There’s no need to travel far to see abandoned settlements and industrial ruins. We have plenty of amazing sites right here in the Keystone State! Explore some off-the-beaten paths, now uninhabited places that are guaranteed to pique your curiosity.
Know before you go: We recommend contacting your destination before your visit for their latest rules and regulations. Find up-to-date COVID-19 traveler resources on visitPA.com.
1. Bethlehem Steelstacks
For decades, Bethlehem SteelStacks was home to Bethlehem Steel and the nation’s second-largest steelmaking plant. Now a premier destination for art, music, culture and community events, the plant’s steel towers remain as a testament to the site’s industrial heritage and the workers who churned out upwards of 3,000 tons of iron each day from the plant’s seven blast furnaces.
You can almost hear the voices of Peter Armstrong and his religious followers as you stroll along the streets of Celestia and the banks of nearby Celestial Lake. While the building foundations are all that remain of the small, abandoned settlement, it’s easy to see why the site fulfilled the settlers’ vision of a peace-filled utopia!
3. Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
Once a critical section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike linking the eastern and western portions of the state, the 13-mile stretch of road known as the Abandoned PA Turnpike is a bit creepy, a bit fascinating, and a fun place to explore! Complete with not just one but two abandoned tunnels, please heed the signs cautioning you to proceed with care and respect the wildlife that now call this area home.
4. Fountain of Youth
Grab your hiking boots and visit Pennsylvania’s very own Fountain of Youth. Yup. Those very words are etched into the stone archway that leads you into the Roman-style cavern, harboring a natural spring to mark your youth! Transport back to the 1930s with a stop at the springhouse, a fun site to visit on a warm summer day!
5. Bunkers of Alvira
Villagers from the tiny town of Alvira in northcentral Pennsylvania are some of World War II’s unsung heroes. They abandoned their homes when the U.S. government needed the land to build 149 concrete, igloo-style bunkers to house its rapidly expanding stockpile of explosives. You can still see several of the bunkers — less the explosives — on what is now State Game Lands 252, along with the cemeteries and remains of the buildings that once housed the villagers of Alvira.
6. Fieldstone Farm Preserve
Upon arrival, close your eyes and you almost imagine the family that once inhabited the gorgeous and peaceful home that is now the Fieldstone Farm Nature Preserve. Along the grounds, explore the farmhouse and outbuildings that once made this place home.
7. Oak Knoll
You just might think you’re in a fairy tale when you walk among the ruins of the estate known as Lytlecote, laterrenamed Oak Knoll. Nestled among the trees of Crum Woods, remnants of a stunning Italian water garden are all that remain of the ground’s beautiful estate — testament to those who lovingly cared for the property once upon a time.
8. Coplay Cement Company Kilns
Used for just 11 years from 1893 to 1904, the nine vertical kilns of the Coplay Cement Company marked a major technological revolution, enabling the United States to become the world’s leading producer of cement — four times its nearest competitor. The 90-foot Coplay Cement Company Kilns now stand as sentinels, bearing witness to the creativity and ingenuity of the company and its brilliant founder.
9. KUNES CAMP, QUEHANNA WILD AREA
Kunes Camp was built in the early 1900s as a hunting camp for a local family. It was constructed deep in the forest between two large boulders that served as walls for the structure. Kunes Camp Trail is a 2.1 mile out and back trail located near Karthaus that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips.
10. LINN RUN STATE PARK
Beneath the towering trees and among the native mountain laurel along the Flat Rock Trail, you will find the remnants of an old cabin. Take a moment to explore the locally sourced stones that framed the chimney and foundation and listen to the rushing water in Linn Run State Park.
To learn about more Pennsylvania ruins, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don't forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.