You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Franklin Ghost Town

Franklin Ghost Town

The Franklin Ghost Town trail offers a very easy, short hike to the abandoned Franklin Ghost Town mining site. Note that near the entrance, the area between the gate and the trailhead itself is surrounded by private property, so stay on the established trail.

After entering through the gate, you will see an old coal cart. To the left lies the cemetery and mine shaft, to the right, some old foundation stones. Walk along towards the mine shaft, enjoying the surrounding foliage and history. Once you pass the shaft, the trail narrows but remains walkable.

Pass the foundation of an old power plant. Just ahead to your right lie several tombstones, marking the perimeter of an overgrown cemetery. The trail continues through the cemetery. Wander the grounds, imagining what it was like with the town there, and be sure to read the signs, which give some hint of the history of the place.
Driving Directions:

Finding a place to park is the most difficult part of the hike. ), and just before the entrance to the one-lane bridge, there is enough space for about two cars. If not, there is a small cemetery just prior to arriving at the gated entrance across the street easily walkable. There is no parking in front of the gate

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 4 trip reports for this hike.
Franklin Ghost Town — May 20, 2013 — Aubin
Day hike
Issues: Overgrown | Mudholes | Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This is a very easy short hike to the abandoned Franklin Ghost Town mining site. Finding a place to...
This is a very easy short hike to the abandoned Franklin Ghost Town mining site. Finding a place to park is the most difficult part of the hike. Using advice from the "Hiking With My Brother" website, across the street from the gated entrance, (located at 47.301100, -121.952402), and just before the entrance to the one-lane bridge, there is enough space for about two cars. If not, there is a small cemetery just prior to arriving at the gated entrance across the street easily walkable. There is no parking in front of the gate and the land between the gate and the actual entrance a short walk ahead, by the yellow gate, is privately owned but has an easement allowing entry to the second yellow gate.

Shortly after the yellow gate you will reach a fork where the coal cart is located. To the left is the direction of the cemetery and mine shaft, to the right, from what I believe, may be privately owned by Palmer Coal, but I walked ahead there for a few moments to visit some old foundatins. It's a nice easy level walk to the mine shaft along the road. After leaving the shaft, the trail becomes mostly narrow and obstructed by blackberry bushes and vegetation, but still walkable. You'll soon pass the foundation of an old power plant foundation to the right, and just ahead you'll see the first tombstone in the bushes to the right. Just ahead you'll wander into a little overgrown cemetery with a few more tombstones. It's really sad this little cemetery is abandoned and uncared for, but it appears at times the scouts and others tend to the area. From what I read, there are other tombstones in the forest, it is really overgrown and forested in this area. I did not a little trail continue beyond the cemetery, but I did not continue. On the way back to the highway, I noticed a little bench on the river side between the yellow gate and main gate. Just past is a trail going down into the gorge by the river that might be woth exploring. Overall an easy hike, a few little mud patches at times, but a nice little walk on a sunny day. I would recommend reading a little on Franklin before visiting, it has an interesting past and it's hard believing a town once stood there.
Read full report with photos
Franklin Ghost Town & Cemetery — Jul 07, 2012 — Maddy
Day hike
Issues: Overgrown | Mudholes
Expand report text Hide report text
Franklin was a coal mining town from around the turn of the century. Not much remains except an int...
Franklin was a coal mining town from around the turn of the century. Not much remains except an interesting old cemetery and a very deep vertical mine shaft covered with a metal grate. The trail is unmarked but should be very easy to find with the following directions.
Go south on Hwy 169. In the town of Black Diamond, turn left on Lawson Rd which becomes SE Green River Gorge Rd. Go about 4 miles. The Entrance to the trail is on the right. It is gated with an old poorly constructed steel wire fence with no parking and tow away signs on it. The Entrance is located 400 feet before you reach the single lane bridge which crosses the Green River Gorge. The only place park is a small pullout on the opposite side of the road next to the bridge. Definitely walk out onto the bridge to get a suprisingly airy view of the river below.

