A Recreational Guide for
Trough Creek State Park
The 554-acre Trough [troff] Creek State Park is a scenic
gorge formed as Great Trough Creek cuts through Terrace
Mountain and empties into Raystown Lake. Rugged hiking
trails lead to wonders like Balanced Rock and Rainbow
Falls. Rothrock State Forest and Raystown Lake
Recreation Area border the park, making a large,
contiguous area of public land for recreation.
The park can be reached by traveling 16 miles south from
Huntingdon along PA 26, then five miles east along PA
994 near the village of Entriken.
Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call
toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to
Saturday, for state park information and reservations.
Camping: 29 sites, all with electricity
The cozy camping area accommodates any size camper
and has a rustic restroom with no showers. Each site has
an electric hookup, picnic table, campfire ring and
separate crushed stone tent pad. A sanitary dump station
is next to the park office. Camping is open from mid-April
through mid-December. Pets are permitted at designated
Trough Creek Lodge: This renovated, two story, stone
home is available for rental year-round. The stone was
covered with stucco which was scribed to look like brick, a
common practice when the home was built.
Originally constructed in the mid-1800s as an
ironmaster’s home, it has a modern eat-in-kitchen, two
bathrooms, four bedrooms and central heat. The lodge
has spacious porches, yard areas and sits atop a hill
overlooking Paradise Furnace. The lodge is fully
accessible for people with disabilities.
Hiking: 12 miles of trails
The trails traverse scenic vistas, cool stream hollows,
hillsides and ridge tops. A popular short hike crosses the
suspension bridge and follows Rhododendron Trail to
Rainbow Falls. Climb the steps along the waterfall, then
hike on to Balanced Rock and return the same way.
A complete listing of trails and descriptions is on the
other side of this brochure.
The hiking trails of Trough Creek State Park are
famous for their beauty and scenic views. Because trails
can be steep, rocky, follow along cliffs or pass through
narrow ravines, hikers should use extreme caution when
hiking and wear hiking boots. Children must be supervised
at all times. Trail conditions may be slippery when wet or
icy depending on weather conditions.
Boulder: 1.05 miles, red blazes, moderate hiking
Starting at Ice Mine, Boulder Trail follows an old logging
road up the mountain through beautiful forests and is
moderately steep. The scenic and winding trail crosses
Terrace Mountain Road above the campground, then
descends to the suspension bridge parking area. The trail
name is derived from the many boulders along the trail.
Abbot Run: 0.18 mile, white blazes, moderate hiking
Beginning at the Rainbow Falls Bridge, this trail follows
Abbot Run up out of Great Trough Creek Gorge past the
trail to Balanced Rock. The trail crosses the stream twice,
providing surprising changes in scenery, before ending on
Old Forge Road.
Brumbaugh: 2.4 miles, orange blazes, difficult hiking
Starting at Balanced Rock, this trail rises and falls through
spectacular forest scenery along the hillsides and ridges.
From a large opening atop one of the higher ridges there
is a beautiful view of Raystown Lake. This trail ends along
Old Forge Road and Terrace Mountain Trail below the old
Balanced Rock: 0.12 mile, green blazes, moderate
This trail starts at Trough Creek Drive. It passes over
Great Trough Creek via a suspension bridge then past
beautiful Rainbow Falls. The trail ascends a flight of CCC-
built stone steps overlooking Abbot Run and ends at the
geologic wonder, Balanced Rock.
Cemetery: 0.28 mile, orange blazes, moderate
Starting at the Paradise Furnace ruins, this trail crosses a
small stream on a wooden bridge then begins a moderate
climb to an old Paradise Furnace cemetery. This delightful
trail passes a small waterfall and ends at an old cemetary.
Copperas Rock: 0.43 mile, red blazes,
Starting along Trough Creek Drive at Copperas Rock, this
trail climbs a fairly steep and rocky slope through oak and
hemlock trees and ends on Ledges Trail. You can make a
nice 2.5-mile loop by following Ledges Trail to Abbot Run
Trail, descending to Rainbow Falls and following
Rhododendron Trail back to Copperas Rock Trail just
above the parking lot.
Laurel Run: 1.8 miles, green blazes, moderate hiking
Starting along Trough Creek Drive where it crosses Laurel
Run, this scenic trail follows Laurel Run between two
ridges and into state forest land, then crosses Terrace
Mountain Road and ends with a moderate incline to
Boulder Trail. It meanders across Laurel Run numerous
times by way of eight rustic bridges. This trail is very
scenic and lends itself well to wildlife viewing.
