Thursday, April 25, 2024

Trough Creek State Park

Trough Creek State Park is a scenic gorge formed as Great Trough Creek cuts through Terrace Mountain and empties into Raystown Lake. It is a hidden gem in Pennsylvania's state park system. Ty and I visited yesterday. The drive from Clear Spring was quite scenic, meandering up and down through the countryside. Unfortunately, there wasn't any place to get a snack or go to the bathroom.  

Trough Creek State Park has many things worth seeing: Rainbow Falls, Balanced Rock, Cooperus Rock, a swinging bridge, an ice mine, and an old furnace. The most popular trail in the park is the Balanced Rock Trail, so this is the one Ty and I set out on. The first stop on the trail was the suspension bridge. Ty did not want to cross it. It moves as you walk and has lots of gaps in it. You didn't feel safe, though I'm sure you were. I've been on many suspension bridges. This was the creepiest one.

One of the highlights of the trail is Rainbow Falls. The 15-20 foot falls are very picturesque. Being spring time, there was plenty of water flow. There are steps beside the falls that you can climb to eventually get to the top of the cliff to get a close-up look at Balanced Rock, another highlight of the trail (and park). Ty and I started to climb them, but neither of us wanted to continue. I'm a bit afraid of heights and the stairs were scary. I was especially worried about coming back down the stairs with Ty in tow. 

Balanced Rock is the result of geologic erosion. It lies perched a top a cliff along Great Trough Creek. While it appears that it could easily be toppled into the creek below, it has maintained its current position for thousands of years. Ty and I had to settle for observing the rock from the parking lot below. Not sure Ty cared. 

Further into the park was the ice mine, essentially a hole in the ground. Apparently, when miners were looking for ore, they discovered this small opening could serve as a "refrigerator" to keep things cool. Ty did not want to go down. It freaked him out. I thought it was pretty cool, in multiple ways.

Cooperus Rock offered spectacular views of the different layers of rock. This is where Ty went into the water. There was even a little waterfall in the gorge. There is a rumor that Edgar Allen Poe was inspired to write "The Raven" after visiting the area, as it used to be a nesting place for thousands of ravens. 

We walked part of the Cooperus and Ledge Trail. This was a lovely trek through the woods. Before leaving the park, we visited the Paradise Furnace, also known as the Mary Ann Furnace. The furnace dates back to the 1830's. It operated from the late 1800's until the mid 1900s when economic conditions changed.

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