Trailhead Adventures


Plan Your Visit
What to Know Before Visiting McConnells Mill State Park
Traveling to McConnells Mill State Park
The Best Time of Year to Visit – A seasonal guide to the park
Calendar of Events
Emergency and Park Service Contact Information
Dining guide (in and around the park)
Camping and Lodging Options
Backcountry Camping
Additional Park Resources

Park Information and History
The Innovative Mill – A short history of McConnells Mill
The Waterfalls of McConnells Mill
Top 10 Things to do when visiting McConnells Mill State Park
Nearby Attractions

Park Trail System and Hikes
Alpha Pass Trail & Falls
Kildoo Trail
Hells Hollow Trail & Falls
Grindstone Falls
Slippery Rock Gorge Trail

Plan your visit

What to Know Before Visiting

McConnells Mill was designated a State Park in Pennsylvania during the early 1950s. At 2,550-acres, McConnells Mill stretches along the Slippery Rock Creek and features numerous natural and man-made attractions. McConnells Mill offers 12 miles of hiking trails including a 6.2 mile stretch of the 4,600 mile North Country Trail. The McConnells Mill trail system has trails at various levels of difficulty, so be sure to check the trail guide section below to find a trail that matches your fitness level.

***Important*** Swimming in Slippery Rock Creek – should be avoided. The currents are swift and multiple people have died as a result. There are areas south and north of the park where the water is shallow and currents are slow if you wish to swim during your visit.

Traveling to McConnells Mill State Park

Located in Western Pennsylvania, McConnells Mill is a popular destination for Pittsburgh residents (Pittsburgh is a 45-minute drive south of the park). Nearby airports include Pittsburgh International to the south (53-miles) and Cleveland Hopkins to the west (115-miles)

Seasonal Guide to McConnells Mill State Park

The best time of year to visit McConnells Mill State Park is mid-Spring through late-Fall. Visiting the park during the colder winter months is possible, but extra caution should be used when navigating the parks roads and trail system.  The park trails exists near the bottom of the Slippery Rock gorge, and water running down the hillside will settle on the trail surface and freeze creating slippery conditions.  Combine the trail conditions with the fast currents of the Slippery Rock Creek and you can see how hiking at McConnells Mill State Park during the winter months could be fatal. 

Event Calendar and Annual Park Events

To view the current calendar of events updated by Pennsylvania DNR – Click here or you can follow McConnells Mill State Park on Facebook.

By far the most popular event at McConnells Mill is the annual Heritage Festival that occurs in late-September every year.  The event focuses on the history of the grist mill during the 1850’s through the 1920’s when the mill was operational.  This event usually attracts thousands of visitors who come to see the classic cars, live music, reenactments and hayrides through the park.

Emergency and Park Services Contact Info

In case of an emergency or accident – Dial 911 first
Park Services……………….. 724.368.8811
Local Police…………………… 724.656.9300
Local Fire Rescue……… 724.368.3261
Nearest Hospital……….. 724.658.9001
UPMC Jameson
1211 Wilmington Avenue
New Castle, PA 16105

Dining Guide

Dining options near the park are limited.  I would recommend packing food for a picnic at the Kildoo Picnic Area.  Around a 15 minute drive from the mill, the nearby town of New Castle has plenty of dining options.

A few dining options close to the park include (but not limited to)

Browns Country Kitchen (map) – country style home-cooked meals.

Ben Franklin’s Grill & Taproom (map) – plenty of food options to pick from and over 1000 craft beers to pick from. Ben Franklin’s is a personal favorite of mine!

Camping and Lodging Guide


Bluethistle B&B (website) (directions) – The Bluethistle B&B is a 3-room bed & breakfast located near the east side of McConnells Mill.

Applebutter Inn (directions) – Located 15 minutes north of McConnells Mill in the town of Slippery Rock is Applebutter Inn, a 12-room inn with themed rooms.

Cabins and Campgrounds

Rose Point Park Cabins and Rentals (map) (website)
– Cabins and Yurts
– Primitive to Full Hookup Campsites
– Kid Friendly Activities & Pool
– Camp Store

Breakneck Campgrounds (map) (website)
– Rustic Cabins, Huts and Scenic Platforms
– Primitive to Full Hookup Campsites
– Close to McConnell Mill hiking trails

Coopers Lake Campground (map) (website)
– Primitive to Full Hookup Campsites
– Close to Lake Arthur (Moraine State Park)
– Large event calendar
– Camp Store, Restaurant, Laundromat and WiFi

Bear Run Campground (map) (website)
– Primitive to Full Hookup Campsites
– Cabins
– Close to Lake Arthur (Moraine State Park)
– Pool, Playground and Activity Center
– Camp Store, Laundromat and WiFi

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is not permitted at McConnells Mill or Moraine State Park.  North Country Trail hikers will need to find spots outside of the state parks to setup camp for the night.

Nearby Attractions

Living Treasures “Wild” Animal Park (map) (website)
– Hosts over 400 animals including camels, kangaroos and big cats.
– Touch and interact with some of the animals.  This includes riding a camel, holding a baby kangaroo or just petting some of the other animals at the park.

Moraine State Park
– Lake Arthur for swimming and boating activities
– Additional 30 miles of hiking trails
– 18-hold disc golf course
– Bird watch at the observation deck
– Cross-country skiing at the Sunken Garden Trail