Franklin Townsite

Walk though history on this tour through what remains of Franklin, a once-booming coal community outside Black Diamond.
Total Distance: 2.2 miles
Total Ascent: 300ft
Highest Point: 800ft
Difficulty: Easy
Our Hiking Time: 1h 30m
Required Permit: None
To get there, take I-5 South to 405. Take Exit 4 off 405 onto SR 169. Follow SR 169 for 18 miles into Black Diamond to Lawson St. Take a left and follow Lawson as it changes into Green River Gorge Road. About three-and-a-half miles from Black Diamond as the road bends toward the Green River Gorge Bridge, find a chain-link gate on the right. This is the access point. Find parking on the roadside or at the nearby cemetery. View Google Directions >>
Franklin is a fun little adventure on those days that you cannot make it out to the mountains. While it is not exactly a traditional hike, it is a walk steeped in the history of this state. Its obscurity and somewhat confusing access makes it likely that you’ll have the ghost town to yourself and lends a feeling of remoteness. There is also much more to explore in Franklin – it’s possible to head down to the site of the coal bridge or get permission from Palmer to hike to the top of Franklin Hill. A day spent tromping around Franklin is well worth the trip.

There's a lot more to Franklin Townsite, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington. You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support and the work we do by picking up a copy!
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