The 11 Best Abandoned Places In Vermont For 2024 And Beyond

Vermont, best known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant fall colors, holds within its confines a side not many are aware of – a plethora of abandoned places, echoing the state’s rich history, tales of growth, and periods of decline. From deserted mining towns to grand mansions slowly being reclaimed by nature, there are numerous abandoned places in Vermont.

Each of these places, silent and often overlooked, weaves a captivating tale of Vermont’s past and present. The tranquility in these locations, shrouded in mystery and intrigue, offers a distinct appeal to urban explorers and history enthusiasts looking for off-the-beaten-path adventures.

Note: Many of these locations are in an extremely delicate state. Specifics on locations, such as coordinates or maps, are not given. This is done so purposefully as a barrier to entry to those who may mean harm to these spots. I want to ensure that these abandoned places in Vermont are known about, but stay as vandalism and destruction free as possible. Remember: Take only photos, leave only footprints.

Breakdown: The Top 11 and More

If you have a specific location from the list below that you would like to immediately get more information about, click the links in the list to snap straight to that abandoned places in Vermont location.

Broaden Your Horizons Beyond Vermont

Are you interested in venturing outside the state of Vermont? Maybe you live close to the state line, or maybe you’re just looking for adventures outside your home state. Whatever the case may be, here are some guides to bordering states that may be helpful in effective urban exploration:

Don’t Forget About Trespassing Laws

It is important when considering abandoned places in Vermont to know the basics of Vermont trespassing laws. Luckily, we have developed a massive guide to trespassing laws in all 50 states. For laws that specifically relate to Vermont, please click here.

Without any further ado, let’s hop into the list of abandoned places!

The Best Abandoned Places in Vermont

Ricker Basin (Waterbury)

Tucked away in the Green Mountains of Vermont, in the outskirts of Waterbury, lies the hidden gem of Ricker Basin – an area steeped in both natural beauty and rich history. A visit here is not just a walk through an abandoned town site, but also a journey back in time.

Ricker Basin was once a bustling community in the 19th century, home to farms, sawmills, and a lively population. The basin, with its rich soil and abundant natural resources, drew settlers in search of prosperity and a peaceful rural life. However, the devastating flood of 1927, followed by the construction of the Waterbury Reservoir in the mid-20th century, forced the residents to abandon their homes.

How Things Look Today

Today, what remains of Ricker Basin is a network of deserted town roads, stone walls, cellar holes, and other remnants hidden amongst the forest. These tangible imprints of the past serve as silent reminders of the lives that were once intertwined with this land. The old town roads now serve as hiking trails, winding their way through a dense forest of pine, maple, and birch, occasionally opening up to reveal the ghostly remains of the former settlement.

Visitors to Ricker Basin will find themselves walking a line between two worlds – the natural world of the present, where the forest has largely reclaimed the area, and the echoes of the human world of the past, evoked by the scattered architectural remnants. The basin is enveloped in a sense of tranquility, broken only by the sound of rustling leaves or the occasional call of a distant bird.

As you explore, you might come across the remnants of the old sawmill near the reservoir or a hidden cellar hole overgrown with vegetation. These structures, slowly being claimed by the forest, give the area an aura of mystery and invite exploration and speculation about the lives of those who once called Ricker Basin home.

In Ricker Basin, history and nature intertwine, offering visitors a unique experience – an opportunity to reflect on the passage of time, the power of nature, and the resilience of life. It’s a place where you can find both tranquility and adventure, history and natural beauty – a fascinating destination for those who appreciate the silent stories told by abandoned places.

Hyde Manor (Sudbury)

In the small town of Sudbury, Vermont, an imposing, dilapidated structure known as Hyde Manor stands as a haunting relic of the past. Once a grand hotel and tourist destination in the 19th century, it now lies in a state of decay, abandoned and largely forgotten.

The Hyde Manor Hotel was built by Pitt W. Hyde in the early 1860s, replacing a previous inn owned by the Hyde family since 1801. The hotel was a marvel of its time, renowned for its elegant architecture, luxurious accommodations, and natural mineral springs, which were believed to possess healing properties. Visitors from all over the region would flock to Hyde Manor for rest, recreation, and purported health benefits.

The hotel boasted various amenities like a nine-hole golf course, a dairy farm, and a dance hall. Its impressive facade featured wide verandas, tall windows, and grand entryways. Guest rooms, each with its own unique charm, were spread across the hotel’s four stories.

