Hike McConnell's Mill State Park

Hell's Hollow

Distance: up to 12 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 100 feet. Scenic views of Slippery Rock Gorge and Slippery Rock Creek. Covered bridge and old Mill House. Waterfall in Hell's Hollow. White water kayaking and rock climbing.

A trip to McConnell's Mill is a great idea at any time of year. Hiking trails that follow the Slippery Rock Gorge offer scenic views while the relaxing sound of Slippery Rock Creek echoes in the background. At one end of the park, you'll find the old Mill House along the banks of the creek as well as a covered bridge. At the southwestern side of the park you'll find the waterfall in Hell's Hollow. The park also offers some challenging white water kayaking through the boulders in the creek, and rock climbers can challenge themselves on some rock formations on the ridge above the creek gorge.

While there are some small loop trails, in order to see the main features of the park, you'll need to take a lengthy out-and-back, around 12 miles roundtrip.

Starting from the Hell's Hollow trail, it's a short walk to see the waterfalls. From there you can retrace your steps and begin the climb up to Hell's Run, which requires a few miles of climbing and descending before reaching Walnut Flats. Hell's Run will eventually merge with the Slippery Rock Gorge trail, following the creek with a few sharp climbs in and out of the creek banks, until you reach the covered bridge some 6 miles later.

The gorge trail will give any seasoned hiker a good challenge with its steep up-and-downs and countless rocks, which live up to the creek's name sake, as with slightest bit of dampness they become very slippery. The main waterfall at Hell's Hollow is more impressive after a hard rain, however, which also forms some smaller falls along the trail.

Pack List

  • Good hiking footwear
  • Small backpack
  • Trekking poles for technical rock sections, steep climbs
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Camera and tripod
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Activities Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Hells Yeah!

Hiking the slippery rock gorge trail has been my go-to for years every time I've returned to Pittsburgh. It's beautiful in all seasons, but in winter it tends to get icy so I would recommend crampons.

One of My Favorites

I've explored McConnell's Mill several times and it continues to amaze me more and more. Recently, I went to Cleland Rock, overlooking the vast scenery of the Slippery Rock Gorge. If you haven't had the chance to stop here, I'd highly recommend it!

Heck Of A Fall.

If you are just planning to see the falls it's a half mile hike. The falls are one of my favorites in the area.


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