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Balanced Rock-Laurel Run Loop Hike

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Head to the popular Balanced Rock first before taking a longer route back, connecting a few trails into a four-mile loop


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Map Key

4.0

Miles

6.4

KM

Loop

1,291' 394 m

High

853' 260 m

Low

732' 223 m

Up

712' 217 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Geological Significance · River/Creek

Family Friendly A much shorter out-and-back to Balanced Rock is very exciting and manageable for younger or newer hikers.

Overview

Most visitors to Trough Creek State Park, head across the suspension bridge to the Rainbow Falls and Balanced Rock. Instead of retracing your steps back to the parking area, this hike connects a few trails into a longer loop, providing opportunities to leave the more crowded sections of trail behind.

Description

From the Rainbow Falls/Suspension Bridge/Balanced Rock trailhead, head down the switchbacking stone staircases to the suspension bridge across Great Trough Creek. On the other side, head upstream toward Rainbow Falls before continuing up more switchbacks to a short out-and-back section to the Balanced Rock.

On the return, stay right onto the Abbot Run Trail to connect to the south with the Ledges Trail for a short, fairly steep climb up the nose of one of the slopes above the creek. Around the 0.65-mile mark, head left (east) onto the Copperas Rock Trail, which descends to Trough Creek Drive. Some trail section aren't marked or blazed so keep an eye on the Hiking Project mobile app for easier navigation.

Back at the road, turn left (north) to follow the road a few hundred yards looking for the parking area, restroom, and entrance to the Laurel Run Trail to the right, heading north. For visitors looking to shorten this hike, continue to follow the road back to the starting trailhead.

The Laurel Run Trail starts uphill gradually, quickly crossing into Rothrock State Forest, following the Laurel Run for much of its length. Just over the 2.5-mile mark, you'll reach the northernmost point of this hike and a couple of creek crossings before a quick climb toward Terrace Mountain Road. This road can be taken as another alternative return option to the Boulder Trail.

Continuing on this hike, head across the road staying on the Laurel Run Trail to reach the high point of the hike. After a slow descent, head left onto the Boulder Trail to begin a steeper descent across Terrace Mountain Road again, back to the starting point.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3545

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#77

in Pennsylvania

#3,545

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247 Since Mar 12, 2020
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Photos

Crossing Great Trough Creek on Suspension Bridge
Mar 12, 2020 near Martins…, PA
Balanced Rock
Mar 12, 2020 near Martins…, PA
Taking snapshot of Rainbow Falls
Mar 12, 2020 near Martins…, PA
Trail signs
Aug 12, 2018 near McConne…, PA
Trailhead of Suspension Bridge and Balanced Rock
Mar 12, 2020 near Martins…, PA
Balanced Rock Trail.
Mar 12, 2020 near Martins…, PA

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