However, as travel preferences changed over time, Hyde Manor’s popularity waned. By the mid-20th century, it struggled to keep its doors open and was eventually abandoned in the 1970s. Since then, the structure has been left to the mercy of the elements, falling into severe disrepair.

How Things Look Today

Today, Hyde Manor presents a haunting tableau of faded grandeur. Its once grand exterior is now weathered and peeling, with overgrown vegetation creeping up its sides. The elegant verandas are sagging, and many windows are broken or boarded up. The interior is equally distressed, with remnants of wallpaper clinging to the walls, debris littering the floors, and a pervading sense of stillness and decay.

Yet, amidst the decay, there’s a certain tragic beauty that lingers around Hyde Manor. The aura of its past grandeur still resonates in its crumbling walls, evoking a sense of nostalgia and prompting imaginations to visualize its past splendor.

Although the structure is unsafe and off-limits to the public, it can be viewed from the roadside. It stands as a testament to a bygone era, holding stories of opulence, decline, and the inevitable passage of time. The Hyde Manor, even in its decay, remains a significant part of Sudbury’s heritage and a fascinating site for lovers of history and abandoned architecture.

The Walloomsac Inn (Bennington)

Nestled in the picturesque town of Bennington, Vermont, stands the historic and now-abandoned Walloomsac Inn. This structure, rich with historical significance, was once a bustling hub of activity, welcoming travelers from far and wide. Today, it sits in silence, its former glory only hinted at through the vestiges of its past.

The Walloomsac Inn, sometimes referred to as the Walloomsac House or Hotel, was established in the early 19th century, during a time when Bennington was a key waypoint on routes leading west. This strategic location, coupled with the inn’s reputation for comfort and hospitality, made it a favored stopover for many.

The inn is even said to have hosted notable figures like President Martin Van Buren, and authors Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

This two-story, Greek Revival-style building with its distinctive white facade and black shutters was more than just a typical inn. It offered a saloon, a livery stable, and guest rooms that were acclaimed for their comfort. The establishment served as a social hub for the community, hosting balls, political rallies, and town meetings. It was an essential part of Bennington’s fabric.

However, with the passage of time and the advent of new transportation routes and accommodations, the Walloomsac Inn fell into decline. Despite attempts to repurpose the building, it eventually closed its doors and was left abandoned.

How Things Look Today

Today, the Walloomsac Inn presents a paradoxical picture of decay and enduring charm. Its exterior, despite showing signs of neglect, still retains the classical elegance of its architectural style. The interior, though in a state of disrepair, still echoes with the whispers of its grand past. The grand staircase, the stately fireplaces, and the ballroom — now silent and empty — all speak to the inn’s past importance and elegance.

While the inn is currently abandoned and off-limits to the public, it remains a significant historical landmark. It stands as a reminder of a bygone era, its deserted state prompting reflections on the transient nature of prosperity and the inexorable passage of time. For those interested in history and heritage, the Walloomsac Inn, even in its dilapidated state, offers a fascinating window into Bennington’s past.

Vermont Asylum for the Insane (Brattleboro)

In the scenic town of Brattleboro, Vermont, stands a haunting remnant of the state’s past — the Vermont Asylum for the Insane, now more commonly known as the Brattleboro Retreat. This historic institution, though still partially in operation as a mental health facility, has sections that have been long abandoned, their echoing hallways and vacant rooms serving as a chilling testament to the evolving nature of mental health treatment.

The Vermont Asylum for the Insane was established in the 19th century, part of a wave of new facilities aimed at providing more humane treatment for individuals suffering from mental illnesses. The asylum was a prominent part of a reform movement led by Dorothea Dix, a pioneering advocate for the mentally ill.

Built on principles of moral treatment, the asylum was designed to offer a tranquil and therapeutic environment for its patients, a stark contrast to the bleak and brutal conditions prevalent in earlier mental institutions.

How Things Look Today

The asylum, situated amidst rolling hills and overlooking the Connecticut River, is a sprawling complex of multiple buildings. Many of these structures, built in the Greek Revival style, are imposing and austere, their stately architecture a stark reminder of the institution’s history and purpose.

However, over the years, as societal attitudes and medical approaches towards mental health evolved, parts of the asylum fell into disuse and were eventually abandoned. Some buildings have been shuttered for years, their grandeur faded and weathered by time. The once bustling wards, therapy rooms, and common areas now stand empty and silent, the echoes of their past occupants lingering in the air.

While certain areas of the former asylum complex continue to function as a modern mental health retreat, the abandoned sections remain off-limits to the public due to safety concerns. However, their existence continues to stir curiosity and interest.

