Franklin Ghost Town. Located outside of Black Diamond, Wa is a hike that I had never done, mostly because when I had first moved to this area it was a gray area for use. There wasn’t parking then, nor was it being maintained. Times have changed, and there is now an easy to use parking “lot” (a field) that costs $5 to use. So on a chilly morning after 2 weeks of heat, and the boys having a bonus day off of school, I got them up early, and we drove over. I was actually more shocked that those 3 kids of mine got up early, got dressed AND we left on time. Mama even had time to get a latte on the way…..
If you want to learn the history of the area, read this link. It will let you get a feel for the old mining town. For best driving directions, follow the first link to WTA above. The field is easy to find. If you get to the one lane bridge over the Green River, you have just missed it.
Two boys, finding sticks faster than a golden retriever…The trail starts across the field, behind a yellow gate. It is an actively used road/trail, so is well taken care of.
Now then…let us talk about the claimed flatness of this hike. Maybe if they are an honor roll graduate of the ‘School of Flat Along The Ridgeline’ is it “flat”. It’s a short hike, so there is that. However, it is not FLAT. A small child (say toddler to 4) will get tired walking up the road to the first two attractions. At least it is easy walking as one can walk 3 across…..
In the clouds it was nice and cool this morning. Much better than the day before, when it was still in the 80’s. Looking across the valley, with the Green River below.
At the junction. Take a left and continue going uphill.
Follow the sign, in other words.
Mine cart to mark the way.
The boys hanging out.
The road continues uphill, to the mine shaft. Still a road, but not as wide. More grass in the road.
The shaft is about 1.350 feet deep.
Here the road ends, and a trail splits off to the left, behind the shaft. While a safe trail, do keep an eye on the kids. There is old metal cabling across a few places, that could trip shorter legs.
The powerhouse foundation.
Fog and clouds are my favorite hiking weather.
Part of the penstock foundation, more is visible farther up the trail.
The Franklin Cemetery, much of it is covered in ivy and blackberries. Maybe it was for the best. In the 1960-70’s people would come out there and destroy headstones or steal them. Only in recent years have parts of it been uncovered.
Historical cemeteries are great teaching tools for children. But I can’t bear those of infants. No matter how many I see on hikes like this, I can’t stay long near those. Just too heart breaking. But it is a powerful thing to share with children. History is golden.
And so a good morning was had.