Outro fato curioso é o aviso no site dos EUA quando diz: É possível visitar centrália???
So you want to visit Centralia PA ...

Gostei das reticências... Tipo... Então... se você quiser visitar Centralia...

Over the years we have been asked many times several general questions about visiting Centralia.   Some are looking for a few pointers as to what to look for when someone visits what is left of the town.  Others are asking questions like,  is it legal to go there, is it dangerous, where do I look to find the smoke coming out of the ground, where is the fire currently located, where did the underground mine fire originally start, how do I find the ever expanding crack in Rt. 61, and the commonly asked question, how do I get to Centralia?  We diligently try to answer all of the questions and help folks find the town as well as locate and understand points of interest once they arrive.  Ultimately we thought it made sense to document your questions and point out interesting locations within the borough and pieces of information surrounding the stranger than fiction story of the town.  So this article will attempt to do just that. 

Is Centralia Dangerous?

Keep in mind as you read this, that we are in no way encouraging you to go to Centralia.  Centralia is not a tourist destination.  Much of the area has it's dangers with toxic gases and subsidence, meaning the ground can and does cave in, possibly opening up dangerous underground caverns of burning coal that can kill you in an instant.  Properties are owned by the Commonwealth of PA and you may indeed be trespassing if you go there.  All this doesn't mean curious people don't go there to get a first hand feel for the demise of a town that was once home to over a thousand people only a few short decades ago.  Just the fact that you are reading this means you may be thinking about visiting (or re-visiting) Centralia PA and therefore we want to share what we know about the town as it stands today.  But always be aware of the dangers as you explore the area.  Stay out of low areas where toxic gases can collect.  Stay out of the subsided areas that have collapsed and are smoking.  Use your best judgment and be cautious.

Is visiting Centralia legal?

Several major routes and minor roads run right through Centralia PA.  Rt 54, Rt 61 and Rt 42 all pass through the town and are open to traffic.  Hundreds if not thousands pass this way daily.  So entering Centralia is legal and it is not closed off to the public.  However most of the properties that had been acquired by the Commonwealth of PA are owned by the state.  Several of the properties that still are home to residents, though owned by the State as well, are personal property.  Whether you are trespassing depends on where you travel within the borough of Centralia.  Most of the area is not posted with "No Trespassing" signs although a few have been seen in specific areas.  There are signs expressing Warnings and Dangers to alert the public of the dangers that can be hidden there.  Yet people visit everyday to look at what is left of the town and see first hand the smoke and steam rising out of the ground.  We have never been aware of anyone being given a hard time about visiting to look around so long as they are respectful of the residents who still live there and are respectful of the personal property and area in general.   Recently there has been an increase in vandalism, which may have changed the attitudes of local people and possibly law enforcement.  As a result if you visit please don't feel the need to apply graffiti, smash bottles or litter.  Respect the residents and their property.  There is a lot of interest in Centralia and many people visit not only to satisfy curiosity but to pay respect to the town as it was.  There are three cemeteries in the borough of Centralia and family and friends visit occasionally.  So please help to keep the area clean and accessible by the public.  If anything, take a little of the garbage with you when you leave.

Caution: A recent note from a friend says that they had been told to leave by a woman driving a red ford pickup truck.  She flashed a badge but did not state who she was.  The person she was confronting wondered if she was actually an officer or if she was posing as an officer (which is a Federal Offense).  If you are there and you are confronted by this person, we suggest you contact local police.  We do not know who this is and if they are legitimately a law officer patrolling the area or not.

What can I expect to see in Centralia?
A brief overview of Centralia PA Today

It wasn't too long ago Centralia was still home to hundreds of people.  Within the past 30 years the numbers of residents has dwindled to next to nothing.   Homes and businesses that once lined the streets were one by one razed over time leaving only a plot of grass in it's place.  Today you'll find a grid-work of streets with no homes.  Cut wires overhead that would have once led to a home or building.  Side streets, curbs and sidewalks are crumbling leaving behind scant evidence of the lives that once populated neighborhoods.  Only a few structures remain at present.  The occasional home here and there, The Centralia Municipal Building and a few random structures. 

There are hot spots in the borough where smoke and steam rise out of the ground, evidence of the fire that still burns down below.  A stretch of Rt. 61 is closed permanently due to the fire below that has cause the roadway to collapse and open a several hundred foot long crack down the highway. Yet today there are still a few resident who live there.  With this in mind please be respectful of the residents if you visit.  Specific locations of interest are below.

The direction from which you enter the town will vary depending on where you're coming from.   But for the sake of starting somewhere, we're going  to enter Centralia from the south, traveling north on State Route 61/54.  As you are leaving Ashland, following Rt 61 you make a right at the top of the long hill.  Follow that about a mile until you see the road as it used to be abruptly end and continue off to the right.  This is the beginning of where Rt. 61 was closed down due to the subsidence ahead on 61. 



Follow the alternate road to the right.  This alternate route for the closed section of Rt 61 takes you around the damaged section on what is known as Byrnesville Road.  You will pass an old abandoned washhouse on the left.  Township Road 311 is off to the right as you round the bend.  This small roadway used to be the community of Byrnesville and is now totally gone.  Continue up the hill.  You will emerge back onto Rt 61.  Here, stop and walk back down the closed section of Rt 61 to scene of the damaged roadway. 

Back at car a few hundred feet turn right onto a gravel driveway where you will find the old protestant cemetery named "Odd Fellows Cemetery".  Just beyond the cemetery turn left down a gravel driveway and look for some old pipes sticking out of the ground.  These pipes used to vent underground gasses years ago while the fire was in this area.  Within this vicinity was the old strip mine that was to be used as a town dump back in 1962.  This is where the fire presumably started. 



Back at road make a left onto Rt. 61 once referred to by locals as Locust Street and continue north a few hundred feet where you can turn left down a narrow blacktop / gravel road (South Street) and up a short hill to an expanse of severe surface damage.  Warning, stay on the well traveled gravel road and out of low areas.  Also stay up wind of smoke and steam.  This is the most impressive view of the damage can be found.

 Beyond those key points of interest, there are many side streets and remnants of homes in the area.  Drive around and explore the streets. Take notice of what you see.  The section "Centralia Today" is a Photo Documentary of Centralia as it stands today taking note of the subtleties of what is left behind.

Below is a map that you can print that may help guide you through the streets. 



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