Trough Creek State Park

16362 Little Valley Road
James Creek, PA 16657


The 541-acre Trough Creek State Park is a scenic gorge formed as Great Trough Creek cuts through Terrace Mountain before emptying into Raystown Lake. Rugged hiking trails lead to wonders like Balanced Rock and Rainbow Falls.

Rothrock State Forest and Raystown LakeOpens In A New Window border the park, making a large, contiguous area of public land for recreation.

Hiking at Trough Creek State Park

12 miles of trails

The hiking trails of Trough Creek State Park are famous for their beauty and scenic views. Sections of the trails are steep and narrow with rocks and roots covering the surface. Some trails follow rock ledges with vertical cliffs and pass through boulder fields and narrow ravines.

Hikers should use extreme caution and wear sturdy hiking boots with ankle support. Trail conditions may be slippery when wet or icy depending on weather conditions. Children must be supervised at all times.

Abbot Run Trail
0.18 mile, white blazes, more difficult hiking

Beginning at the suspension bridge, this trail follows Abbot Run up out of Great Trough Creek Gorge past the trail to Balanced Rock to Old Forge Road.

Balanced Rock Trail
0.12 mile, green blazes, more difficult hiking

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.

Boulder Trail
1.05 miles, red blazes, more difficult hiking

Starting at Ice Mine, Boulder Trail follows an old logging road up the mountain through an oak and hemlock forest and ends at the suspension bridge parking lot.

Brumbaugh Trail
2.4 miles, orange blazes, most difficult hiking

Starting at Balanced Rock, this trail rises and falls through spectacular forest scenery along the hillsides and ridges, including a beautiful view of Raystown Lake. This trail ends along Old Forge Road and Terrace Mountain Trail below the old park dam.

Cemetery Trail
0.28 mile, orange blazes, more difficult hiking

Starting at the Paradise Furnace ruins, this trail crosses a small stream on a wooden bridge then begins a moderate climb to the 17th century Paradise Furnace Cemetery.

Copperas Rock Trail
0.43 mile, red blazes, more difficult hiking

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. Hikers can make a 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 Trail
1.8 miles, green blazes, more difficult hiking

Starting along Trough Creek Drive, this scenic trail meanders across Laurel Run numerous times on rustic bridges in between two ridges and into state forest land, then crosses Terrace Mountain Road and ends with a moderate incline to Boulder Trail.

Ledges Trail
0.91 mile, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

This trail starts at Trough Creek Drive below the park office and ends at Abbot Run Trail. The highlights of this trail are the panoramic view of Great Trough Creek Gorge and the remnants of the old Paradise Furnace schoolhouse.

Raven Rock Trail
0.32 mile, yellow blazes, more difficult hiking

This trail starts near the upper end of Abbot Run Trail. It takes hikers by the geologic wonder, Balanced Rock, and ends along Trough Creek at the base of Raven Rock where hikers will need to turn around to return to Balanced Rock. Raven Rock is the cliff site that local legend says was a favorite nesting site for ravens.

Rhododendron Trail
0.6 mile, green blazes, more difficult hiking

Starting at Copperas Rock Trail and ending at the suspension bridge, Rhododendron Trail takes hikers up and down from ridge top to valley floor. The steepest portion of the trail is very rocky and requires cautious hiking. The trail is named for the beautiful rhododendrons that line the trail and bloom during early July.

Terrace Mountain Trail
29 miles, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

Terrace Mountain Trail traverses the eastern side of Raystown Lake, from Weavers Falls in the south to Corbins Bridge north of the dam. The trail provides hiking and backpacking spanning some of the area’s most remote and challenging terrain. The trail crosses state park, Rothrock State Forest, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands.

Picnicking at Trough Creek State Park

This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
Five picnic areas throughout the park provide a variety of scenic sites. Restrooms, water, and activity areas are available at some of the picnic areas.

One large picnic pavilion and two smaller ones may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a rental fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free and may be used on a first-come, first-served basis.

An additional small picnic pavilion is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stay the Night at Trough Creek State Park

29 sites, all with electricity

This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
The campground opens in mid-April and closes in mid-December. The camping area accommodates any size camper and has a rustic restroom with no showers.

Each site has an electric hookup, picnic table, and campfire ring. Most sites have a separate crushed stone tent pad.

Pets are permitted at designated campsites.

A sanitary dump station is next to the park office.

Wildlife Watching at Trough Creek State Park

Natural History
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 carved away at the ridges creating the unique geologic features seen today. The gorge is still undergoing slow geologic changes as Great Trough Creek continues to erode the valley.

Fishing at Trough Creek State Park

Stream fishing in Great Trough Creek provides a variety of warmwater and coolwater fish, including:

Smallmouth bass
Rock bass
During 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.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply.

Hunting at Trough Creek State Park

During established seasons, about 100 acres are open to:

Training of dogs
The gate on Old Forge Road is open during hunting season to give access to forest lands.

Common game species are:

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.

Biking at Trough Creek State Park

3.5 miles of trails

Old Forge Road west of Great Trough Creek is a dirt road that can be biked to the edge of Raystown Lake.

Snowmobiling at Trough Creek State Park

The park serves as a trailhead for snowmobile trails on Rothrock State Forest lands.

Parking and restrooms are provided at Pavilion #1, and along Terrace Mountain Road near the campground.

A snowmobile trail map is available at the park office.

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