Northern State Hospital: Weekly Wander

Northern State Hospital: Weekly Wander

I love it when they preserve history for our exploration. That’s exactly what has been done with the Northern State Hospital.

kids at northern state hospital

We were fortunate enough to explore this beautiful park on a very rain day. By the end of our adventure we were all soaked but it was worth it. Abandoned pieces of history are the coolest.

Northern State Hospital

northern state hospital kitchen


Northern State Hospital’s grand opening happened in 1912. It was created as a self-sustaining farm for the mentally ill, thought to be of therapeutic use.  The hospital site had everything needed to be its own little city. Housing, water supply, sewage system, lumber mill, quarry, steam plant, greenhouse, canning factory, gym, library, laundry, dining room, bakery, dairy, and 700-acre farm with livestock. They didn’t miss anything in the design of this place. Northern State Hospital closed in 1976.


Free! Why do I even include this section. Rarely do we explore costly destinations.


Most of the property is now the Northern State Recreation Area. Hiking/biking trails cover the grounds taking you through the abandoned farm buildings, open pastures, and cemetery. You will also find a disc golf course here.

steph and kids at northern state hospital

If you’re in the area, check this place out. It would be a great place for a nice family picnic. Hopefully the weather treats you better than it did us.

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