Devil's Hole Ruins – Cresco, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Devil's Hole Ruins

Cresco, Pennsylvania

These beautiful ruins deep in the Pennsylvania woods are thought to have been a ski lodge or a speakeasy, but no one really knows.  


These beautiful ruins near Devil’s Hole Creek deep in the Pennsylvania woods are thought to have been a ski lodge or a speakeasy, but to this day, no one really knows what previously stood at this now crumbling site.

The mysterious ruins are located on Pennsylvania State Gamelands # 221 in Paradise Valley just outside the town of Cresco. There is much to explore, but the highlight is the very large double fireplaces that obviously warmed multiple floors of the former structure. There is also what appears to be a wood or coal furnace and what looks like a water boiler. 

While it looks like the original structure was built and remodeled in different decades—there are remnants of stone, concrete and cinder blocks—it’s possible that it was all built at the same time as all these materials were available during the 1920s and 30s. Some locals believe the ruins was originally a speakeasy from the Prohibition era.

Whatever it was, it’s suspected that the building met its demise in the mid-1950s, either by a large fire or possibly a flood. One of the local legends is that there was a bottomless lake in the area and anyone who swam in it sank and went to Hell—hence the name “Devil’s Hole.” The lake is said to have disappeared after the large flood that hit the area in 1955.

You can see more exploration of the ruins in this video.

Update July 2018: The road to the parking lot is closed and not accessible to many vehicles.


Know Before You Go

Park at the coordinates provided, as they are the state gameland’s parking lot. Walk toward the path that goes downhill. Keep walking until you reach a stream. Cross the stream and go left. Once another path opens up on the opposite side of the stream, you'll need to cross the stream again. Keep walking, there’s only one real way to keep walking as it's in a narrow valley. You'll see another spot where you'll need to cross the stream one more time. Continue walking on the path and you'll eventually be led to the ruins.The hike goes down to the valley where it is about 10 degrees cooler, and crisscrosses through the stream. It is a pretty secluded hike. The stream has a tendency to be higher in the spring, so plan your trip accordingly. If you get lost, just follow the stream. The forest also has a warning to wear orange so hunters can see you.

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