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McConnells Mill State Park




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General Information

McConnells Mill State Park
Copyright: - Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
McConnells Mill State Park
Description - McConnell's Mill State Park encompasses 2,529 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge in Lawrence, County approximately 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

The Slippery Rock Gorge was designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1974 and became a State Park Natural Area in 1998. The steep-sided gorge contains numerous rocky outcrops, boulders, old growth forest, waterfalls and rare plants. Cleland Rock Overlook is a great place to view the gorge.

Also part of the natural area, Hell's Hollow has a wide array of wildflowers and habitats in addition to what is seen in the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. A hiking trail leads to a cascading waterfall and an old lime kiln.

Visitors entering McConnell's Mill State Park should be aware of the natural hazards and steep terrain of the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. This area contains smooth rocks that are often damp and slippery, and varying degrees of white water conditions, including deep pools, rapids and swift currents. Adults should be aware of these features and exercise caution to protect themselves and children from accidents. Numerous accidents here have resulted in injury and death.

The park offers several trails along the Slippery Rock Creek which permits fishing and whitewater boating opportunities. Two picnic areas stay busy during the warmer months. This historic area even offers climbing and rappelling for those properly equipped. Many acres of McConnell's Mill State Park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Guided tours of the lovely restored gristmill are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A trail guide to the self-guiding portion of the Kildoo Nature Trail is available at the park office.

Attractions - McConnell's Mill State Park encompasses 2,529 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge in Lawrence, County approximately 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Daniel Kennedy's first gristmill on Slippery Rock Creek was destroyed by fire so he rebuilt in 1868. Thomas McConnell bought that mill in 1875 and improved it by replacing the waterwheel with water turbines and the grinding stones with rolling mills. One of the first rolling mills in the country, it processed corn, oats, wheat and buckwheat for local customers. Sagging profits and antiquated equipment closed the mill in 1928. The mill and surrounding property was conveyed from Thomas H. Hartman to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and later to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the wish that it be preserved for future generations. The beautiful McConnell's Mill State Park was formally dedicated as a state park in October of 1957.

The Slippery Rock Gorge was designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1974 and became a State Park Natural Area in 1998. The steep-sided gorge contains numerous rocky outcrops, boulders, old growth forest, waterfalls and rare plants. Cleland Rock Overlook is a great place to view the gorge.

Also part of the natural area, Hell's Hollow has a wide array of wildflowers and habitats in addition to what is seen in the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. A hiking trail leads to a cascading waterfall and an old lime kiln.

One of two covered bridges in Lawrence County, it was built in 1874 and uses a Howe Truss. The bridge is on park land but is the property of Lawrence County.

Visitors entering McConnell's Mill State Park should be aware of the natural hazards and steep terrain of the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. This area contains smooth rocks that are often damp and slippery, and varying degrees of white water conditions, including deep pools, rapids and swift currents. Adults should be aware of these features and exercise caution to protect themselves and children from accidents. Numerous accidents here have resulted in injury and death. PLEASE EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION. Swimming is prohibited.

Recreation - McConnell's Mill State Park is a beautiful park offering wonderful sightseeing opportunities. The park offers several trails along the Slippery Rock Creek which permits fishing and whitewater boating opportunities. Two picnic areas stay busy during the warmer months. This historic area even offers climbing and rappelling for those properly equipped.

Many acres of McConnell's Mill State Park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day to March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply.

Guided tours of the lovely restored gristmill are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The daily schedule of the Old Mill is from 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Off-season tours are by appointment only. Guided nature walks are conducted every Saturday and Sunday during the summer season. A variety of topics, settings and subjects are discussed and explored.

A trail guide to the self-guiding portion of the Kildoo Nature Trail is available at the park office.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The McConnells Mill State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - The park is located approximately 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, via Interstate 79, near the intersection of PA Route 19 and US Route 422.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Sunny (costa mesa, Ca.)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Hi... I was at the McConnells Mill State Park about 2 years ago this time of the year ( Early Sept.) and I was inside the mill with other friends/family... and on the windo seal was a huge type of fly around 4 inches long approximetly, the fly had a stick bug like body , long white /clear wings & an ant type mouth ( pinchers) and a flys eyes. We had the gentleman working there inside the mill look up the huge fly in a bug book kept there at the desk, & he found this fly inthere and said it was a type of fly. live's under rocks along the streams in the mossy areas of the forrests. :) Was a site to remember! 4 to 5 inches in length! I would like to know the name of this fly is anyone knows of it? :) Please.. ( asunnyday_@hotmail.com ) Put "Re:fly" in The subject column so I can find your note. Thank you! Sincerly .. Sunny Cahill

Filed By: Robert Troyan (Turtle Creek, PA)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: One day I decided with my friend that we needed to get outdoors and get a group of people with us. We filed in my mini-van and headed up to McConnell's Mill. Me, Dan, Jessie, Pat, Jeremy, and Bill had quite a time. We just picked a direction and went with it. When we got to an open field, we just turned another way. There were huge boulders by breakneck bridge that we hopped across and went down by the river. It was so amazing how wonderful and free you feel. I never really knew what it meant to get to know your primitive self until that day. I truly recommend a trip to McConnell's Mill even if you decide to stick to the marked trails.


More Information

Contact Information:
McConnells Mill State Park, R. R. 2, Box 16 , Portersville, PA, 16051-9401, Phone: 724-368-8091 or 368-8811
, moraine@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.
Pittsburgh Area - Pittsburgh is one of the greatest steel-making centers of the world. The area is host to the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers creating the Ohio River.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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