Mirkwood was the nickname given to a road in Hawkins that went past the Hawkins National Laboratory. Located where the roads Cornwallis and Kerley meet, it was the road that Will Byers would take when going home with his friends.
In November 1983, Will encountered the Monster on Mirkwood and ran through the forest to his home. He was then abducted by the Monster, and the police found his bike by the road the following day. Disappointed with the police's efforts, Will's friends, Mike, Dustin & Lucas went to Mirkwood together, where they found Eleven in the nearby forest.
At some point before, Dale and Henry went hunting near Mirkwood and disappeared, presumably killed by the Monster. Bev Mooney, who was presumably close with the two, reported them missing at Hawkins Police Station.
Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler went hunting for the Monster on Mirkwood, encountering a wounded deer. As they were about to perform a mercy kill on it, it was suddenly pulled away by an unseen force. Following the trail of blood, Nancy discovered an open portal in the base of a tree. Entering the portal, she found herself in another dimension where she witnessed the creature feeding on the deer. When the Monster was alerted to her presence, she ran away, screaming for Jonathan's help. Following the sound of her voice, Jonathan found the portal and quickly pulled her out to safety. The portal closed immediately after, leaving no evidence that it had ever existed.
Mirkwood is located where the roads Cornwallis and Kerley meet and goes past the Hawkins National Laboratory. It is in close proximity to both the Byers house and the Harrington house, with only a forest separating them.
Behind the scenes
Cornwallis and Kerley is a real intersection in Durham, North Carolina, the hometown of the Duffer Brothers.
The name Mirkwood originates from a forest in Old Norse mythology, where it was called Myrkviðr. It means "dark wood" or "black forest." Inspired by the mythology, Mirkwood is also a forest in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien where the character Legolas originated. It used to be called Greenwood the Great before it was taken over by the evil necromancer Sauron.