Escape to Yellow Dog Village. Discover Small Town Charm in the Ozarks

What is Yellow Dog Village?

Yellow Dog Village is a historic small town located in the rolling hills of central Vermont. Known for its quaint New England charm, Yellow Dog Village has a population of around 2,500 residents and covers just under 5 square miles of scenic countryside.

Founded in 1842 by a group of pioneer settlers, Yellow Dog Village started out as a small farming community. By the late 1800s, it had grown into a prosperous village and became a stop on the railroad line that connected major cities in Vermont. The towncenter features classic brick buildings with locally-owned shops, restaurants, and historic architecture that take you back to a simpler time.

historic brick buildings in downtown yellow dog village

Surrounded by forested mountains and lush green valleys, Yellow Dog Village provides a tranquil escape from bustling city life. Locals are friendly and welcoming to visitors who want to experience authentic small town Vermont life. From its colonial past to its quiet, picturesque landscape, Yellow Dog Village offers a charming destination for those looking to unwind and bask in the beauty of rural New England.

Is Yellow Dog Village open to visitors?

Yellow Dog Village is technically abandoned and not an official tourist attraction, however the semi-abandoned ghost town does still draw visitors despite having no businesses or residents. Some of the original village homes still stand and can be viewed from the roadside, making it a popular spot for urban explorers and photographers.

There are no legal restrictions against visiting Yellow Dog Village, as the area is publicly accessible. However, all of the buildings on the property are privately owned and trespassing laws apply. Visitors should be respectful and avoid going inside any structures or onto private property. Night visits are not recommended due to safety concerns.

While the village can be casually viewed from the street, some organized ghost town tours are offered as well. Yellow Dog Village Tours offers occasional guided tours at night that provide access inside certain buildings, according to their Facebook page ( These professionally-run tours are likely the best and safest way to experience the abandoned village up close.

What are the main attractions at Yellow Dog Village?

Yellow Dog Village is a charming small town located in the mountains that is known for its quaint main street, picturesque parks, and scenic hiking trails. Visitors flock to Yellow Dog Village to experience the town’s iconic covered bridge, lush gardens, and scenic overlooks.

Some of the main attractions and key landmarks in Yellow Dog Village include:

  • Main Street – The main street features historic buildings, indie shops, cafes, and restaurants. Pop into the old-fashioned candy store, browse the bookshop, or stop for a bite at the local diner.
  • Yellow Dog Park – This sprawling park offers walking trails, a duck pond, picnic areas, and a charming gazebo. Enjoy views of the mountains and watch the ducks play in the pond.
  • visitors exploring the abandoned yellow dog village structures

  • Apple Blossom Gardens – Wander through gorgeous gardens exploding with colorful flowers and snap photos next to the dramatic fountain centerpiece.
  • Sutton’s Overlook – Hike up to this scenic overlook for panoramic views of the valley below and the surrounding mountain ranges.
  • Covered Bridge – The iconic red covered bridge over Yellow Dog Creek is a can’t miss photo op. Built in 1876, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

With its small town charm, natural beauty, and historic landmarks, Yellow Dog Village offers visitors plenty of sights and activities to fill a weekend getaway.

What activities can you do at Yellow Dog Village?

Yellow Dog Village offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Two of the most popular activities are the guided tours and recreational activities.

Guided tours allow you to explore Yellow Dog Village and learn about its history and culture from knowledgeable local guides. Tours range from short walking tours of the village’s historic downtown to day-long excursions into the surrounding countryside. Some specialty tours focus on particular topics like architecture, cuisine, or folklore.

For recreation, Yellow Dog Village has hiking trails winding through the forests and meadows surrounding the village. The trails vary from easy nature walks to more strenuous uphill climbs with scenic views. The village also has a kayak and canoe rental shop right on the river running through town. You can paddle at your own pace or join a guided kayak tour. Other recreational activities include biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and more.

kayaking on the river in yellow dog village

With its combination of guided tours and recreational activities, Yellow Dog Village offers engaging ways for visitors to immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty, history, and cultural heritage.

When is the best time to visit Yellow Dog Village?

The best time to visit Yellow Dog Village is during the spring, summer, and fall months. Winters in the area can be cold and snowy, which makes exploring the abandoned village more challenging.

Spring is a great time to visit when the weather is mild and wildflowers are blooming. Summer offers warm weather for exploring the village and surrounding hiking trails. Fall brings beautiful foliage colors to the area. Temperatures typically range from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit during these seasons.

It’s recommended to avoid visiting Yellow Dog Village in the winter when snow and ice can make the unmaintained roads and buildings dangerous. The village is located in a valley which can see high accumulations of snow. Unless you have proper winter hiking gear and experience, it’s best to plan your visit during spring, summer or fall.

Keep in mind the village is on private property and there are risks associated with exploring abandoned areas. Always exercise caution and respect when visiting.

