A few people have asked if it is legal to explore the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. In short, there is nothing stopping visitors from driving into the borough, parking, and walking around.
A majority of Centralia is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was acquired through the power of eminent domain in the early 1990s. In that sense, most of the land within the borough is public property.
At present, the state has chosen not to post “no trespassing” signs around Centralia PA. Though for liability purposes, they had erected signs warning visitors of the dangers posed by exploring the mine fire burn zone. These have since disappeared.
If you are considering a trip to Centralia, it’s important to remember that there are residents still living there. They won the right to stay there after a settlement with the state in 2013.
While these residents technically do not own their properties, they have the legal right to live there. They should be treated with respect. Don’t wander around their properties or attempt to enter their homes. That, most certainly, would be illegal trespassing.
Also, keep in mind that a few places around Centralia Pennsylvania are not owned by the state and, therefore, are private property. These include the borough’s Municipal Building and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church.
Visiting Centralia, PA can be a really interesting experience. If you make a trip there, please be respectful of what is left of the town. Avoid littering, vandalizing, or stealing. Most of all, don’t bother the remaining residents. Stick to exploring the road, paths, and abandoned areas.