second-largest bat cave in the state are some of the coolest abandoned places in New Hampshire.
Written by Heather Bernhard
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Sep 23, 2022
From a logging town that burned down (twice!) to the village that inspired Silent Hill, these seven spots are some of the coolest abandoned places in
New Hampshire
When you think of New Hampshire, Mt. Washington, maple syrup, and autumn foliage might come to mind. But the Granite State has more to offer than pretty leaves and pancake toppings. Hidden in the towering White Mountains and isolated forests are dozens of abandoned places—copper mines, granite quarries, deserted towns, and falling-down castles. 
Here to take you down the storied path of NH history,
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car insurance
super app
, has created a guide to seven of the state’s creepiest, coolest, and most surprising abandoned places. 
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Abandoned towns in New Hampshire

Old Hill Village

Location: Franklin
Abandoned since: 1941
Is it legal to go in? Yes
This small
New Hampshire
village was pretty typical until the government decided to build a reservoir right where it sat. As a result, the entire town relocated to another nearby location. Despite this fairly mundane story, some paranormal researchers claim that the village moved because it was built on an ancient Indian Burial Ground, and the whole place was haunted. 
Today, you can still see some foundations of old buildings and various structures sticking out of the water. It is said that the town, at least in part, helped inspire the movie Silent Hill


Location: In the White Mountains
Abandoned since: Around 1897
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Logging magnate J.P. Henry started the town of Zealand in the 1880s to support his growing business. Though Henry’s company (and the village) flourished, a fire destroyed much of the forest in 1886, forcing them to relocate to nearby Lincoln. 
In Lincoln, forest fires again destroyed the Zealand Logging Company just one year later. After that, the population soon vanished. 
Today, you can see remnants of the village from the
Zealand Falls Trail
in Bethlehem. Zealand Mountain is a popular hiking spot with magnificent views of the White Mountains. 

Monson Center

Location: Near Milford
Abandoned since: 1770s
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Monson Center
was one of the very first in-land Colonial towns in New Hampshire, dating back to 1737. At the time, the 17,000-acre piece of land was part of
and housed many notable citizens. Unfortunately, the villagers abandoned Monson in the 1770s due to poor soil quality and limited resources. 
Today, archaeologists consider the village one of the most significant historical sites in New England. Many of the foundations of homes built over 300 years ago are still intact, and (unlike many other historical sites) visitors are free to walk amongst them. 


Location: Grafton County
Abandoned since: 1950
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Another logging town, Livermore was established in the White Mountains in 1876 to support the burgeoning industry. There were 150-200 citizens at its most populated, plus roaming loggers. At one point, there was a schoolhouse, a mill, a store, and houses, and the town seemed to be booming—but, like all good things, it came to an end. 
Livermore went the way of the dinosaurs in the 1920s when a flood wiped out much of the town’s infrastructure. Though a few citizens stuck around, the area was abandoned entirely by 1946. Today, you can spot the ruins by hiking the
Sawyer River Trail
in Bartlet (and keep your eyes peeled—some people say the lumberjacks never left, and you can see a ghostly woodsman wandering around on occasion). 

Abandoned interesting places in New Hampshire

Bemis Granite Quarry

Location: Hart’s Location
Abandoned since: n/a
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Much of New Hampshire’s bedrock is granite—and with granite comes granite quarries. Located along the Sawyer River, Bemis is small compared to other quarries of the time but has a fascinating history. Unlike other quarries, this one wasn’t built for profit: it was the private property of Dr. Samuel Bemis, who was mining stone to build his mansion. 
Bemis owned thousands of acres in Hart’s Location (today, many prominent features are named after him) and is considered one of the first landscape photographers in America. He moved into his mansion in 1870 and lived there until he died in 1881. Today, the solid granite home operates as the
Notchland Inn B&B
in Hart’s Location, and you can still see remnants of the quarry along the Sawyer River.

Paddock Mine

Location: Lyman
Abandoned since: n/a
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Located in the woods of Lyman, New Hampshire, this abandoned copper mine is a true gem. It is one of several copper mines located on Gardner Mountain, which all opened sometime in the late 1800s. 
Though not much is known about its history, Paddock Mine makes a fantastic place to explore. Strolling through the woods, you’ll see some foundations of the original operation before arriving at the tunnel. If you’re feeling brave, you’re welcome to venture inside—just remember to be cautious, take a flashlight, and bring a friend! 
Interestingly, what the mine is most known for today is its bat population. Thought to be the second-largest bat cave in New Hampshire, the Paddock Mine Tunnels house up to 3,000 brown bats at any given time.

Abandoned castles and mansions in New Hampshire

Madame Sherri’s Castle

Location: Chesterfield
Abandoned since: 1962
Is it legal to go in?: Yes
Madame Antoinette Sherri, a flamboyant costume designer from NYC, started buying up land in Chesterfield, NH, in the late 1920s. Her goal was to build an elaborate home where she could entertain New York’s theater elite. And entertain she did—Madame was often seen zipping around town in her custom Packard or partying it up at her castle. 
Sadly, the château burned down in 1962, and Madame Sherri did not have money to rebuild it. She died soon after, though many say her spirit still haunts the ruins. You can visit them at
Madame Sherri Forest
in Chesterfield.
Pro Tip From the Madame Sherri Forest parking lot, the castle’s ruins are just 100 feet up the path. Though you can choose to end your hike there, the two-mile loop continues past the scenic Indian Pond and breathtaking conservation land. 

Tips for exploring New Hampshire’s abandoned places

Exploring New Hampshire’s abandoned places can be fun and exciting, but you should always do so responsibly. With that in mind, here are a few rules you should follow on your adventures: 
  • Don’t break into buildings. As much as you’d like to see the inside of that old Asylum or schoolhouse, trespassing can get you in serious trouble. Plus, you risk getting injured in an unsafe or desolated location. So, unless you find an already open door or window, don’t go in. 
  • Don’t steal from abandoned buildings. You’re likely to come across some pretty cool stuff when exploring, from historical artifacts to modern-day artwork. But tempting as it is, leave it be. Respect the location and leave it as-is, so visitors after you can enjoy it as well. 
  • Don’t vandalize. Spray-painting, breaking windows, and kicking in doors are just a few examples of things you should never do. Even if a location is already vandalized, don’t add to the mess. 
  • Understand that some places are off-limits. If you’re visiting an abandoned location, and certain areas are marked as “off-limits,” leave them alone. They will, of course, instantly become the ONLY areas you care about seeing, but they’re likely closed for a reason (typically your safety). 
  • Take lots of photos. The one thing you CAN take from an abandoned location is your memories. So snap away ‘til your heart’s content, share those pics with anyone you want, and share your adventuring joy with everyone you know.

How to find affordable car insurance in New Hampshire

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