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Topic: TR: Terrace Mountain, Trough Creek< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 07 2013, 9:05 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Photos

For the Memorial Day weekend, I decided to return to Trough Creek State Park.  The goal was to do a long 12+ mile loop hike, using the Terrace Mountain Trail, some woods and logging roads atop Terrace Mountain, and some of the State Park trails.

I started at the Balanced Rock parking area.  The hike started by ascending the Boulder Trail, reaching a small ridge on a tight bend of Trough Creek.  There are, not that surprisingly, plenty of boulders and outcrops along this trail.  After crossing a gravel road, the trail heads up along a fractured rock slope, heading along talus and through some wide fissures, before leaving the rocks behind.  At the junction, I turn onto the Laurel Run connector.  Along the way, I see a short old power line dumped by the trail I did not recall from a year ago, bent at two right angles.  Getting closer, I realized that it was instead the longest black rat snake I have seen.  Surprisingly, he just stayed while I took some photos; black rat snakes can move away quite quickly.  Getting back to gravel Terrace Mountain Rd, I head north for a short road walk until I reached a gated logging road on the west.



I turned onto the dirt logging road, slowly ascending Terrace Mountain through young growth.  I pass a second gate where the logging road enters Raystown Lake land; the road turns to gravel here.  I continue ascending, now through mixed growth, selectively cut, and a couple of large clearings.  When the logging road makes a 90 degree turn to the left, I continue on a woods road continuing straight ahead.  This still goes through mixed woods, but with any logging operations occurring much longer ago.  Once I reach the top of Terrace Mountain, the trail turns to follow the wide ridgetop, and widening to logging road width, over short grass and ferns.  There are some brief slightly rocky areas; the trail heads through assorted younger growth areas.  There are, surprisingly, few views; a few small window ones, but nothing photo worthy.  The northern end has more mature woods, with a good blueberry-azalea-laurel understory.  The trail ends at a gate onto also-gated logging road, off of John Bum and Fink Roads.



I take the lightly graveled logging road downhill.  This is, technically, a part of the Terrace Mountain Trail, is thus a dark blue blazed, and apparently formerly its northern terminus.  This is a long downhill walk; it just keeps going.  As I descend, I can start to see a trail below me.  It looks like it may be crushed rock or gravel.  That's not what I was expecting the TMT to be.  Further down, I can tell it's a gravel logging road.  I soon reach it, and make a sharp turn to head south on the Terrace Mountain Trail.

The start, of course, is on a gravel logging road as it heads south out of view above Raystown Lake.  This is not the rustic backcountry trail I was expecting.  At least apparently the road is for future logging, and I'm not going through any cut through areas.  Shortly, the gravel ends and the TMT makes a turn, and I'm thankful I'm done with the road walk.  Or not.  Now it's a wide dirt new logging road.  Thankfully, this section is short, and the TMT soon leaves the dirt road and begins a narrow singletrack section.  It is somewhat rocky, only lightly used.  It looks like something I'd expect in Green Ridge, so finally I am satisfied about the trail.  I have lunch at a good rock next to the trail.  I continue on, as the trail parallels the logging road, which is directly above it.  I start descending into a hollow, sometimes steeply.  I soon realize the logging road has made a turn, and soon enough, I head down a short steep embankment cutting through the slope of the trail.  Here the trail turns back onto the logging road (argh!), heading further down into the hollow.



I follow the logging road, as it turns to cross the hollow and two small streams on culverts.  The bridges for the TMT over these streams are next to the road, one on each side, now without use.  I then start a steep climb out of the hollow.  As the trail levels out up top, plenty of trees have been paint marked.  The logging road begins to slowly fade away, eventually into the faintest of trail and somewhat overgrown, only followable due to the blazes.  A set of three blowdowns also help to hide the trail.  But once past those, the trail starts to follow a woods road, at first faint when the land is fairly level, more obvious as it navigates sidehill.  Along this stretch, I spot a black bear, only the second I have seen.  Once again, as I yell at it to try to get it to leave, it merely looks at me for a while wondering what this strange human is doing, before eventually ambling away.





After the bear sighting, I continue down the trail through undulating territory, eventually descending above a hollow, apparently with a minor shale barren above me.  At the bottom the trail becomes indistinct.  Turns out at makes a sharp left turn; exactly where undergrowth becomes heavy and hides the trail as it crosses s small stream.  Figuring this out, I continue ahead, soon crossing a second small stream and then immediately stop at a blowdown.  I now see poison ivy everywhere, and need to figure out how to get through.  I imitate John Cleese heading through here, which apparently worked (or perhaps I'm no longer sensitive.  I have no intention of finding out for sure).  The poison ivy ridden section thankfully is short, and soon I find myself on a wide old roadbed on a bluff about 20 feet above Lake Raystown.

Here the trail heads south on this well cut roadbed, below a large shale barren.  In spots there are expansive views out along Lake Raystown, Terrace Mountain above it, and Tussey Mountain in the distance.  The lake is well used by boaters and jet skiers.  The area is open to the sun, but it was a cool day when I went.  Grass is a bit higher than I would like.  The roadbed ever so slowly descends, getting closer and closer to lake level.  Poison ivy returns, as walking becomes weirder.  Eventually, the roadbed is a foot above the lake, and then disappears.  





The TMT heads up on a rock strewn singletrack.  Shortly after here is a bad blowdown to force myself through.  Beyond here, the trail follows slightly above the lake, passing through some small dry streambeds.  Poison ivy was now mostly gone, but with a few small patches easy to get past.  After a bit, the trail starts to climb the side of Terrace Mountain to bypass a peninsula, sometimes using old woods roads, and passing by a few stone walls.  It crosses a wide roadbed (apparently it would connect to the logging road I had climbed the mountain on).  It crosses a few ravines, the heads down a short narrow ridge, before again descending on singletrack sidehill.  Some poison ivy, but easy to get past.  It eventually drops back down to lakeshore level, ending at the end of old Trough Creek Drive.



This is an old paved road, apparently once crossing the Juniata before the lake was here.  (And before that, an older railroad.)  The Terrace Mountain Trail uses it to reach Trough Creek State Park.  Soil has been taking over it, but there is still a reasonably wide section of pavement to walk on.  Which is good, as I saw the largest leaves of poison ivy on this stretch that I have ever seen.  I soon reach the ice mine and the drivable end of Trough Creek Drive, and work my way over to the picnic area to take a good break and decide whether to cut the hike short or not.



I decide against doing so, and take the bridge across Trough Creek.  I walk up gravel Old Forge Rad, wondering if I made the wrong choice.  I soon reach the Brumbaugh Trail and cabin, and take it down to the Raven Rock Trail, and thence to the Balanced Rock, deserted at the time but it was getting late.  From here I went up one side of the Abbott Run Trail to Old Forge Road, and then back down the other, taking a quick excursion up the Ledges Trail to the first overlook, before passing by Rainbow Falls, flowing well.  I then head to the swinging bridge, cross it, and soon finish my hike, exhausted.  



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EJS
(Ed. S)
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ki0eh Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 9:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The TMT should be a good trail but always seems to disappoint. With no horsepower limits on Raystown reservoir, after a while I start fantasizing about artillery. Lakeshore erosion from the wakes of these things is impressive in its way.
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