Hiking

Franklin Ghost Town

Tucked in the foothills along the Green River canyon is the trail to Franklin Ghost Town and beyond the cemetery. It is a trail rich with history.

Finding the trailhead can be the hardest part, so take your time and if you cross the narrow bridge over the Green River you have gone too far.

From the town of Black Diamond, on Hwy 169 (heading towards Enumclaw, from Maple Valley) turn left on Lawson Street. Follow the road as its name changes to Franklin Howard Rd then SE Green River Gorge Road. Parking is $5 on a private field on the right side just before the Green River Gorge Bridge. The trailhead is on the far side of the field with a yellow vehicle gate. And pay the $5 so the parking area doesn’t get shut down…..

After leaving the lot, and passing by the gate the graveled road/trail heads uphill. It isn’t long though, so it warms you up nicely. The boys led the way.

It turns into a softer path as you gain elevation.

Soon you come to a split in the road. To the left is the mine shaft and cemetery.

Coal relics.

Walker and Alistaire loving it.

Signs on the way.

A short hike uphill leads to the Franklin Mine shaft, which is about 1,000 feet deep.

The boys checking it out.

Ruins from the town.

 

Once you leave the mine shaft the trail narrows quickly to single track. It has some slumps and roots, so care should be taken.

Ruins from the town.

Looking across towards Green River, far below.

As we entered the cemetery, it is overgrown, but sadly mostly to protect the gravesites.

There are trails through the cemetery, and the trail continues on for quite some distance. We called it a day and hiked out, talking about the many people buried in the remote and nearly forgotten cemetery.

~Sarah

 

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