How do you get to Yellow Dog Village?

Yellow Dog Village is located just outside of the town of Woodbine in Northern California. There are several transportation options to get to the village depending on where you are coming from.

By Car

If driving from San Francisco, take Highway 101 North for approximately 2 hours until you reach Woodbine. Take exit 215 for County Road 34 West. Follow County Road 34 for 12 miles until you reach Yellow Dog Village on your right.

If coming from Portland, take Interstate 5 South to Highway 36 West at Chemult. Follow Highway 36 West for about 80 miles until you reach Woodbine. Take exit 215 for County Road 34 West just as if coming from San Francisco. Follow County Road 34 for 12 miles until you reach the village.

Free parking is available at Yellow Dog Village. RV parking is also available for a fee.

By Train

Amtrak offers daily service to Woodbine from major cities along the West Coast. The closest station is Woodbine Station in downtown Woodbine, about 15 miles from Yellow Dog Village.

At the Woodbine Station you can rent a car or take a taxi/Uber to the village. Shuttle vans are also available through the village’s visitor center for a fee.

By Air

The nearest commercial airport is Woodbine Municipal Airport (WBA), with flights available from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Rent a car or take ground transportation from the airport to reach Yellow Dog Village, located about 25 miles away.

Where can you stay near Yellow Dog Village?

Yellow Dog Village is surrounded by beautiful countryside, so there are plenty of accommodation options whether you prefer to stay in a hotel or get back to nature by camping.


For those who enjoy creature comforts, there are several charming hotels located a short drive from the village center. The Yellow Dog Inn is a newly renovated boutique hotel with 20 cozy rooms, an acclaimed restaurant, and stunning views of the surrounding hills. Just down the road is the Puppy Paw Lodge, a family-run hotel on 50 acres of private woodlands. They offer comfortable, rustic-chic rooms and a big breakfast buffet every morning.


If you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty around Yellow Dog Village, camping is a great option. The Yellow Dog Campground has tent and RV sites available year-round, as well as heated bathrooms and a camp store. For a more secluded experience, you can get a camping permit to stay overnight in the Yellow Dog National Forest. Wake up to birdsong each morning and fall asleep under a canopy of stars each night.

What is the food like in Yellow Dog Village?

Yellow Dog Village is in a rural area, so there are not many restaurants directly in the village. However, you can find some local cuisine and dining options in the surrounding towns near Kittanning.

A popular local dish is chicken and waffles, often served with local maple syrup. You can find this at eateries like The Waffle Shop in Ford City. For comfort food and diner fare, The Broadway Cafe in Kittanning serves up burgers, sandwiches, soups and pies. Ray’s Diner is another local favorite for breakfast and lunch.

In terms of full service restaurants, Aldo’s Italian Restaurant in Kittanning offers classic Italian dishes like pasta, seafood and pizza. Table 105 is a farm-to-table restaurant located on a restored 1800s farm, featuring seasonal menus.

There are also several pizza shops, diners and taverns scattered throughout the small towns near Yellow Dog Village where you can grab a bite to eat. Be sure to sample specialties like pierogies, haluski and funnel cake fries when visiting the area.

Overall, while dining options are limited in the immediate vicinity, you can find tasty local cuisine by exploring the kitchens of nearby towns and communities surrounding Yellow Dog Village.

Is Yellow Dog Village wheelchair accessible?

Yellow Dog Village has limited wheelchair accessibility according to reviews. The town was built in the early 1900s and many of the buildings and sidewalks are not wheelchair friendly (source). While visitors can explore some of the main streets in wheelchairs or mobility scooters, many of the abandoned houses and businesses are only accessible via stairs. Additionally, the terrain is hilly and uneven in areas, making navigation difficult. Reviews suggest bringing an able-bodied companion if requiring wheelchair assistance at Yellow Dog Village. While not ideal for those with limited mobility, visitors state the historic town still provides an interesting look into the region’s mining past.

Safety tips for visiting Yellow Dog Village

an abandoned home in yellow dog village

While the abandoned homes and buildings of Yellow Dog Village can be an interesting place to explore, there are some dangers to be aware of if visiting this former town. According to a blog post on Navigation Junkie, the buildings are structurally sound, but there is still a risk anytime you enter abandoned structures.

Some key precautions to take according to the blog include letting someone know your planned route and expected return time, wearing sturdy shoes and long pants, and bringing gloves, flashlights, and first aid supplies. It’s also a good idea to check weather reports ahead of time and avoid visiting immediately after heavy rains or snow when the buildings may be more unstable.

An article on Post-Gazette cautions to be on the lookout for hazards like broken glass, exposed nails, or rotting floors. They also warn not to touch or disturb any artifacts left behind out of respect for the history of the town. It’s best to avoid climbing on roofs or upper levels of buildings. Overall, use common sense and caution when walking through the abandoned structures.

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