Trough Creek State Park

Trough Creek State Park

Geobox Protected Area
name = Trough Creek State Park
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category_local = Pennsylvania State Park
category_iucn = III

image_caption =
etymology_type = Named for
etymology = Great Trough Creek
country = United States
state = Pennsylvania
region_type = County
region = Huntingdon
district_type = Townships
district = Cass
district1 = Penn
district2 = Todd
city =
location =
lat_d = 40
lat_m = 19
lat_s = 43
lat_NS = N
long_d = 78
long_m = 07
long_s = 53
long_EW = W
location_note = cite web
title="Trough Creek State Park"
date = August 2 1979
work=Geographic Names Information System
publisher=United States Geological Survey
elevation_imperial = 1073
elevation_round = 1
elevation_note =
area_unit = acre
area_imperial = 554
area_round = 1
area1_imperial =
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biome =
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geology =
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plant =
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established_type =
established = 1936
management_body = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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visitation =
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free_type = Nearest city
free = Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
free1_type =
free1 =

map_caption = Location of Trough Creek State Park in Pennsylvania
map_locator = Pennsylvania
map_first = yes
website = [ Trough Creek State Park]

Trough Creek State Park is a 554 acre (2.24 km²) Pennsylvania state park in Cass, Penn and Todd Townships, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The majority of the park is in Todd Township along Pennsylvania Route 994, east of the unincorporated village of Entriken. Huntingdon is the nearest borough. The park borders Rothrock State Forest and Raystown Lake National Recreation Area. There is a growing population of bald eagles at the lake. Fourteen eagles were spotted in January 2007. This is up from 2 that were spotted in 1990 the first year that an eagle survey was taken. [cite web
url =
title = Bald eagle count rises at Raystown
accessdate = 2007-01-19
author = Marcus Schneck
publisher = Harrisburg Patriot News
] These three sections of state and federal owned property combine together to provide hunting, hiking and fishing opportunities for the outdoorsman.

Trough Creek State Park is one of twenty-one chosen by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Parks for its "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list. [cite web| url = | title = Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks | accessdate = 2007-08-08| publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources "Note: Despite the title, there are twenty-one parks in the list, with Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks treated as one."]


The history of Trough Creek State Park dates back to the pre-colonial Native American inhabitants who hunted and fished in the area prior to being forced out by colonial settlers who came to the area just after the American Revolutionary War. The first Europeans in the area cleared land for farming and built a gristmill to support the farms. Later settlers built iron furnaces clearing the old growth forests to provide fuel for the furnaces. Edgar Allan Poe is rumored to have visited the area and found inspiration in the ravens that lived on the cliffs along Great Trough Creek just prior to writing his poem "The Raven".cite web | url = | title = Trough Creek State Park: History | accessdate = 2007-12-14 | publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources]

Industrial era

The area in and surrounding Trough Creek State Park was settled in 1780 by Nicholas Crum. Crum built a turbine powered gristmill along Trough Creek. A bloomery was constructed in 1790. This iron furnace produced about 100 pounds (45.36 kg) of iron a day.

A larger furnace, Paradise Furnace, was constructed in 1827 by Rueben Trexler. Paradise Furnace greatly increased the production in the Great Trough Creek area. It rose from just 100 pounds a day to 12 tons (10.89 metric tons). Savage Forge was built alongside Paradise Furnace in 1832. The forge turned cast iron into wrought iron. The community surrounding the iron industry thrived until the mid 1850s when Paradise Furnace closed. It reopned for a brief time during the American Civil War before shutting down permanently at the conclusion of the war.

Lumber era

The lumber boom that swept through the hills and forests of Pennsylvania did not reach the Great Trough Creek area until 1910. At this time the area was a thriving second growth forest that had grown in place of the forests that were stripped during the industrial. The mountains were stripped by the lumbering operation of Caprio and Grieco who had built a railroad into the area and built a sawmill at Paradise Furnace. The lumbermen took the logs to the sawmill where they were cut into lumber. Smaller logs were used to reinforce the mine shafts at the Broad Top Coal and Mineral Company mines in Jacobs, Pennsylvania. The only thing the lumbermen left behind was the treetops. These tree tops were left to dry. The passing steam locomotives on the railroads would ignite this dry brush causing massive wildfires that swept through the mountains and valleys. The Great Trough Creek area was left to waste. The forests struggled to regrow in the wake of the wildfire. The hills began to erode. The streams were dying and wildlife was scarcely found.

