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Old 11-22-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MN
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I just watched the movie Poplulation 436 last night. It's about an isolated Midwestern town called Rockwell Falls (presumably in Illinois, but they don't really say), whose population has stayed the same for over 100 years. A census taker comes to town and is warned by a local that he should immediately return to the last town, which is 50 miles back.

Even if we buy the premise that Rockwell Falls is located at the end of the ONLY road leading there, it's hard for me to believe that ANY town in Illinois could be the only populated place for 50 road miles. I live in northern Minnesota (which has some pretty remote areas) and I can't think of a town that is the ONLY thing for 50 miles. 30 maybe, but not 50.

That got me thinking...is there ANY town in the USA that is 50 or more miles by road, in any direction, from any other town? (This of course excludes Alaskan villages or island settlements, etc. that can only be flow or boated to.)

I Googled "most isolated town in america" but didn't really get the answer I was looking for. I also took a quick look at Google maps at some sparsely populated areas. Even Eureka, NV (located on the "loneliest road in America") is within 40 miles of places called Alpha (to the north on hwy 278) and Bull Fork (to the south on hwy 379). If Alpha and Bull Fork are actually "towns", I don't know...but somehow they earned a name and a dot on the map.

So, does such a place exist in the USA? Thanks for any help you can give to satisfy my geeky curiosity
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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In New Mexico, Las Cruces and Deming are 60 miles apart and there aren't really any towns between them.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:01 PM
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Location: Ohio
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Surely there are places in West Texas that fit that description.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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There are towns in Alaska.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,705,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidniteBreeze View Post
I just watched the movie Poplulation 436 last night. It's about an isolated Midwestern town called Rockwell Falls (presumably in Illinois, but they don't really say), whose population has stayed the same for over 100 years. A census taker comes to town and is warned by a local that he should immediately return to the last town, which is 50 miles back.

Even if we buy the premise that Rockwell Falls is located at the end of the ONLY road leading there, it's hard for me to believe that ANY town in Illinois could be the only populated place for 50 road miles. I live in northern Minnesota (which has some pretty remote areas) and I can't think of a town that is the ONLY thing for 50 miles. 30 maybe, but not 50.

That got me thinking...is there ANY town in the USA that is 50 or more miles by road, in any direction, from any other town? (This of course excludes Alaskan villages or island settlements, etc. that can only be flow or boated to.)

I Googled "most isolated town in america" but didn't really get the answer I was looking for. I also took a quick look at Google maps at some sparsely populated areas. Even Eureka, NV (located on the "loneliest road in America") is within 40 miles of places called Alpha (to the north on hwy 278) and Bull Fork (to the south on hwy 379). If Alpha and Bull Fork are actually "towns", I don't know...but somehow they earned a name and a dot on the map.

So, does such a place exist in the USA? Thanks for any help you can give to satisfy my geeky curiosity
you must haven't been to Texas
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:22 PM
 
4,925 posts, read 9,788,469 times
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There are areas of Eastern Oregon which fit the description. One area I am thinking of in particular is the Steens Mountain area, particularly Frenchglen. There are "towns" on the map in the area but when you get to them, it's not really a town. For example, there's a Princeton on the map in the area (east and a little north) but Princeton is basically a trailer that is the post office for the rural ranching area.

A lot of those dots on the map that the OP referred to were once town, but aren't any more.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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It's an interesting question. Settlements like Dell City, Texas come to mind.

But as it happens, there is actually no point in the continential United States which is more than 20 or so miles from a road. Which is to say, if you pick any point on a map of the lower 48 and draw a circle with a compass around that point, you will never be able to get your radius wider than 20 miles without hitting some roads.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
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Drive on I-80 between Reno and Salt Lake.

Its like ur driving on the moon and pass thru very small towns that have nothing around them for miles and miles.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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Here are the stats for Frenchglen, OR, or to be more exact, the area code for Frenchglen--

Zip code 97736
Square miles--582.93 square miles
Population (2000 census)--78
Population density--.13 people per square mile.

This is one of my favorite areas in the entire world. It's known by many in Oregon as "America's Outback"...very empty. I'd be surprised if there was a real town within 50 miles of here...shoot, Frenchglen itself is barely a town, it just happens to be the biggest thing around for miles and miles and miles and miles...The entire county is bigger than some northeastern states and barely has over a 1000 people in it.

As for the assertion that in the lower 48 that you're never further than 20 miles from a road--I'm not so sure about that. Even as the crow flies, I'm not so sure about that. If true, there's still a lot of roads in the west of the continental US that if you found it, there's still no guarantee of seeing anyone for days, and in some cases months--in the winter.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:53 PM
 
5,767 posts, read 10,308,954 times
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Quote:
As for the assertion that in the lower 48 that you're never further than 20 miles from a road--I'm not so sure about that. Even as the crow flies, I'm not so sure about that.
I was doubtful, too, but it has been proven by geographic surveys. One of the more recent ones was carried out a few years ago by the USGS.

Miles from Nowhere

Quote:
The most remote landlocked spot is in the southeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park, 20 miles from the nearest road.
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