There’s some good news for those looking to explore the Graffiti Highway in Centralia, PA.
Earlier this year, PennDOT vacated the right-of-way containing the abandoned section of Route 61 that is commonly known as the Graffiti Highway. This damaged section of the road was closed in 1993 due to the ongoing mine fire. An alternative route was later developed, taking traffic around the old right-of-way and providing a vital connection between Aristes and Ashland.
For the last decade, there was little police presence in Centralia, Pennsylvania. Visitors came and went without interference. They explored the town’s decaying roads, overgrown strip mines, and vacant lots.
All of that changed in 2016 when PennDOT became concerned about the liability incurred from allowing people on the Graffiti Highway. “No Trespassing” signs were quickly posted to keep people and vehicles off of the abandoned road.
One specific incident—a planned Barbie Power Wheel racing event—caused PennDOT to contact State Police and request that they patrol the area for trespassers. As a result, several people were cited and visitors were once again reminded to obey the “No Trespassing” signs that had been posted.
However, after further reviewing its Graffiti Highway policy, PennDOT made a surprising decision. In February of 2018, the agency determined the best course of action was to dissolve the right-of-way containing the Graffiti Highway and return the land to the adjacent property owners. The largest of these owners is the Pitreal Corporation, which is part of Pagnotti Enterprises in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
What does all of this mean for the thousands of visitors to Centralia each year?
According to PennDOT, State Police will no longer be patrolling the area unless this is specifically requested by one of the Graffiti Highway’s new owners, such as the Pitreal Corporation. It is also entirely possible that one of the landholders may choose to fence off or dismantle the abandoned road too. Only time will tell.
The Graffiti Highway is a popular tourist destination in Columbia County and one of the most notable reminders of Centralia PA’s mine fire disaster. If you plan on visiting Centralia this summer, remember to respect the property rights of those who still live there, properly dispose of all trash, and keep an eye peeled for ground subsidence.
It seems it has become a place for people to dump trash how sad ? I was there not long ago and saw numerous piles of trash appliances etc . Its history is such a great learning experience people should respect the area
Eh. Just burn it all! What’s the worst that can happen?
Rude, trash like you had no respect for the things these people went through. Only thing that needs to burn is you and other with mindsets like you.
I think Juergen was making a joke, based on the fact that burning trash is what started the fire… I could be wrong, but probably not
People please clean up your trash. Seriously!!! Was there on Mothers Day… GRAFITTI HIGHWAY is an Awesome place. Let’s keep it that way & NOT Ruin it. Take your spray cans with you. Or this good thing will come to an end quickly.
The fact that Penndot is even wasting time…(which time equals money….TAX PAYERS MONEY) on a permanently closed stretch of roadway makes absolutely no sense. Why is penndot not putting there time, effort, and thoughts into fixing all the pothole and sealing issues every road has this year. I understand that it could be a liability if someone is hurt during this event they want to hold. But they should be more concerned with the liability and risk of the lack of road repair on the states roads that are open to the public and driven on every single day. Does everyone realize that there tax money is going towards funding these morons to waste there time on a roadway that’s been closed since 1993? If the road is clearly marked “no trespassing” that means anyone injuried there is doing it AT THEIR OWN RISK!. Start worrying about spending our tax money on actual issues such as potholes, seam sealing to prevent future potholes, snow removal, ya know… the shit that actually Will save ur asses when (god forbid) someone is killed due to ur lack of being able to dump a bag of cold patch in a few potholes. Time is money people. And the fact that the state is wasting it on a closed roadway that is posted no trespassing is about as useless as tits on a bull.
I’ve been to centralia. It’s a awesome little place. But for the love of god people don’t support penndot wasting the tax money you are forced to pay on something so stupid as even putting a thought into a roadway closed for 15 years. At most the state did that they needed to. Put up signs.. “no trespassing” maybe “travel at your own risk” too.
Problem solved: anyone who enters that area is doing so on there own and cannot sue or try and attack the state.
Does anyone know if the off roading trails around Centralia are still open and how/what I need to do to use them? We will be up on Hershey in a couple of weeks and wanted to do some off roading on the trails. YouTube videos make it look like fun.
Check out Pennsyl Tuckey Tours on FB
We do ATV tours of the area
I just learned about this lost town … Do people still live there ??
How many ppl still live there
10 I think. You can’t move there as it’s state property. The ones left won a lawsuit to remain. They don’t own their homes.
Actually…they DO own their homes, buddy.
After years of litigation, the remaining residents won the right to stay in their homes and “age-in-place” as it were. The court ruling stated they could remain in their homes until they passed away at which point the houses THEN became Pa property (through Eminent Domain.
10 I think. They were allowed to stay because they won a lawsuit against the state when they seized the town. The state owns their homes and you can’t buy property and move there.