Alpha Falls is a 35 foot tall waterfall in the far northeast corner of McConnells Mill State Park, Lawrence County, PA.
Because Alpha Falls is located on a diminutive, unnamed tributary of Slippery Rock Creek, it doesn’t always flow well.
In fact, the stream on which Alpha Falls resides is so small, you may mistake it for a roadside drainage ditch!
But when rain or snowmelt is plentiful, Alpha Falls it’s certainly worth the 5 minute hike to see it.
Exploring Alpha Falls
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to Find Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
- Turn off of Route 422 onto McConnells Mill Road and proceed 0.5 miles to a parking lot on right side of the road.
GPS coordinates for Alpha Falls parking area: 40.96028, -80.16883
- From the left side of the parking lot follow the blue-blazed North Country Trail.
- In 20 yards descend staircase.
- At the bottom of the second staircase, follow an obvious but unblazed spur trail to your right.
- Continue on the unblazed trail for approximately 90 yards, crossing a small footbridge along the way.
- Arrive at base of Alpha Falls.
GPS coordinates for Alpha Falls: 40.96056, -80.16915
Finding the Best Views of Alpha Falls
Despite the fact that the official park map indicates a scenic view from the top of Alpha Falls, there really isn’t anything to see from that vantage point.
The view from below is what you seek.
And if you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with a “wet period” and you’ll get to see something resembling the photo below.
Winter is when Alpha Falls really shines, in my opinion.
I’ve seen some amazing ice formations both on the falls and along the Alpha Falls Trail itself.
There are even periods where the falls are literally encased in ice.
Of course you’ll want to make sure to wear some kind of microspikes on your shoes to safely explore Alpha Falls in these conditions.
Alpha Falls can be hit or miss, but the small amount of time required to investigate makes it a worthwhile pitstop when in the area.
Still not convinced you need to visit Alpha Falls?
Then check out this video!
Hell’s Hollow Falls is probably the most popular waterfall at McConnells Mill State Park.
And just a few minutes drive from Hell’s Hollow you also have Grindstone Falls – a waterfall within the McConnells Mill State Park boundaries but not featured on the “official” park map.
Be sure to check out 6 Must-See Attractions at McConnells Mill State Park for more adventure ideas!
Looking for More Western Pennsylvania Waterfalls?
Buttermilk Falls is located in neighboring Beaver County, and is one of a handful of Pennsylvania waterfalls that you can stand BEHIND!
Big Run Falls in nearby New Castle is a 20 foot tall waterfall at the heart of an abandoned amusement park turned nature park.
Freedom Falls is approximately 45 minutes to the north in Venango County.
Rapp Run Falls is also to the north in Clarion County.
And Logan Falls lies to the north in Forest County.
Moraine State Park is a 16,725-acre recreational area located in neighboring Butler County.
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