Lausanne Ruins – Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Lausanne Ruins

Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania

A little-known ghost town in Pennsylvania. 


Not all ghost towns in Pennsylvania are well known. The town of Lausanne, a thriving coal and railroad town in the late 1700s to early 1800s, is now being reclaimed by nature, forgotten in the woods near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Even some natives to the area claim they have no knowledge of the ghost town.

Before it was a forgotten ghost town there were plans for the expansion of Lausanne. But those plans were never set forth. The price set to sell the land was too high for the potential buyer, especially considering the town was already failing as the railroads started to boom elsewhere. The area was also plagued by floods, and so not the best place to continue to rebuild or expand.

Ruins still exist today and can be seen on a nice adventurous hike. The trails in the area are nicely worn once you get here; it is said that the wide worn trail was once Stagecoach Road. There are at least five ruins in this area. Exploring the ruins can be venturesome. Some walls have crumbled inward and trees are growing what was once the inside of homes.

It is bittersweet seeing this town decay without too many people having knowledge of its existence. There is very little vandalism but where there was once a progressing town where families tried to establish a living, is now letting nature reclaim peacefully.

You can see more of Lausanne on this YouTube video.



Know Before You Go

You will need to park along Rt. 209. The spot only has enough room for maybe 3 cars. Coordinates for parking: N 40° 52.331 W 075° 45.628. There is an entrance at the end of the parking area that is slightly worn. First, you have to hike through dense vegetation to get down to the railroad tracks. This vegetation mostly consists of ferns and trees. Once you are at the railroad tracks, go left, be sure to mark the area you came out of with a tie on a tree. As you hike along the railroad tracks, you will pass a small building on the left. Go past that building and keep following the railroad tracks. You will eventually find a worn trail on the right that will lead you to the pipe bridge. The trail before the bridge is surrounded by thick vegetation of rhododendrons. There are two ways to get across the stream; walk across the walking bridge-like structure that is a large solid sturdy pipe about seven feet above the stream, or use the thick wire cable bridge that is approximately four feet above the stream. Both places are a good distance from each other. If you cross the stream on the pipe bridge, you will eventually be led onto a wide worn trail. I believe that this trail was once Stagecoach Road. This trail will lead you to most of the ruins. This trail will curve left at one point, but if you keep walking on the less worn trail, you will be led to one more ruin at the foot of the mountain. If you keep walking on the worn trail along the base of the mountain, you can see how this town was laid out. There is a portion by the stream that seemed to have been a bridge at one point. On both sides of the stream, the ruins appear to have gone from one side to the other and imagination will tell you that these connected at one time as Stagecoach Road led from one side to the other. If you cross that stream, you will be led to two more ruins, one is more intact than the others with all four walls still standing.