The first hike of 2014 saw me go out to Trough Creek State Park. It’s a two and a half hour drive from my home, but totally worth every bit of waking at 4am! This is officially the farthest east I’ve been in the state for hiking. Been further for other things, but never a day trip for the outdoors. The park was easy to find and most of the trails were just off the main road within the park limits. None of the hikes are very long in the park. The longest being 2.4 miles. But it’s easy to make them into loop hikes to extend your day. The cool thing is the park is steeped rich in geological history, no matter which trail you choose, you can’t go wrong! I wanted to see Rainbow Falls and Balanced Rock. I took to Copperas Rock Trail and quickly cut over to Rhododendron Trail. Rhododendron ends at the suspension bridge, but keeps following the trail, which leads right to Rainbow Falls. Further up the trail is Balanced Rock. When I got to the falls, I found it was completely iced over. A small portion peaked through the ice. The ice was so thick, that I was able to walk right up to falls. I tried to make my way up to Balanced Rock, however, I couldn’t. The trail up was iced over and no way to cross it safely. Too bad I forgot my spikes; otherwise I would’ve been able to make it. Next time for sure. Back down to Rainbow Falls. I spent nearly two hours making pictures there. It was absolutely stunning all frozen over. Can’t wait to see it in the spring when the snow melts. After making my way back to the car I decided to explore the park. I like to have a good idea and scope things out for visits to come. I found an ice mine. It was actually drilled probably as a prospect hole. It was never used. It is now an air duct. Cold weather in the winter cools the rock formations, this creates the formation of ice in the mine. When sprint and the warm weather begins the cold air is released. It’s a natural air conditioner. Also the second one I’ve found so far. The other being in Allegheny National Forest.