Travel, Urban Exploration

New York City Farm Colony

Nestled on a patch of wooded area on Staten Island, NY lies the long abandoned New York City Farm Colony. Built in 1898, what was once a poorhouse, or a place to house and help the needy in exchange for work, would continue to utilize its space for decades to come.

The Social Security system and other programs arose in the 1950s. This started the decline in use for the colony. Those who needed aid were able to get it through these new programs. Eventually, in 1975 the farm colony would close its doors for good. The farm colony is permanently closed and there is a no trespassing sign on the fence.

People spray painted the interior and exterior of the buildings. Now, the colony is a bunch dilapidated buildings with graffiti all over them. Nature is slowly taking back what was once there before human settlement. It’s not uncommon to find deer roaming the grounds as my friend and I did when we explored the area.

If you are driving down Brielle Ave, you may miss this farm colony. I know I almost did when driving past the ave. The buildings are hidden behind trees and bushes, but if you look hard enough you’ll see it while driving. The entrance to the place is a bit tricky to find. If it wasn’t for my friend, we wouldn’t have stumbled upon it.

I drove past the colony about 2 times before parking along a suburban street off of Brielle Ave. From there, my friend and I walked along the busy Brielle Ave. There are no sidewalks so do be careful (NYC drivers are a little crazy).

If you walk about a few minutes, on your right you’re going to look for a little circular slit in the fence that surrounds the colony property. Trust me, if you’re driving past it you have to drive real slow to see it. When walking, keep your eyes peeled as well since the fence is covered by some leaves and bushes.

Once you come across the entrance, walk through and go to either your left or right. We went to our right to the first building we saw while driving from the ave. When you’re inside the property, you’ll find multiple independent buildings so you can choose which one to go in first.


*the inside of these buildings are VERY dilapidated. Meaning, a lot of the structure is in ruin, crumbling, and very UNSAFE. Metal pipes and rods will be poking out. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. We almost fell multiple times while walking around.*

After you’ve made it into a building, you’ll find that a lot of the place is in a state of disrepair. In a way, it has this cool yet scary vibe to it. With all the graffiti, crumbling structure, and emptiness, you get the sense that you’re a badass urban explorer yet scaredy cat.

Maybe it’s the complete darkness that envelops the building even in broad daylight? Maybe it’s the loneliness you feel as you realize you’re the only person there? The overwhelming feeling that nature is slowly creeping up on this once thriving area? I’m not sure. But I can tell you that 90% of the time we were there I felt very anxious and scared.

Urban exploration can be a very fun, thrilling yet dangerous activity. When we went to the abandoned farm colony, there could have been squatters or people meaning to do harm to us. It’s so dark in the buildings if you’re not in an area that has sunlight that anyone can be lurking in the darkness.

Was I afraid of any paranormal activity which is apparently prevalent from numerous satanic rituals performed here? No, I wasn’t. What I was even more afraid of was not the ghost in the corner of the room. Rather, I was terrified of a potential stranger with a weapon. I mean, it’s New York after all, these things happen.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I was such a scaredy cat. My friend was way more adventurous and courageous than I was. I envied her for that. I was so anxious that I was shaking and very out of breath the whole time. But I knew I wasn’t alone so I tried my best to brave the colony with my friend.

If you’re brave enough to come out here and explore, the trip is worth it. I love that clash of urban art/graffiti with mother nature. That mix between an urban setting and untouched natural beauty. Bring a flashlight, some protection if something were to happen, and have fun! I know my friend and I had fun walking around from building to building, exploring the ins and outs of the places.

Would you be brave enough to explore the New York City Farm Colony?

Check out my other posts! –6 Day New Orleans ItineraryMy Time In London10 Reasons Why You Should Travel