These long-abandoned areas, with their decaying exteriors and palpable history, provide a stark and sobering reminder of the changing perspectives on mental health and the legacy of mental health treatment in the United States.

Elizabeth Copper Mine (Orange County)

Nestled in the verdant hills of Orange County, Vermont, the Elizabeth Copper Mine is an enduring symbol of the region’s rich mining history. Opened in the early 19th century, the mine was once one of the largest copper mines in the United States. Today, the site is abandoned, its mineshafts silent and its buildings crumbling, yet it continues to offer an intriguing glimpse into the industrial past.

The Elizabeth Copper Mine was in operation for almost a century, from 1809 to 1958, a period during which it contributed significantly to the local economy. At its peak in the mid-19th century, the mine was a hive of activity with hundreds of miners excavating copper ore from the depths of the Vermont bedrock. These efforts resulted in a sprawling complex of shafts, tunnels, and structures, including smelters, mills, and workers’ quarters.

However, as copper deposits dwindled and mining operations became less profitable, the mine was gradually abandoned. Today, the rusting remains of the mine’s infrastructure dot the landscape, stark reminders of the site’s bustling past.

The towering headframes, once used to lower miners into the earth, now stand silent and weathered. The mine’s old processing buildings are mostly ruins, their structures overtaken by vegetation, with walls stained a vivid blue-green from the copper residue.

How Things Look Today

Although access to the mineshafts is prohibited for safety reasons, visitors can still explore the mine’s surface area. Interpretive panels scattered around the site provide insight into the mine’s history and the mining processes employed. The area also offers hiking opportunities with trails that meander through the former mine site, offering unique views of the ruins and the surrounding landscape.

The Elizabeth Copper Mine, now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is a poignant testament to the rise and fall of Vermont’s copper mining industry. Its abandoned structures and hauntingly silent mineshafts serve as a fascinating, if slightly eerie, window into the past, when this tranquil spot was once a bustling hub of industry and enterprise.

Glastenbury Ghost Town (Glastenbury)

Set in the heart of the Green Mountains, the ghost town of Glastenbury is a silent relic of Vermont’s past. Once a burgeoning logging community in the mid-19th century, Glastenbury is now an isolated and largely forgotten site, shrouded in wilderness and local folklore.

Glastenbury’s rise was closely tied to the logging industry. The town was formally chartered in 1761 and, with the advent of a significant logging operation and a railway line, its population grew steadily in the late 1800s. Lumber mills, schools, a post office, and homes sprung up, and the town became a bustling hub of activity.

However, the overexploitation of the local forests and the decline of the logging industry led to the town’s rapid downturn. By the early 20th century, the once prosperous town was largely abandoned.

How Things Look Today

Today, Glastenbury is a quiet, eerie place. The railway and the buildings have long since disappeared, reclaimed by the verdant forest. The town is only accessible by a series of rugged hiking trails. Visitors who make the trek are met with an eerie silence and remnants of a bygone era: dilapidated foundations, moss-covered stone walls, and rusting machinery hint at the community that once thrived here.

Adding to its allure, Glastenbury is steeped in local legend, most notably, the Bennington Triangle mystery. This term was coined by a local author to denote an area, including Glastenbury, where several people mysteriously disappeared between 1945 and 1950, leading to speculations about supernatural forces at play.

Despite its ghost town status, Glastenbury hasn’t entirely slipped away. In 1937, it made history by becoming one of the least populated towns to be formally unincorporated by an act of the state legislature. To this day, a handful of residents still call it home, adding another layer of intrigue to the already enigmatic Glastenbury.

Whether it’s the lure of its history, the draw of its natural beauty, or the mystery of its legends, Glastenbury Ghost Town is a compelling slice of Vermont’s past, a poignant reminder of the fleetingness of prosperity, and the enduring power of nature to reclaim its own.

Maple Valley Ski Resort (Maple Valley)

Situated in the heart of the Green Mountains in Dummerston, Vermont, the Maple Valley Ski Resort stands as a poignant reminder of the area’s lively winter sports history. Nestled amidst a panoramic backdrop of sprawling forest and soaring mountain peaks, the ski resort was once a bustling hub of recreational activity, drawing ski enthusiasts from across New England for nearly five decades.

Maple Valley Ski Resort officially opened its doors in 1963, boasting a range of ski trails catering to various skill levels, a state-of-the-art T-Bar lift, and later, a chairlift, which swiftly carried eager skiers to the mountaintop. With its cozy lodge serving hot meals and the picturesque beauty of the Vermont landscape enveloping it, the resort quickly gained popularity among families and beginner to intermediate skiers.

