Linn Run State Park is absolutely one of Westmoreland County’s best places for hiking and spending time outdoors in nature. Whether you are at the park to see Adams Falls, Flat Rock swimming area, or just to have a picnic, there is one thing most visitors are familiar with — the remains of the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club.
On the trail going to Flat Rock are the ruins of what appears to be a stone cabin. The windows and roof have long since rotted away, bu the ruins have served as the ideal backdrop for engagement photos and even weddings. The creek runs behind the ruins and a lush treetop canopy make a serene setting.
While these ruins often spark curiosity, few people know what the building once was. Some speculate it was a house, but it was actually a rod and gun club lodge.
The McGinnis Rod and Gun Club was established in 1922 on the land that is now Linn Run. The club operated on the site until the 1940s when it was abandoned. Eventually the roof collapsed and the windows and doors either were broken, rotted away, or were removed, leaving just the imposing stone walls and gigantic fireplace.
There is also a small outbuilding that I had never noticed until the last time I was at Linn Run. I’m not sure what that building would have been.
The McGinnis Rod and Gun Club is not the only ruin that can be found at Linn Run, but it is certainly the most prominent. If you look carefully, you can find foundations as well as chimneys left over from cabins of the past tucked here and there throughout the park. These serve as a reminder of when the park served as a retreat (for those with the means) into the fresh mountain air.
Another interesting tidbit from the past which can be found near Linn Run are traces from the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland, and Somerset Railroad that serviced the area. The main line of the railroad extended from Rector to Somerset and switched back and forth across Linn Run several times. Along Fish Run Train in Forbes State Forest, traces of the old railroad can still be seen.
In addition to being a very scenic and beautiful place to spend an afternoon, Linn Run also has some fascinating links to the past that are still visible if you know where to look!
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