WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property. 

So, you’re out for a walk down a woodsy trail when all of a sudden, an old deserted stone building peeks at you from around the bushes and trees. You get a little closer until the whole structure comes into view…it’s an abandoned motel, stuck out here alone in the forest, The stone steps are covered in moss and leaves, and covered with a mossy roof that looks like it came out of Middle Earth. It’s the empty Echo Valley Resort, tucked in the woods of the Louis M. Groen Nature Center, about a stone’s throw south of Johannesburg Lake.

Someone at the nature center had the good sense to chain this old motel off to dissuade trespassers…so far, it seems to work. The place may be crumbling, mossy, overgrown, and deteriorating, but it looks basically graffiti-free and safe from vandals.

Along with the old motel are the remains of old lumber camp buildings, an old sawmill, and equipment. The trail leading to the motel is lined with rusted-out old automobiles from the 1930s. The old lumber camp buildings are decaying as well with little or no renovation.

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The nature center sits less than a half mile north of the town of Johannesburg in Otsego County. The town originated as a station along the Michigan Central Railroad and began to grow when the Johannesburg Manufacturing Company built a sawmill…..is it the same old sawmill that still stands in the nature center? Could very well be. The post office kicked in in 1901 and Johannesburg survives at the junction of M-32 and Heatherton Road.

Now, take a look at some photos below, mainly of the old Echo Valley Resort hiding back in the forest…..

Abandoned Echo Valley Motel (Resort)

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