The forests come back

The area in and surrounding Trough Creek State Park no longer resembles the desolate wasteland left behind the irommen and lumbermen. It is now a thriving third and fourth growth forest that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. The efforts of the men of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression helped to bring about the revitalization of the forests. [ cite web | url =
title = Pennsylvania State Parks: The CCC Years | accessdate = 2007-12-16 | publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Under the direction of the National Park Service and the U.S. Army the men working for the WPA and CCC began the process of building what was to become Trough Creek State Park in June 1933 at CCC camp SP-57-PA. These men cleared the streams and forests tangled brush, they built bridges on state roads, cleared paths in the forests, planted trees and built many of the facilities used today at Trough Creek State Park which was formally opened in 1936.

Natural history

Trough Creek State Park is in the southern section of the Ridge and Valley region of Pennsylvania. Great Trough Creek carved a valley through the Appalachian Mountains which have been greatly reduced in size by the effects of wind and water erosion.cite web | url = | title = Trough Creek State Park: Natural History | accessdate = 2007-12-16 | publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources]

Balanced Rock and Copperas Rocks are two examples of the effects of erosion that can be seen by visitors to Trough Creek State Park. Balanced Rock is perched atop a cliff alongside Great Trough Creek. It appears as if it could tumble into the creek below with the sligthest push, but it has held the same position for thousands of years. Balanced Rock is made up of a hard type of rock that did not erode like the rock surrounding it. As the mountains eroded away Balanced Rock remained.

Copperas Rock rock is a rock that has been stained a coppery-yellow color by ferrous sulfate that has leached from a small coal deposit. Ferrous sulfate is a leading cause of stream pollution in the streams of Pennsylvania, but the small amounts found in the Copperas Rock area are not enough to cause a significant problem in Great Trough Creek. A small cave found near Copperas Rock is thought to have been carved out by early settlers to used the ferrous sulfate mordant to set dyes to homespun fabrics.

Ice Mine is a mine shaft that may have been dug by prospectors looking for iron ore. Iron ore was not discovered but the prospectors did create a natural refrigerator. This has been formed in the shaft by the freezing and thawing of the rocks, melting snows and humid summer air. The rocks freeze in winter, contracting and allowing air to fill the empty spaces. Melting snow flows into the have and is refrozen as ice. The ice remains thanks to cool air flowing down the mountainside and humid air rising up the mountain into the shaft. This process keeps the mine shaft icy until late summer.


Trough Creek State Park is open to year round recretion including camping, picnicking, hunting and fishing.

Lodging and picnicking

Trough Creek State Park has 32 modern camp-sites, all equipped with a hook-up to electricity. RV's of any size can use the facilities at Trough Creek. Each campsite also has a picnic table, tent pad and campfire ring. There is a public restroom, but there are no showers.cite web
url =
title = Trough Creek State Park
accessdate = 2007-02-13
publisher = Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Trough Creek Lodge is available to be rented at any time of the year. The lodge was built in the mid-1800s and is constructed of stone that has been covered with stucco that has been altered to look like bricks. The lodge has a modern kitchen, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and central heating.

There are five picnic sites in Trough Creek Lodge. Picnic tables and pavilions are available at all the picnic areas. There are restrooms, play areas, and hand pump wells available at some of the picnic areas.

Hunting and fishing

Only convert|100|acre|km2 of the park are open to hunting. But Trough Creek State Park adjoins state forest land and land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This land is open for hunting. The most common game species are ruffed grouse, squirrels, turkey and white-tailed deer. Hunters are expected to follow all rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Fishing is quite popular at Trough Creek State Park. Stream fishing is available in Great Trough Creek. Lake fishing is available in a cove of Raystown Lake that is within the park boundaries. Great Trough Creek holds a variety of fish including, trout, panfish, rock bass, sucker and smallmouth bass. Shad can be caught during their run at the mouths of the streams that feed into Raystown Lake.

Nearby state parks

The following state parks are within convert|30|mi|km|0 of Trough Creek State Park: [cite map |scale = 1:65,000| publisher= Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division
title= 2007 General Highway Map Huntingdon County Pennsylvania
accessdate= 2007-07-27
"Note: shows Trough Creek State Park"
] cite web
last = Michels
first = Chris
year = 1997
url =
title = "Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation"
publisher = Northern Arizona University
accessdate = 2008-04-23
*Big Spring State Park (Perry County)
*Blue Knob State Park (Bedford County)
*Buchanan's Birthplace State Park (Franklin County)
*Canoe Creek State Park (Blair County)
*Cowans Gap State Park (Fulton County)
*Warriors Path State Park (Bedford County)
*Whipple Dam State Park (Huntingdon County)


External links


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