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McConnells Mill State Park

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 steep sides while the valley floor is littered with huge boulders. It is a national natural landmark.

A gristmill built in the 1800s is open for tours.

Seasons and Hours

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk.

Contact the Moraine State Park office for facility seasons and hours.

 

Directions

The park is about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, via I-79, near the intersection of PA 19 and US 422.

For GPS devices, use the following address: 2697 McConnells Mill Road, Portersville, PA 16051.

GPS DD: Lat. 40.96674  Long. -80.16918

 

Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window.

Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.

No Swimming!

Slippery Rock Creek is a very swift and dangerous whitewater creek. Many people have drowned. Nearby Moraine State Park has two swimming beaches.

Danger - Whitewater - Slippery Rocks

Visitors entering McConnells 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 whitewater 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 AND STAY ON TRAILS.

Pets

Pets are permitted in the park but must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash. Please pick up pet wastes and dispose of them properly.

Historical and Environmental Education and Interpretation

A park naturalist is available several days a week on a seasonal basis to conduct:

  • Guided hikes
  • Night programs
  • School group activities

Please contact Moraine State Park for more information or to schedule a program.

The Old Mill

The 19th century gristmill is the centerpiece of McConnells Mill State Park. The historic gristmill is open:

Memorial Day through late September
Wednesdays through Sundays
10:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Park at the Kildoo Picnic Area and hike down the stone stairs to the mill. Limited parking for people with disabilities is be available beside the mill.

Interpretive tours of the historic mill, given by staff or volunteer docents, are available at 1:00 P.M. and 2:00 P.M. Group tours may be scheduled by calling the Moraine Park office at 724 368-8811.

Trail of Geology

The natural character of McConnells Mill State Park, the scenic gorge, waterfalls, rugged hiking trails, and whitewater creek, are all directly caused by the geology of the area. The bedrock formed more than 300 million years ago as layers of sand, mud, and peat built up in what was a coastal area.

After becoming rock, these different layers were lifted to the surface in several mountain-building events. The different strengths of these rocks cause them to erode differently, helping to make the varied landscape of the park.

The gorge and the dramatic topography of the park were created by glaciers during the past two million years.

To learn more about the geology of the park, download or pick up a copy at the park office of the:

Trail of Geology - Moraine and McConnells Mill State Parks Guide (PDF)

This driving tour brochure corresponds to numbered posts throughout the park and surrounding area.

Heritage Festival

McConnells Mill Heritage Festival is held on the last full weekend in September. The festival celebrates the operational era of the Old Mill (1852-1928).

Visitors can witness artisans and crafts people making art and try old-time games and crafts. Other activities include:

  • Civil war encampment
  • Corn grinding demonstrations
  • Food vendors
  • Mill tours
  • Musical entertainment

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

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McConnells Mill State Park