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Inside The Bay Area’s Ghost Town: Drawbridge, CA

Were you aware that we had a ghost town right here in the Bay Area? One that’s technically in Fremont’s city limits? It’s true. Drawbridge, California is the sinking, closed to the public, ghost town that’s on an island in the 510.

Drawbridge, California (formerly Saline City) was once a bustling town thanks to the South Pacific Coast Railroad in the late 19th century up until the 1920s, or so. There were no roads in the town, but it did have up to 90 buildings at one point. Several still stand though they are decrepit and sinking into the marshland.

Abandoned ghost towns are now my jam. #Drawbridge #SalineCity

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As of 1955 trains no longer stopped in the town and by 1979 the last resident had moved out.

It is now part of the US National Wildlife Refuge and is off limits to the public. So if you must go & take Instagram photos the legal way to get there was outlined by a user on Yelp (yes, Drawbridge has a Yelp page).

The closest legal way to see Drawbridge (other than from a train) is the Mallard Slough Trail from the Alviso end of Don Edwards Preserve. This will get you within viewing distance of Drawbridge, just across one of the creeks from the ghost town. Note that there is currently work underway on this trail and much of it is closed until sometime in 2013.

It is illegal to walk onto Station Island where Drawbridge is located. You will be trespassing and getting fined is a possibility (although I’ve not heard any firsthand accounts of this happening).  I have it on good authority that if you land your helicopter on the salt marsh, you are likely to get yelled at. – Yelp

Trains still pass through, but your best way to view the spot is through the recent drone videos in this post.

Drawbridge, CA 🌅 #HDR

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The bay area's only ghost town, near Fremont

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For more on Drawbridge & its history (& demise) head here.

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