Rainbow Falls and Balanced Rock are two of the most popular spots at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.
And as luck would have it, both are located along the Balanced Rock Trail in the heart of the park.
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.
From the parking area procede downhill along the Balanced Rock Trail towards Great Trough Creek.
The Balanced Rock Trail crosses over Great Trough Creek via a suspension bridge.
Once across the bridge, bear right and follow the Balanced Rock Trail along and above Great Trough Creek approximately 160 yards to Rainbow Falls.
Exploring Rainbow Falls
A footbridge over Abbot Run allows you to view Rainbow Falls from an elevated position.
Rainbow Falls resembles a staircase of water making its way downhill towards Great Trough Creek.
Rainbow Falls is in the 10-12 foot tall range, as illustrated here, with your truly in the photo for scale.
Abbot Run is not a large stream with lots of headwater, so seeing it running full-tilt requires a bit of planning.
The spring thaw or after a long, hard rain are your best bets for catching Rainbow Falls flowing well.
There is also a small waterfall just below the Rainbow Falls Bridge.
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.
What I would call Middle Rainbow Falls is is approximately 25 yards upstream from the main falls.
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.
This uppermost waterfall on Abbot Run is quite photogenic in its own right, with the bridge over Abbot Run adding a rustic touch.
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 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.
Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge is not far from Trough Creek State Park, and is the only remaining covered bridge in Huntingdon County.
Did you enjoy this article?
If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups.
Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media!