However, as larger ski resorts began to emerge with more advanced facilities and longer ski seasons, Maple Valley struggled to compete. Despite attempts at diversification – including initiatives to transform it into a four-season resort offering activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and music festivals – the resort eventually succumbed to financial pressures. It ceased operations in 2000, leaving the once-vibrant site largely abandoned.

How Things Look Today

Today, nature is gradually reclaiming the resort. The former parking areas are overgrown with grass and wildflowers, and trees are encroaching the slopes that were once meticulously groomed for ski enthusiasts. The ski lifts stand still and silent, rusty relics of the past against the verdant canvas of the mountains. The lodge, once brimming with warmth and laughter, now stands vacant, its windows staring blankly out onto the forgotten slopes.

Visiting Maple Valley Ski Resort today is a poignant experience, a journey back to a time when the laughter of skiers filled the air and the mountain hummed with activity. The eerie silence that has replaced the joyful noise speaks to the transient nature of human endeavors against the backdrop of the timeless mountains.

Despite its current state of abandonment, the resort remains a symbol of the area’s rich past, a monument to the fleeting yet vibrant spark it once brought to the heart of the Green Mountains.

Freedlyville Quarry (Dorset)

Tucked away in the southern region of Vermont, the Freedlyville Quarry in Dorset is an extraordinary testament to the area’s rich industrial history. With its origins dating back to the early 19th century, the quarry was once at the epicenter of America’s marble industry, contributing to the extraction and production of the valuable stone that was in high demand for the construction of prestigious buildings and monuments across the country.

Named after the Freedly family, who operated the quarry in its early years, Freedlyville Quarry is known for its extensive network of underground tunnels, carved deep into the heart of Dorset Mountain. These tunnels, stretching over a mile into the bedrock, bore witness to the relentless extraction of marble, a stone prized for its flawless beauty and versatility.

At its zenith, the quarry was a hub of industrial activity, buzzing with the sounds of drills, saws, and the relentless clatter of marble blocks being loaded onto wagons. However, as the 20th century unfolded, the marble industry in Vermont declined due to competition from cheaper materials, a shift in architectural trends, and the high cost of excavating deeper into the mountain.

By the mid-20th century, the Freedlyville Quarry was effectively abandoned. Today, the eerie silence of the quarry contrasts sharply with its bustling past. The mighty machines stand still and silent, while the cavernous tunnels echo only with the quiet drips of water seeping through the bedrock.

How Things Look Today

Despite its silent present, the quarry is a tangible monument to the area’s marble industry history. Its towering marble walls, the abandoned machinery, and the labyrinth of tunnels are all enduring witnesses to a time when the demand for Vermont marble was so high that men ventured deep into the mountain, carving out an underworld of stone.

Now filled with stagnant turquoise water from underground springs, the quarry has an ethereal, almost otherworldly atmosphere, captivating those who venture to visit this remarkable remnant of Vermont’s industrial past.

Mount Saint Mary’s Convent (Burlington)

Mount Saint Mary’s Convent, located in the picturesque city of Burlington, Vermont, is a striking representation of the past that has weathered the storm of time and change. Dating back to the late 19th century, this stately structure originally served as a haven for the Sisters of Mercy, an order dedicated to education, healthcare, and service to those in need.

Constructed in the architectural style typical of that period, the convent building stands as a testament to the elaborate design sensibilities of the late Victorian era. Tall, arched windows punctuate the red-brick facade, while an old chapel adorned with stunning stained glass stands as the heart of the complex.

The convent, which included dormitories, a chapel, classrooms, and a library, once buzzed with the daily activities of the nuns who lived, worked, and prayed within its walls.

As the years rolled on, however, the number of Sisters dwindled, and the demands of maintaining the aging structure grew. Despite its historical significance and architectural value, the convent was vacated in the early 21st century. The Sisters moved to a more manageable residence, leaving Mount Saint Mary’s Convent silent and empty, save for the echoes of its past.

How Things Look Today

Today, this magnificent edifice stands largely unoccupied, a monument to a bygone era. The classrooms that once resounded with the voices of students lay silent, the chapel that echoed with hymns is hushed, and the dormitories that housed the Sisters stand vacant. Its once meticulously maintained grounds now run wild, mirroring the building’s interior state of slow, inevitable decay.

Despite its current state, Mount Saint Mary’s Convent retains an air of dignified beauty. The vacant hallways and quiet rooms are poignant reminders of the building’s purposeful past.

The story of the convent is a testament to the Sisters of Mercy’s dedication to their cause and serves as an important touchstone in Burlington’s rich historical tapestry. It stands as a silent reminder of a chapter in the city’s history that has come to a close, but not yet forgotten.

Abandoned East Mountain Radar Base (East Haven)

Perched atop East Mountain in the remote northeastern corner of Vermont, the abandoned East Mountain Radar Base stands as a silent sentinel, a vestige of the Cold War era. Also known as the Lyndonville Air Force Station, this relic of history was part of the United States’ elaborate early-warning radar network, constructed in response to the perceived threat of Soviet missile attacks during the height of the Cold War.

Constructed in the early 1950s, the base was populated by military personnel whose job it was to monitor the skies for any potential threats. The base was home to an FPS-27 radar, one of the most powerful and advanced radar systems of the time. This radar system was capable of detecting incoming missiles or aircraft over long distances, providing valuable time for a potential counterattack or defensive measures.

The base not only served as a surveillance post but was also a self-contained community, with dormitories for officers and enlisted personnel, a dining hall, recreational facilities, and even a bowling alley. At its height, it was a bustling hub of activity, with military personnel and their families making a life atop this isolated mountain.

However, as the Cold War threat began to diminish and technology evolved, the need for such radar bases diminished. In 1963, the East Mountain Radar Base was decommissioned, the personnel reassigned, and the buildings left to the elements.

How Things Look Today

Today, the base has been largely reclaimed by nature. Its once-impressive radar tower now stands silent and idle, a ghostly reminder of a past filled with uncertainty and the looming threat of nuclear war. Buildings that once teemed with activity are now vacant and weather-beaten, with nature slowly eroding the man-made structures.

Exploring the site is like stepping into a time capsule, where remnants of a past era still linger. The stark contrast between the complex’s purpose – once a forefront of national defense – and its current state of decay, creates an eerily fascinating environment.

The silent, windswept mountaintop, punctuated by these decaying structures, serves as a poignant reminder of the tensions that marked the Cold War era. It stands as an enduring symbol of a bygone era, a concrete testament to the changing tides of history.

St. Joseph’s Orphanage (Burlington)

Nestled in the city of Burlington, the St. Joseph’s Orphanage is a haunting silhouette against the backdrop of Vermont’s landscape. Established in the late 19th century by the Sisters of Providence, the institution served as a home for hundreds of orphans and children in need over its years of operation. Yet behind its grandiose facade and the well-intentioned purpose it served, lies a complex and unsettling history.

St. Joseph’s Orphanage was a monumental edifice, an architectural testament to the Gothic Revival style. It was characterized by pointed arches, large windows, and intricate tracery. Its exterior, however, belied the austere living conditions inside. The building housed large dormitory-style rooms, an infirmary, and even a school, allowing the orphanage to function as a self-contained unit.

For many years, the orphanage was a buzz of activity. It served as a refuge for children without families. However, allegations of physical, emotional, and even sexual abuse began to emerge from former residents over time, casting a dark shadow over the orphanage’s history.

The orphanage ceased operations in the 1970s and the building was repurposed, serving for a time as elderly housing. Yet, even after its closure, the harrowing tales associated with it continue to reverberate, tinging the building with an aura of melancholy and grim nostalgia.

How Things Look Today

Today, the St. Joseph’s Orphanage stands abandoned, its grand architecture a stark contrast to its grim past. It remains a controversial symbol in Burlington’s landscape, its history a chilling reminder of the inhumane conditions that often lurked behind the walls of such institutions in the past.

Exploring the building today, one can’t help but feel an eerie sense of the past. The echo of children’s laughter and cries seems to resonate within the empty rooms, a chilling soundtrack to the narratives of the past. The St. Joseph’s Orphanage stands as a testament to the need for transparency and accountability in the care of society’s most vulnerable members, making it a significant historical site worth preserving.

Our Final Thoughts on Abandoned Places in Vermont

Those who are into urban exploration in the Vermont area should get comfortable with Vermont trespassing laws. Luckily, we have developed a massive guide to trespassing laws in all 50 states. For laws that specifically relate to Vermont, please click here.

For more about obtaining permission to explore abandoned places, check out our guide Explore Abandoned Buildings: How To Get Permission. Finally, if you are wanting to find more abandoned places in Vermont, check out my resource How To Find Abandoned Places With Google Maps.

Happy exploring!

  • John Bourscheid, Killer Urbex