Wanna Discover a Lost Michigan Ghost Town? Here’s How!
Michigan is overflowing with ghost towns...some still show up on maps, some are easy to find, some are hard to find, and some have completely disappeared & lost to time, waiting to be re-discovered and added to the pages of Michigan history. There are even some whose names have been legally recorded but the locations have been lost.
So, how does one go about finding a lost Michigan ghost town?
What do you look for?
Where do you look?
You can look almost anywhere throughout the entire state of Michigan, but the best places are obviously in the upper half of the mitten and the U.P.....If you don't wanna travel as far as the Upper Peninsula, there are PLENTY of lost ghost towns in the mitten.
Old railroad tracks that have been abandoned or torn up are practically guaranteed to go by a few lost ghost towns. You'll have to find a place to park your vehicle and take your time walking. Any woods or forest is also a good place to look and around hidden lakes, of which there are plenty.
Unfortunately, many lost ghost towns do not have roads leading to them, as so many dirt roads, old stagecoach runs & Indian trails have disappeared, having been overgrown with trees, bushes, grass and weeds.
Okay, so what kind of signs should you search for?
A bunch of bushes all crowded together in one area may give away the foundation of a demolished or burned building.
Intersections or crossroads out in the middle of the sticks, the country, nowheresville, nothing. Many of these desolate, lonely countryside intersections have the markings of a former downtown area of a once-prosperous town. I've come across these a few times, checked out the areas after I got home and discovered there indeed were towns located at some of these lonesome intersections.
Lilac bushes are usually a sure thing. Many people over 100 years ago planted them whenever a new home was constructed or moved into. The houses may not be around, but the lilacs still thrive.
Old cemeteries are a "dead" giveaway as well. How many times have YOU come across an old cemetery out in the middle of absolutely nothing? There are PLENTY of these and that means there was a town or village nearby at one time.
A small 2 X 4 foot-square hole with rotted boards is probably the remains of an old hand-dug well.
A straight row of old trees, like maple, pine, poplar and others. Trees were planted by land owners to beautify the area and even moderate apple orchards can signify an abandoned village or homestead.
If you spot any of these signs along an old torn-up railroad track out in the middle of nowhere, you've discovered a lost town, unincorporated village or post office.
THE PHOTO GALLERY ABOVE shows you examples of places in Michigan's mitten where you can satellite map & pinpoint your own places to search.
Searching for lost & forgotten ghost towns can be fun and rewarding...but you need time, patience and a list of areas to search...HAVE FUN!