6 Must-See Attractions at McConnells Mill State Park

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge over Slippery Rock Creek in Lawrence County Pennsylvania.
McConnells Mill Covered Bridge over Slippery Rock Creek in Lawrence County.

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

The view from Cleland Rock Overlook at McConnells Mill State Park.
The view from Cleland Rock Overlook at McConnells Mill State Park.

Here are six of the best things to see and do at McConnells Mill State Park, in no particular order.


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 dam on Slippery Rock Creek next to McConnell's Mill.
The dam on Slippery Rock Creek next to McConnells Mill.

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

A summer morning at McConnells Mill at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County Pennsylvania.
A summer morning at McConnells Mill in Lawrence County, PA.

During the summer months, this still-functional mill is open for tours.

Machinery inside McConnells Mill in Lawrence County PA.
Machinery inside McConnells Mill in Lawrence County.

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge on a summer morning.
McConnells Mill Covered Bridge on a summer morning.

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.

Interior of McConnells Mill Covered Bridge in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.
Interior of McConnells Mill Covered Bridge in Lawrence County.

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 Overlook at McConnells Mill State Park on a summer morning.
Cleland Rock Overlook at McConnells Mill State Park on a summer morning.

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 Grindstone Falls 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

Quaker Falls is a 50 foot-tall waterfall in the newly-created Quaker Falls Recreation Area in Lawrence County.

Approaching Quaker Falls in Lawrence County Pennsylvania.
Approaching Quaker Falls in Lawrence County

Buttermilk Falls is located in neighboring Beaver County, and is one of a handful of Pennsylvania waterfalls that you can stand BEHIND!

The author behind Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County PA.
The author behind Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County PA.

Big Run Falls in nearby New Castle is a 20 foot tall waterfall at the heart of an abandoned amusement park turned nature park.

Big Run Falls in Lawrence County Pennsylvania.
Big Run Falls in Lawrence County.

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.

The Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh Road Trip is an epic 358 mile round-trip adventure of a lifetime!

A roadmap to the best waterfalls near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Discover directions to HUNDREDS of waterfalls from all corners of the Keystone State in my Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfalls Guide!


The Fountain of Youth really does exist, and you can find it in a public park just north of Pittsburgh!

The Fountain of Youth in North Park, north of PIttsburgh.
The Fountain of Youth in North Park, Allegheny County.


Did you enjoy this article?

If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups about the best things to see and do in Pennsylvania.

Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media!


Pennsylvania’s Best Travel Blog!

Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here