Doodletown, NY was a functioning mining town with residents and buildings in use through the 1960's. All that remains are the building's foundations with historic markers with information, creepy cemeteries, and the country road which ran through the village, which now serves as an excellent hiking trail.
The entrance to the trail is not easy to find. Here are directions. The parking area is a very small clearing on the side of the road and the sign, pictured here, is within the woods at the opposite side of 9W.
Once you begin the climb up the hill, you can imagine the town as it once was, an isolated village in the 1890's. You can envision, as you run out of breath, the tragic steep climb the horse and carriage had to make as the doctor arrived too late with medicine to save his wife. Thomas Edison, who had property there, probably watched the procession from the warmth of his home, basking in the glow of his invention, electric light. As you can tell, the area is conducive to all sorts of mind wanderings.
It's a large park, in a few hours we had only explored the Eastern half of it, taking our time taking in the inspiring landscape surrounding the dam (built in the 1970s) and exploring the surrounding woods.?The views from the trail are breathtaking and Autumn is an ideal time to hike there to enjoy all the beautiful colors.
Eastern trial highlights are the two cemeteries. One, small and ancient, sat at the end of a long road. Along that road was an overgrown field with a Tim Burton-esque uprooted tree that made us stop in our tracks with its creepiness, then an animal, larger than a cat or bunny, with pointed ears bounded out of the overgrowth, scaring the bejesus out of me. The second cemetery is still in use for ancestors of residents and is picturesque, if only a bit eerie.
Speaking of eerie, despite being classified as a “Ghost Town”, Doodletown doesn't feel haunted at all.?Rocks, walls and steps are all that remain of the buildings; the residents either moved or were kicked off the land, so it's not like it is full of restless souls. There is, however, a more modern building that is totally creepy, that had this hanging from its gate, like a trophy.
And there was that pointy eared beast…
We plan on exploring the other half of the area at another time. I'll report my findings then.