This Washington Hike Takes You Through an Abandoned Village

Nestled amid the verdant expanse of Washington State, Melmont Ghost Town beckons adventurers and history buffs alike. Picture a trek that not only winds through picturesque vistas but also transports you to a bygone era. Welcome to the Melmont Ghost Town Trail—a seven-mile round trip adventure promising both natural splendor and a window into history.

The Trail Begins

Our journey kicks off near Carbonado, a quaint community nestled south of Buckley and in proximity to Mt. Rainier National Park. As you embark on the trail, you’ll trace the path of an abandoned rail grade. Winding alongside the river, you’ll bask in the beauty of its shimmering waters under the golden rays of the sun.

3 Miles In: Melmont Revealed

Approximately three miles along the trail, you’ll reach Melmont, once a bustling mining hub. Established in 1900 by a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific Railway, Melmont thrived on coal mining. Its streets once echoed with the vibrant sounds of life—a schoolhouse, a train depot, a saloon, and miners’ cottages. Over its 16-year operation, the mine yielded over 900,000 tons of coal.

Echoes of the Past

Melmont’s history is steeped in intrigue. In 1905, the home of Jack Wilson, the mine’s foreman, was bombed with dynamite. Miraculously, Jack and his daughter survived. Although a miner named David Steele faced charges, he was acquitted due to insufficient evidence. By the early 1920s, local mines shuttered, and much of the remaining town fell victim to a forest fire.

What Remains Today

Despite the relentless march of time, Melmont’s legacy endures through scattered remnants. Explore the vestiges of a bridge foundation, a small building once housing explosives, and the foundation of the schoolhouse. These silent witnesses narrate tales of resilience, industry, and community spirit.

A Trail Worth Taking

While spanning a considerable distance, the trail stands as one of Washington’s more accessible historic hikes. The payoff? A tangible link to the lives once intertwined with Melmont’s landscape. As you traverse, envision the narratives of those who called this place home—their laughter, challenges, and aspirations etched into the terrain.

Conclusion: Uncover the Past

The Melmont Ghost Town Trail beckons you to venture beyond the ordinary. It’s more than just a hike; it’s a pilgrimage to a vanished world. So, don your hiking boots, follow the rail grade, and let the whispers of history be your guide. Melmont awaits, eager to unveil its secrets.

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