Carson City & Indian Village: Abandoned Theme Park

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2015

A couple of weekends ago, I drove up to the Catskill, NY with my sister and her boyfriend to explore an abandoned zoo (Catskill Game Farm) and a separate, unrelated theme park, Carson City and Indian Village. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the previous post, exploring the Catskill Game Farm didn't work out as planned, which was a real bummer to me. I had seen some pretty sweet pics of the interior and was really excited to check it out. Carson City, to be honest, was kind of an afterthought. And yet it turned out to be pretty worth it. Funny how life and circumstance works out that way sometimes.

Credit: http://photos.aroundcarson.com/details/1436




After talking a bit with the man who owns the Game Farm, he told us how to get to Carson City. Before we hopped back in my car, he warned us that there wasn't much left. There had been plans to develop it into a housing complex and many of the buildings had been torn down in the process. Somehow I expected Carson City to be like a modern theme park, or even like Jungle Habitat, with fences everywhere and the whole thing set back from the road. It wasn't quite so. We literally just had to pull off of Rt 32, up a little gravel road and park. It turned out that there were quite a few buildings still intact and, surprisingly, there were actually people living in one of the old buildings. Pretty weird. There was a little boy running around the pond there and I couldn't help but think how interesting a childhood that must be-- to grow up in an abandoned theme park.

Where we parked. Some sort of amphitheater.
A little background on the place-- the Catskills, as many who read this blog will know, were once an incredibly popular tourist destination. The town of Catskill, NY was/is host to a variety of attractions: Howe Caverns (which is still around), Catskill Game Farm, Carson City, camping sites, etc. As a kid, I remember going up to the Catskills with my family pretty regularly to camp. We even visited Howe Caverns once. I remember really liking it.

The Catskill region itself used to be exceptionally popular, especially prior to cheap and easy access to air travel. Just look at the history of the Borscht Belt-- grand hotels and resorts like Grossinger's, Palm's, and The Pines Hotel (just to name a few) that once saw the rich and famous now sit abandoned. It's going to be interesting to see how the region changes again once some of these old sites are redeveloped into casinos. That is assuming that that actually happens.



Animal Antics
Carson City and Indian Village was a 100-acre Wild West themed amusement park that had a mock Wild West town with a bank, barber, saloon, school house, and so forth. "Robberies" and shoot-outs were staged, often including visitors just roaming around. One section of the theme park was the Indian Village with teepees and featured Native American dances.

We only explored one section. I'm not even entirely sure what else still exists out there. I mean, 100 acres is kind of a lot to explore on a cold day in a vehicle that is most definitely not all terrain.

Village Remnants

Remains of some sort of structure

My beautiful sister

Frozen Food Distributors. Who only knows how long that had been parked there.




There were 2 of these headstones on the edge of the woods. They looked surprisingly real. Could they be?




I loved the details

On stage

Someone had a good time

Notice all the mattresses 





Backstage





"Gambler's Paradise"-- the only inhabited building

The Old General Store





Bathrooms







  1. My ex-husband was a cowboy there for about 4 years. I saw many a show there and to include the jumping horse. That was actually poked in the behind so it would jump LOL

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    1. Was there a bench with a statue of a cowboy on that bench there? We used to visit all types of amusement parks and I've got an old picture of me when I was a small boy. If I can find that bench with the cowboy I'm going to sit right next to him with my 6'5 frame and grab another picture.

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    2. Yes, there was. I have a pic sitting on that bench too?

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  2. Thanks, I went there too when I was a kid. Fond memories. Sad it is gone.

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  3. been here when i was just a kid and i see your post and i know my youngest son would think this is so cool but i can find the dirt road you are talking about on google map. can you help please. maybe a GPS location or the next closest address please

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    1. Hi James. Thanks for reading! The closest address I could find for it is 5389 Route 32 in Catskill, NY. I haven't been there in about 5 years, but from what I recall, it was pretty obvious from the road. Looking at google streetview, it looks like they added a bunch of arborvitae to screen it, but the buildings still look visible. Best of luck and hope your son enjoys it!

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  5. Oh the memories, I was just reminiscing about all my childhood good times in the Catskills with someone yesterday, I was told they are going to be reopening does anyone know if this is true? I would love to return to visit

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