6 Must-See Attractions at McConnells Mill State Park

Side view of McConnells Mill Covered Bridge over Slippery Rock Creek

McConnells Mill State Park, roughly 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, is home to a slew of outstanding hikes, overlooks, waterfalls, and other points of interest.

Here are six of my favorite sites to visit at McConnells Mill State Park, in no particular order.

For the most up-to-date info on what is and isn’t closed at the park due to COVID, please consult the official park website.


McConnells Mill

The namesake of the park, the first gristmill on this site was built in 1852, and then rebuilt in 1875 after the first was destroyed by fire.

McConnells Mill in Lawrence County Pennsylvania.
McConnells Mill in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.

There is a parking area located next to McConnells Mill at GPS coordinates 40.95305, -80.17038.

The spillway on Slippery Rock Creek at McConnells Mill State Park
The spillway on Slippery Rock Creek at McConnells Mill.

There are several observation decks near the mill, including this one upstream that also gives you an excellent side view of McConnells Mill Covered Bridge.

McConnells Mill and Covered Bridge at McConnells Mill State Park.
McConnells Mill and Covered Bridge at McConnells Mill State Park.

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania.
McConnells Mill Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania.

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge was built in 1874 and is one of the largest Howe-style truss bridges in Pennsylvania.

Approaching McConnells Mill Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania
Approaching McConnells Mill Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge spans Slippery Rock Creek and is still open to traffic.


Alpha Falls

Alpha Falls is located close to McConnells Mill and the covered bridge.

Rusty Glessner at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
The author at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

This 35 foot waterfall lies on a small tributary of Slippery Rock Creek and usually requires a heavy downpour to get it flowing well.

It’s also an outstanding spot to photograph ice formations in the winter.

Ice formations at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
Ice formations at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

You can find a map / directions / GPS coordinates for Alpha Falls in my complete write-up about it HERE.


Cleland Rock Scenic Vista

Cleland Rock Scenic Vista looks out over the Slippery Rock Gorge, which forms the heart of McConnells Mill State Park.

Cleland Rock at McConnells Mill State Park.
Cleland Rock at McConnells Mill State Park.

There is a parking lot located right next to the overlook at GPS coordinates 40.92705, -80.18537.

Cleland Rock at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County PA.
Cleland Rock at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County, PA.

Hell’s Hollow Falls

Hell’s Hollow Falls is a picturesque 18 foot waterfall that lies at the end of a mostly flat half-mile hike.

The author at Hell's Hollow Falls.
The author at Hell’s Hollow Falls.

You can find out how Hell’s Hollow Falls got its name, as well as a map, directions, and GPS coordinates for the parking area in my complete write-up about the falls HERE.

When visiting Hell's Hollow Falls on a snowy day it is often surrounded by ice and snow as it is in this photo.
Hell’s Hollow Falls surrounded by ice and snow on a March morning.

Grindstone Falls

Some folks call this the “hidden” waterfall at McConnells Mill State Park, as it doesn’t appear on the official park map.

The author visiting Grindstone Falls.
The author visiting Grindstone Falls.

Grindstone Falls lies on Grindstone Run, another tributary of Slippery Rock Creek.

Fall foliage surrounding Grindstone Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
Fall foliage surrounding Grindstone Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

You’ll find a map, directions, and GPS coordinates for the parking area for Grindstone Falls in my complete write-up on the subject HERE.

Grindstone Run at McConnells Mill State Park
Grindstone Run at McConnells Mill State Park

Nearby Attractions

Looking for even more waterfalls near Pittsburgh?

The be sure to check out 7 Must-See Waterfalls in Western Pennsylvania.

Logan Falls in Forest County PA
Logan Falls in Forest County, PA

Or you can head east a bit take in the 10 Must-See Waterfalls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Cucumber Falls on a summer morning.
Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park on a summer morning.

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