Ledges: 0.91 mile, blue blazes, moderate hiking
This trail starts at Trough Creek Drive below the park
office and ends at Abbot Run Trail. The highlight of this
trail is the panoramic view of the Great Trough Creek
gorge from several lookouts. This trail passes the ruins of
the old Paradise Furnace schoolhouse.
Raven Rock: 0.32 mile, yellow blazes, moderate
This trail starts near the upper end of Abbot Run Trail. It
takes you by the geologic wonder, Balanced Rock, and
finally ends up along Trough Creek at Raven Rock where
you will need to retrace your steps to Balanced Rock.
Raven Rock is the cliff site that local legend says was a
favorite nesting site for ravens.
Rhododendron: 0.6 mile, green blazes,
Starting at Copperas Rock Trail and ending at the
suspension bridge, this trail takes hikers up and down
from ridge top to valley floor. Its name is derived from the
beautiful rhododendrons that line the trail. The steepest
portion of the trail is very rocky and requires cautious
footing. Rhododendron usually blooms in early July.
Hunting and Firearms: About 100 acres are open to
hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during
established seasons. Common game species are deer,
turkey, grouse and squirrel. Trough Creek State Park
adjoins state forest and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
lands which are open for hunting.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is
prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day
following Labor Day through March 31 in designated
hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game
Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park
office for accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other
visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and
archery equipment may be uncased and ready for use
only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons.
In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting
seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in
the owner’s car, trailer or camp. Hunters must wear blaze
Snowmobiling: The park serves as a trailhead for trails
on Rothrock State Forest lands. Parking and restrooms
are provided in the park. A snowmobile trail map is
available at the park office.
Picnicking: Five picnic areas throughout the park provide
a variety of scenic table sites. One large picnic pavilion
and two smaller ones may be reserved up to 11 months in
advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on
a first-come, first-served basis. A fourth small picnic
pavilion is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Restrooms, hand pump wells and activity areas are in
some picnic areas.
Fishing: Stream fishing in Great Trough Creek provides a
variety of fish including trout, smallmouth bass, rock bass,
sucker and panfish. In recent years, shad fish netting has
become popular each spring when these fish enter
tributaries of Raystown Lake to spawn. Lake fishing is
available via a short walk along Terrace Mountain Trail to
a sheltered cove of Raystown Lake. Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources and Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission regulations and seasons
The American Indians knew Great Trough Creek Gorge as
a place to live and hunt, but were displaced by settlers
who came to harness the natural power of the moving
water. In 1780, the first settler, Nicholas Crum, built a
wooden tub (turbine) gristmill. A bloomery followed in 1790
and made about 100 pounds of iron a day.
In 1827, Rueben Trexler constructed Paradise
Furnace, which produced 12 tons of cast iron a day. In
1832, Savage Forge was built to turn the cast iron into
wrought iron. Changing economics caused the community
to crumble in 1856. Paradise Furnace briefly reopened
during the American Civil War.
The area has attracted many famous visitors. It is
reputed that Edgar Allen Poe visited and later wrote the
poem “The Raven” after seeing the ravens that nested on
In 1910, the partnership of Caprio and Grieco
established a standard logging railroad from Marklesburg,
Pa., to Paradise Furnace, a distance of eight miles. At
Paradise Furnace, a sawmill produced mine props, timber,
and railroad ties from the second-growth timber of the
In 1913, the railroad incorporated as the Juniata and
Southern Railroad and extended the rail line seven miles
to reach the Broad Top Coal and Mineral Company’s mine
at Jacobs, Pa. In 1917, the mine closed and the timber
was all harvested. The railroad was dismantled and
scrapped. Due to the need for metal for World War I, the
scrap sold for more than the original cost to build the
railroad. Due to the loss of trees, the land was prone to
floods and forest fires.
In 1933, to relieve the rampant unemployment of the
Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The young men in the
CCC received food, clothes and a small paycheck in
return for building roads, trails and recreational facilities,
fighting forest fires, planting trees and doing many other
In June of 1933, Company 1331 arrived and lived in
tents while they built Camp S-57, named Camp Paradise
Furnace. The young men planted trees, constructed roads
and trails, and created Trough Creek State Park, which
opened in 1936. World War II ended the CCC and Camp
S-57 closed in 1941.
