McConnells Mill State Park, in Lawrence County, encompasses 2,546 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. Created by the draining of glacial lakes thousands of years ago, the gorge has steeps sides and the valley floor is littered with huge boulders and is a national natural landmark. A gristmill built in the 1800s is open for tours. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, year-round.
trail was awesome. very little level ground but a lot of solid stone stairs. trail is well kept and been modified in some areas for safety. caution is needed while travelling, tree roots and jagged stones could easily ruin your day. views are breathtaking.
Two different trail described here. They do share a trailhead at the Hell's Hollow parking lot and split after the first footbridge. One to the right is the Hell's Hollow Trail, a short 1/2 mile, easy trail with a beautiful waterfall and an historic lime kiln at the end. Known for wildflowers, please stay on the trails for safety, and for the sake of the fragile and beautiful ferns, trees, and flowers. (No lake in McConnells Mill State Park, and no swimming is allowed anywhere in the park. The Slippery Rock Creek has dangerous currents.) Stay on the trails for safety, and for the sake of the fragile and beautiful ferns, trees, and flowers.The left folk is the blue blazed NCT Slippery Rock Gorge Trail that leads to Alpha Pass. The NCT then leaves the park and after a brief road walk on Johnson and Burnside, enters Moraine State Park. Lake Arthur is within Moraine. Get both state park maps from the official DCNR website, or at various locations within the parks.
Kildoo Trail begins at the covered bridge, and the first 1/4 mile to the waterfall is easy and kid-friendly. Just beyond the footbridge over the falls the trail becomes rocky and more difficult. Crossing the Eckert Bridge, about 1 mile downstream, and joining the blue blazed NCT to return upstream to the covered bridge makes this a loop. The Slippery Rock Creek has dangerous currents and no swimming is allowed anywhere in the park. Stay on the trails for safety, and for the sake of the fragile and beautiful ferns, trees, and flowers.
It helps to get the more accurate park map from the official DCNR McConnells Mill State Park website, or at the park. This trail is indeed challenging. It gets dark sooner in the gorge, and cell phones may not work. Bringing two cars and leaving one at Hell's Hollow, and one at the parking lot on Cheeseman Road is helpful. Fortunately, the NCTA keeps the trail well maintained and blazed. No rock climbing, this trail does not visit the two designated rock climbing areas in the park.
The park describes this trail as "more difficult", not easy. Don't miss the unmarked path to the base of Alpha Pass Falls. It leaves the blue blazed stairway about halfway down into the gorge. Return to the blue blazed NCT trail to follow the whitewater creek to the gristmill.