Exploring Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek State Park

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Rainbow Falls Pennsylvania Huntingdon County
Rainbow Falls Pennsylvania Huntingdon County

Rainbow Falls and Balanced Rock are two of the most popular spots at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

View of Balanced Rock from parking area at Trough Creek State Park.
View of Balanced Rock from parking area at Trough Creek State Park.

And as luck would have it, both are located along the Balanced Rock Trail in the heart of the park.

Rusty Glessner at Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania
The author at Rainbow Falls in HUntingdon County, Pennsylvania

This is a short 0.12 mile hike from the parking area to Balanced Rock, passing Rainbow Falls along the way.


How to Find Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek State Park

The Balanced Rock Trail parking area is located along Trough Creek Drive (the main road through the park) at GPS coordinates 40.32216, -78.12981.

Map to Rainbow Fals and Balanced Rock at Trough Creek State Park
Map to Rainbow Falls and Balanced Rock at Trough Creek State Park

From the parking area procede downhill along the Balanced Rock Trail towards Great Trough Creek.

Map to Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania
Map to Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania

The Balanced Rock Trail crosses over Great Trough Creek via a suspension bridge.

The Suspension Bridge at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania
The Suspension Bridge at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania

Once across the bridge, bear right and follow the Balanced Rock Trail along and above Great Trough Creek approximately 160 yards to Rainbow Falls.

Great Trough Creek at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County PA
Great Trough Creek at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County PA, as viewed from the Suspension Bridge.

Exploring Rainbow Falls

A footbridge over Abbot Run allows you to view Rainbow Falls from an elevated position.

Rainbow Falls Bridge at Trough Creek State Park
Rainbow Falls Bridge at Trough Creek State Park

Rainbow Falls resembles a staircase of water making its way downhill towards Great Trough Creek.

Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania at Trough Creek State Park
Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek State Park

Rainbow Falls is in the 10-12 foot tall range, as illustrated here, with your truly in the photo for scale.

Rusty Glessner at Rainbow Falls in Trough Creek State Park
The author at Rainbow Falls in Trough Creek State Park

Abbot Run is not a large stream with lots of headwater, so seeing it running full-tilt requires a bit of planning.

Fall foliage at Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania
Fall foliage at Rainbow Falls in Huntingdon County.

The spring thaw or after a long, hard rain are your best bets for catching Rainbow Falls flowing well.

Winter at Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek State in Pennsylvania
Spring thaw at Rainbow Falls in Huntingdon County, PA

There is also a small waterfall just below the Rainbow Falls Bridge.

The view from below Rainbow Falls Bridge at Trough Creek State Park.
The view from below Rainbow Falls Bridge at Trough Creek State Park.

Waterfalls Above Rainbow Falls

A series of small waterfalls reside above Rainbow Falls, upstream on Abbot Run.

To see them simply continue up the stone staircase and the Balanced Rock Trail on the right side of the stream.

Stairs along the Balanced Rock Trail at Trough Creek State Park.
Stairs along the Balanced Rock Trail at Trough Creek State Park.

What I would call Middle Rainbow Falls is is approximately 25 yards upstream from the main falls.

Middle Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run at Trough Creek State Park
Middle Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run at Trough Creek State Park

Just above Middle Rainbow Falls, the trail splits.

Balanced Rock Trail bears right, away from Abbot Run and towards Balanced Rock., while Abbot Run Trail continues upstream.

Continue up the Abbot Run Trail another 20 yards to see Upper Rainbow Falls.

Upper Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania
Upper Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

This uppermost waterfall on Abbot Run is quite photogenic in its own right, with the bridge over Abbot Run adding a rustic touch.

Upper Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run at Trough Creek State Park
Upper Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run at Trough Creek State Park

Exploring Balanced Rock at Trough Creek State Park

From the Upper Falls on Abbot Run, backtrack to the trail split and now follow Balanced Rock Trail up more stone steps to Balanced Rock, perched precariously (or so it appears) high above Great Trough Creek.

Balanced Rock at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania
Balanced Rock at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania

Balanced Rock is an “erosion remnant”, the product of thousands of years of erosion, leaving only this massive boulder while the softer rocks around it weathered away and fell into Great Trough Creek long ago.

To get back to your vehicle after visiting Balanced Rock, simply backtrack past Rainbow Falls and across the Suspension Bridge over Great Trough Creek.

Suspension Bridge over Great Trough Creek in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania.
Suspension Bridge over Great Trough Creek in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

Nearby Attractions

Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge is not far from Trough Creek State Park, and is the only remaining covered bridge in Huntingdon County.

Saint Mary's Covered Bridge in Huntingdon County, PA
Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge in Huntingdon County, PA

Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County is one of the most outstanding scenic overlooks in all the Rothrock State Forest.

Exploring Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest.
The author at Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County.

Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County is home to 4 magnificent scenic overlooks of its own, as well as being the largest lake entirely situated with the state of Pennsylvania.


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