Welcome to Agloe, New York – The Town That Isn’t

The Little Town that Wasn’t

Have you heard of Agloe, New York? It’s what is referred to as a mapmakers copyright trap or a “paper town.”

Where is Agloe?

These days Agloe, New York exists only in the hearts and minds of fans of the book and subsequent movie Paper Towns by John Green.

You can visit the place on the map where Agloe wasn’t, then was, then wasn’t again near Roscoe, New York.

Visit where Agloe isn’t on Google Maps

What the heck is a paper town?

Cartographers used fictitious town names, or paper towns as a trap to illustrate that their hard work had been copied by other unscrupulous mapmakers. As such, a paper town only existed on paper.

Welcome to Agloe Sign

Is Agloe a Real Town?

No. Yes? Err… No.

In the curious case of Agloe, that it was only a paper town was true, then it wasn’t, until it was once again.

Though the town name is no longer featured on current New York maps, for a time it was there in all it’s make-believe glory.

A general store which adopted the faux-town name was built in the 1950’s. And in a curious plot twist, the presence of that store actually put the town of Agloe on the map for real. But following the store’s demise, the town name was again removed from maps sometime in the 1990’s.

Agloe, the town that wasn’t then was, isn’t again.

KTM 690 Enduro at the Agloe, New York Sign

Returning to Paper

All that remains now is a small sign welcoming you to Agloe, Home of the Agloe General Store, and not much else. Kenny and I stopped for a look in the summer of 2016 while we were riding in the area.

The not-a-town town was popularized by the book Paper Towns by John Green. Someone who is super corny might say that Green put Agloe… back on the map. (sorry, not sorry)

Kenny on is KTM 990 Adventure Baja Edition
“Did you just take me to visit an imaginary town?”

Visiting the not-a-town town of Agloe, New York

If you’d like to visit the imaginary town yourself, you’ll find the general store sign affixed to a utility pole on Route 206 near Roscoe, just southwest of its intersection with Beaverkill Valley Road.

Google Maps


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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4 Responses

  1. Curvyroads says:

    Fascinating! I had never heard about ‘paper towns’!

  2. Chris says:

    Cool, never knew about this. Sounds like a cool bonus location for a rally 🙂

    Do you have Why AZ or Why Not MS or Why Not NC on your list?

  3. William Kane says:

    Only you would go to the town that wasn’t.

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