Trough Creek State Park is in the Valley and Ridge
Province of the Appalachian Mountains. Once a great
mountain range, weathering and running water reduced
the Appalachians into long, narrow, sweeping ridges.
Great Trough Creek still carves the ridges, creating unique
geologic features throughout the park and deepening
Great Trough Creek Gorge.
While building a railroad line, workers likely discovered Ice
Mine, a natural refrigerator. In winter, cold air diffuses into
spaces between the rocks of the hillside. In spring and
summer, cold air flows down through the spaces between
the rocks and into Ice Mine. This used to cause snowmelt
and moisture in the air to refreeze in the entrance of Ice
Mine. Today, little ice forms in Ice Mine, likely because the
stone wall around Ice Mine blocks the snowmelt. During
the spring and summer, visitors can still experience the
chill of winter by stepping down into Ice Mine.
This huge boulder is perched on the edge of a cliff, looking
ready to fall off at any moment into Great Trough Creek far
below. Balanced Rock, an “erosion remnant” has hung
there for thousands of years. Once part of a cliff with
layers of hard and soft rocks, soft rocks below Balanced
Rock eroded away first, easing Balanced Rock into its
All of the other rocks of the cliff eroded away or fell
over the cliff, leaving only Balanced Rock. To preserve the
natural beauty of Balanced Rock, please do not spray
paint or vandalize any natural features.
Pictured on the brochure cover and above, Copperas
Rocks is named for the coppery-yellow stain on the cliff
surface. The crystalline, yellow precipitate is ferrous
sulfate that leaches from a small pocket of coal. Although
this substance is one of the main pollutants in abandoned
mine drainage, the small quantity here is not harmful to
the stream. Early settlers possibly used ferrous sulfate as
a mordant for setting the dye color in cloth.
The park office is a good place to see piebald white-tailed
deer, which have an uncommon pelt variation of brown
and white blotches. Along Trough Creek Drive is a good
place to see woodland birds like scarlet tanager, veery,
waterthrush, nuthatch, vireo, wood-pewee, chickadee and
Hiking trails are avenues to see spring wildflowers
and trails lined with mountain laurel which blooms in June
and rhododendron, which blooms in July. Copperhead,
timber rattlesnake and five-lined skink can often be found
sunning on rock outcrops throughout the park. Bear,
white-tailed deer and turkey are often seen along Hill Farm
Road, just before entering the park.
Access for People with Disabilities
This symbol indicates facilities and activities that are
accessible. This publication text is available in alternative
If you need an accommodation to participate in park
activities due to a disability, please contact the
Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks:
711 (AT&T Relay Services)
For information on nearby attractions, contact: Huntingdon
County Visitors Bureau, 888-RAYSTOWN.
Warriors Path State Park: About 12 miles southwest of
Trough Creek State Park in Saxton, Bedford County, the
park is just off of PA 26. Warriors Path is a 349-acre day
use park on a peninsula created by a large meander of the
Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. Picnicking, river
fishing and hiking are popular recreational activities. 814-
Rothrock State Forest: Over 90,000 acres of state forest
land in Huntingdon County provides wooded land for
hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, hiking and undeveloped
Raystown Lake: This major recreation area administered
by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encompasses
29,300 acres including a 30-mile long, narrow 8,300-acre
lake. A variety of recreational opportunities are provided in
13 public use areas, including boat launches, marinas,
camping, picnicking, swimming and fishing. 814-658-3405
Protect and Preserve Our Parks
Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all
posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors
and the resources of the park.
• Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural
areas may possess hazards. You are responsible for you
and your family’s safety.
• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
• Please camp only in designated areas and try to
minimize your impact on the campsite.
• Your pets are welcome in many areas, but uncontrolled
pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors. Pets must be
controlled and attended at all times and on a leash or
otherwise safely restrained.
• Do your part to keep wildlife wild! Enjoy wildlife from a
safe distance and do not feed or approach wild animals.
• Prevent forest fires by having a fire in proper facilities
and properly disposing of hot coals. Do not leave a fire
• Please park only in designated areas and obey all traffic
In an Emergency
Contact a park employee or dial 911. For directions to
the nearest hospital, look on bulletin boards or at the park
J.C. Blair Hospital
1225 Warm Springs Avenue
Huntingdon, PA 16652
For More Information Contact:
Trough Creek State Park
RR 1, Box 211
James Creek, PA 16657-9302
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Information and Reservations
Make online reservations at:
www.visitPAparkscom or call toll-free
888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to
Saturday, for state park information and