The hike starts on a dirt road. In about 1/4 mi you reach an old coal car donated by Palmer Coker Co. In about 1/2 mi you reach an old coal mine shaft. It is covered with a sturdy steel grate that is safe to walk on. The shaft goes down 1300 ft to a point 500 ft below sea level! If you drop a rock down the shaft it takes about 4-5 seconds to hear it hit bottom.
After the mine shaft the tread becomes narrow overgrown and muddy in places. A pair of clippers would be useful to beat back the black berry vines. At about 1 mile you reach the first grave stone. A small side trail to the right leads to a few other head stones. Overall a worthwhile hike if you happen to be in the Black Diamond area.
Read full report with photos
Franklin Ghost Town & Cemetery — May 04, 2012 — Tomas
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
After seeing hikingwithmybrother's write-up (from 3/12/2012) I put this one on my mental to-do list....
After seeing hikingwithmybrother's write-up (from 3/12/2012) I put this one on my mental to-do list. Today was the day. Their description is good. The trailhead is actually an old rusty gate w/ No Parking and Towing signs on it. Beyond you can see a yellow gate w/ the WA State Parks logo on it. There are many no parking and no trespassing signs in the area. A place that is ok to park is on the other side of the street closer to the Green River Gorge bridge. There is a turnout that can accomodate 3 to 4 vehicles. I was the only one around today.

Despite there being private property signs it is ok to walk the gravel road to the yellow gate where it is WA state parks land (there's apparently an easement thru the private land). I got caught in a downpour heading up to the site of the old ore cart labeled Franklin. It is probably less than a mile to this junction which is signed. If you go right, it heads to sites of old foundations for structures (houses?). I passed one foundation before seeing a No Trespassing sign so I turned around. I then headed straight (which would have been left going up) which took me to mine shaft entrance #2 which is covered with a metal grate for safety purposes (in 1984). This mine was over 1300 feet deep. The hayday of the mine was from about the late 1800's to the 1910's. After the mine shaft the trail changes from a road width trail to a single track. There is water and mud across the trail in several places and also foliage over the trail in a few places. I noted an old elevated trestle not too long before the cemetery off to the right. Apparently this was part of the system of water pipes that delivered water to the town of Franklin back in the day. I came upon the cemetery almost without realizing it. It is becoming quite overgrown. I noticed at least 10 or so grave markers. A few of babies (quite sad). It is probably close to 2 miles to the cemetery. The trail beyond the cemetery quickly joins a gravel road. I did not explore to find out where the road came from or led to. There is a sign stating Franklin Cemetery facing toward the gravel road. The rest of my time on these trails the sun came out & quickly dried me off. Pretty serene other than the constant gunfire off to the west (which got louder/closer as I hiked the trail). I didn't hear any stray bullets, thank God. Interesting area worth exploring.
Read full report with photos
Franklin Ghost Town & Cemetery — Mar 12, 2012 — hikingwithmybrother
Day hike
Issues: Overgrown
Expand report text Hide report text
Continuing this winter’s theme of visiting ghost towns and abandoned places, we recently explored ...
Continuing this winter’s theme of visiting ghost towns and abandoned places, we recently explored the Franklin Townsite near Black Diamond. Like many former mining communities in Washington, much of the once-bustling town is now gone, much of it reclaimed by nature. Still, enough cement and metal remains to hint at the coal-centered community that called Franklin home for more than 30 years.

The trickiest part of a trek to Franklin is finding it. Although the Franklin Townsite is owned by King County Parks, there is no motorized access and there is not much in the way of parking. Access is located just before you cross the Green River Gorge Bridge, marked by chain-link gate covered in No Parking Signs. There is room for one vehicle on the opposite side of the road a little closer to the bridge. If that is taken, most people drive down to a little cemetery a quarter-mile or so back toward Black Diamond. Once you’re parked, head back to the chain-link fence, you can see a yellow gate in the distance, which is the beginning of King County Park Property. The property in between is private, but King County has an easement along the road, so just stick to the gravel road and head toward the gate.

Things are easy once on the trail. Head up to a signed junction complete with an ore cart donated by the Palmer Coking Company. Veer left for the mine and cemetery. While there are foundations on the right, you need permission from Palmer before doing much in the way of exploring on their land.

Checkout the full report here:

http://www.hikingwithmybrother.com/[…]/franklin-ghost-town-cemetery.html

Jer
Read full report with photos
Location
South Cascades
Features
Old growth
Fall foliage
User info
Good for kids

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Map it
Red MarkerFranklin Ghost Town
47.301113 -121.9523878
(47.3011, -121.9524) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Lewis River Trail (Apr 10)

Lewis River Trail

South Cascades

We're at the cusp of waterfall season! With five waterfalls in a 7-mile roundtrip, this Lewis River hike is one to keep on your April-June to-do list. If you're hiking with creaky knees or kiddos, take in the magnificent, close-in Lower Lewis River Falls. If you want a longer hike with some ups and downs, venture all the way to Taidnapum Falls, 3.5 miles in.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »