Franklin Ghost Town | A Trip Back in Time
It’s not everyday you get to take a walk back in time, but that’s what happens when you visit Franklin ghost town just outside of Black Diamond.
Located 37 miles from downtown Seattle (map), Franklin was a once bustling coal mining town. The community was established in the 1880s (before Washington was even a state), and it survived until mining jobs dried up there in 1919. The land was most recently mined between the late 1940s through 1971.
If you’d like to know more about the history of Franklin click here. The most infamous moment happened on August 24, 1894, when 37 workers suffocated in mine fire. It’s still one of the deadliest mine disasters ever in the state of Washington.
All that’s left in the area now is Franklin ghost town, which is an overgrown, green hillside with several ruins. There is a parking lot near the site, which costs $5 per vehicle. It’s then a short trek up the hill (past the yellow gate at the end of the parking lot) to Franklin.
Once you reach town, you run into a Y in the trail. To the right, you’ll find a some ruins and to the left you’ll see the cemetery, an old mine shaft and even more ruins. There are a few signs in Franklin ghost town, but you’re pretty much on your own to figure out what anything is/was.
According to the Washington Trails Association, the hike through Franklin ghost town is about 2.5 miles round trip. It’s a peaceful trail with views of Mount Rainier and the sound of Green River rushing nearby. NOTE: As a side trip, visit the Green River Gorge. It’s just across the bridge and it’s an extra $5, but the trail takes you under a waterfall and along the river (picture).
Have you ever visited Franklin ghost town? How was your experience? We’d love to hear all about it! Please leave a comment or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also visit Seattle Bloggers for more fun adventures around the Emerald City.