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Hiking at McConnells Mill State Park

11.2 miles of trails

Rugged trails traverse the gorge. Please wear appropriate clothing, including boots. For your safety and to protect the resource, please stay on the trails.

McConnells Mill State Park Trail Map (PDF)

Trail Definitions

Difficulty Ratings

Easiest -- For beginner trail users. Grade is gentle with few obstacles. 
More Difficult -- For the majority of trail users. Grade is steeper and trails narrower with embedded rocks or roots on the trail surface. 
Most Difficult -- For trail users with advanced skills. Grade is steep and provides a definite physical challenge. Routes may not be well marked. Elevation gain or loss is severe. 

Trail Route Type

Loop -- Start and end at the same location and follow a single trail to form a loop.
Out-and-back -- Start and end at a trailhead and follow a single trail to an endpoint or specific point of interest, then return along the same route. 
Point-to-point -- Trails are generally longer in distance and parks may often contain only a portion of the trail within their boundary. Hiker starts and ends in different locations, often requiring a shuttle. 
Connector -- Begin and end in connection with another trail or trails but do not terminate at a trailhead. 

Alpha Pass Trail

1.5 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Blue blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms at Point Parking Area, benches

At the northern end of McConnells Mill State Park, this trail is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Beginning at the Alpha Pass scenic vista, the trail follows the east bank of Slippery Rock Creek. A spur leads to the Point Parking Area, or continue following the trail along the creek to the historic mill.

Breakneck Falls Trail

1.5 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

Hikers can enjoy songbirds and large mature hemlock trees all year, and an abundance of wildflowers in the spring.

Beginning at Breakneck Bridge, the trail follows along the eastern banks of Slippery Rock Creek to a short creek crossing at Cheeseman Run, ending with a steep climb through large boulders to the falls.

The trail ends at the base of the falls. Hike back to the trailhead along the same path. 

Hells Hollow Trail

0.5 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, picnic tables

Beginning at Hells Hollow parking lot, follow and cross Hell Run on your way to a lime kiln and Hells Hollow Falls. Although the main trail is smooth and level, the section by the waterfall can be slippery.

Kildoo Trail

3.0 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Yellow or blue blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, benches

Kildoo Trail is south of the historic gristmill and begins at either end of the covered bridge. On the eastern bank, the easier section of the trail leads to Kildoo Falls.

Continue on rockier terrain and cross Slippery Rock Creek at Eckert Bridge. Following the blue blazes of the North Country Trail, continue on the west bank upstream to the covered bridge.

Slippery Rock Gorge Trail

6.2 miles  |  Most difficult hiking  |  Point-to-point trail  |  Blue blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, backpacking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms

Beginning at the Hells Hollow Parking Lot, Slippery Rock Gorge Trail (part of the North Country Trail) splits off Hells Hollow Trail just before the second footbridge.

The trail follows the upper Hell Run Valley and then Slippery Rock Creek Gorge before descending into the deepest part of the gorge, Walnut Flats -- broad alluvial flood plain. At times, the trail traverses very steep terrain and significant changes in elevation.

Hikers should allow a minimum of six hours to hike to Eckert Bridge and back. This is not a loop trail. If you only plan a one-way trip, please set up a shuttle.

For a Safe Hike

  • Wear sturdy shoes to protect your feet
  • Stay on the trail -- if you hike off of the trail, you might get lost or damage the fragile habitat
  • Carry drinking water -- DO NOT drink from streams, springs, or lakes without properly treating the water first
  • Carry the proper safety equipment, like a first aid kit, whistle, and a poncho
  • Check the weather before you hike -- it is not safe to hike in thunderstorms or when heavy snow is expected
  • If you leave your purse, wallet, or valuables in your vehicle, be sure to lock them in the trunk or other hidden location in your vehicle