Trough Creek Ice Mine

Useful Information

Location: Trough Creek State Park. From Huntingdon 26 km south on Rt 26, turn left near the village of Entriken on Rt 994 for 8 km.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Artificial adit, Speleologyice cave
Light: none
Guided tours:
Address: Trough Creek State Park, 16362 Little Valley Road, James Creek, PA 16657-9302, Tel: +1-814-658-3847. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Trough Creek State Park has several extraordinary geologic phenomena for its visitors.

The so called Ice Mine is an artificial adit, probably a prospect hole for early iron miners. The ice is formed by cold air from the crevices of the surrounding rock which flows into the adit during spring and early summer. It stops at the end of summer, depending on the outside temperatures, and the ice starts to melt.

For this to work, the rock must have decent crevices, allowing a continual air current flowing through the rock. The hillside is formed by loose boulders with numerous clefts. During winter a convection of cold air happens, which cools down the rocks and gets warmed by the rock. The temperature difference is the reason for the air flow. In spring the convection changes its direction, now the warm air from outside gets cooled by the cold rocks and leaves the boulders at the foot, right where the Ice Mine is located.

The cold rocks get warmed by the air current, as much as the air is cooled down, and so the convection comes to an end usually by late summer.