Exploring the Abandoned Hunting Lodge at Linn Run State Park

The front entrance to the former McGinnis Rod and Gun Club on Linn Run.

The abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park is a remarkable set of ruins from the early days of “retreat camping” in western Pennsylvania.

Stone walls and fireplace at the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Stone walls and fireplace at the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

History of the McGinnis Road and Gun Club

In the early 1920s the State of Pennsylvania was actively encouraging city dwellers to build “weekend retreats” in the country, offering $2/year leases on quarter-acre lots of state forest land.

The abandoned hunting lodge known as the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club at Linn Run State Park.
Remains of the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club on land that is now part of Linn Run State Park.

“Retreating” from urban life was a new ideal sweeping the United States, thought to be good for societal health (something this author happens to believe is still sound advice).

The entrance to the former McGinnis Rod and Gun Club, now an abandoned hunting lodge along the Flat Rock Trail at Linn Run State Park.
The entrance to the former McGinnis Rod and Gun Club, now an abandoned set of ruins along the Flat Rock Trail at Linn Run State Park.

The McGinnis Rod and Gun Club was one such retreat.

Images of the McGinnis Road and Gun Club in 1922, now better known as the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Images of the McGinnis Road and Gun Club in 1922.

Built in 1922, the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club existed for roughly 20 years before the building was consumed by fire, leaving only the stone walls and fireplace you see today.

Charter Members of the McGinnis Road and Gun Club in 1922.
Charter Members of the McGinnis Road and Gun Club in 1922.

The land upon which the abandoned hunting lodge sat was eventually absorbed by Linn Run State Park, which was founded in 1924.

Linn Run State Park sign along Linn Run Road.
Linn Run State Park sign along Linn Run Road.

How to Find the Abandoned Hunting Lodge at Linn Run State Park

The abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park is located along the Flat Rock Trail, which runs parallel to Linn Run and would have been a road leading to the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club in 1922.

Flat Rock Trail leading to the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Flat Rock Trail leading to the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

If navigating by GPS, use coordinates 40.16890, -79.23369 to locate the Flat Rock Trail parking lot, which is the same lot used for the Adam Falls Trail.

Map to the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Map to the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

The hike from the parking area to the abandoned hunting lodge is 400 yards, and essentially flat.

The blue-blazed Flat Rock Trail at Linn Run State Park, leading to the abandoned hunting lodge.
The blue-blazed Flat Rock Trail at Linn Run State Park.

Exploring the Ruins of the Abandoned Hunting Lodge

Considering these stones were laid 100 years ago, the ruins of the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park have held up to the natural elements in western Pennsylvania remarkably well!

The towering chimney still standing inside the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
The towering chimney still standing inside the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

An ice house built next to the lodge looks like it could be used even today, if only its original wooden door were replaced.

Ice house next to the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Ice house next to the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

If you walk around to the back of the lodge, you’ll see just how close to Linn Run the structure was built.

Back wall of the abandoned hunting lodge backing to Linn Run.
Back wall of the abandoned hunting lodge adjacent to Linn Run.

It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic setting for “retreating” than on the banks of Linn Run.

Stone walls and fireplace at the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Stone walls and fireplace at the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

At the time period the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club was founded (1922), reforesting this land once clear-cut by timber companies was a priority, as was reintroducing whitetail deer, which had been hunted to near-extinction on Pennsylvania

Remains of the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club on land that is now part of Linn Run State Park.
Remains of the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club on land that is now part of Linn Run State Park.

As you explore this abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park now, it’s hard not to think about the wonderful times that must have been had here in the 1920s and 30s, all the while making your own memories along the banks of Linn Run in Westmoreland County.

Inside the ruins of the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.
Inside the ruins of the abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park.

Nearby Attractions

Adam Falls at Linn Run State Park is accessed from the same parking area as the abandoned hunting lodge, but is located 200 yards in the opposite direction.

Looking down on Adams Falls at Linn Run State Park after heavy spring rains.
Looking down on Adams Falls at Linn Run State Park after heavy spring rains.

Fish Run Falls in the Forbes State Forest may be the prettiest little waterfall in Westmoreland County that you’ve never heard of!

Fish Run Falls in the Forbes State Forest.
Fish Run Falls in the Forbes State Forest.

Wolf Rocks Overlook is located in the adjacent Forbes State Forest and literally looks out over Linn Run State Park.

Springtime at Wolf Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest
Springtime at Wolf Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest.

Beam Rocks Overlook is located in the Forbes State Forest near near Linn Run State Park, and offers a fantastic 180° view from of Somerset County and the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail below.

Fall foliage around Beam Rocks in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.
Fall foliage around Beam Rocks in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Spruce Flats Bog is a quick and easy mountain top hike, and the uniqueness of this 28-acre ecosystem makes it an interesting pit-stop while exploring the Forbes State Forest.

How to find Spruce Flats Bog in the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania.
Spruce Flats Bog in the Forbes State Forest.

Mill Creek Falls is a picturesque, cascading waterfall on an idyllic mountain stream in Westmoreland County.

Sunrise over Mill Creek Falls on State Game Lands 42 in Westmoreland County.
Sunrise over Mill Creek Falls on State Game Lands 42 in Westmoreland County.

Fort Ligonier in Westmoreland County is a historically accurate reproduction of a British fort originally constructed in 1758, during what would become known as the French and Indian War.

Entering Fort Ligonier.
Entering Fort Ligonier in Westmoreland County.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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