After a visit to Pittsburgh, we decided to make a stop at Trough Creek State Park. The skies were overcast and rainy, as the clouds threaded over the green ridges. The state park is one of the finest in PA, famous for its gorge with rock outcrops, cliffs, views, waterfalls, and Balanced Rock, an erosional remnant perched on the edge of a cliff.
We hiked up to the rock, crossing over a swollen Great Trough Creek and its rapids. Rainbow Falls soon came into view, flowing with great force down its narrow, scenic glen. A quick climb brought us to Balanced Rock, an impressive natural feature. The rock appears as if it could slide off the cliff at any moment, but it has been there for centuries.
I wanted to hike the Ledges and Rhododendron Trails, but the rain forced us back to the car.
There was one more place I wanted to see: Hawn’s Overlook above Raystown Lake. I’d never been there, but had seen photos of it. We walked the trail through an incredibly green, fluorescent forest to the view. It was impressive as it revealed the vast Raystown Lake bordered by high ridges and mountains. The view was untouched, as the lake and its bays and coves stretched out into the distance, hiding between the hills. Mist rose from the foothills. This is surely one of PA’s most unique views.