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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.

Alpha Pass Trail

1.5-mile, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

This trail is at the northern end of McConnells Mill State Park and is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail. This trail begins at the Alpha Pass scenic vista and follows the east bank of Slippery Rock Creek. There is an exit to the Point Parking Area or the trail follows the creek to the historic gristmill.

Hells Hollow Trail

0.5-mile, easiest hiking

This trail begins at the Hells Hollow parking lot and follows and twice crosses Hell Run on its way to a limekiln and Hells Hollow Falls. Although the main trail is smooth and level, the section by the waterfall can be slippery.

Kildoo Trail

3-mile loop, more difficult hiking

Kildoo Trail is south of the historic gristmill and begins at either end of the covered bridge. On the eastern bank of the creek the trail begins with a 400-yard paved section which leads to rocky terrain on the remaining section to Eckert Bridge.

Hikers then cross Slippery Rock Creek and continue on the west bank upstream to the covered bridge. The western section of the trail has blue blazes and is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Slippery Rock Gorge Trail

6.2 miles, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

Part of the North Country National Scenic Trail, Slippery Rock Gorge Trail begins jointly with Hells Hollow Trail at the Hells Hollow parking lot. The Gorge Trail splits off just before the second footbridge.

The first two miles of the trail follows the upper Hell Run Valley. The rest of the trail follows the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge north for just over four miles to Eckert Bridge.

At about the 3.5-mile point, the trail descends into the deepest part of the gorge. This broad alluvial flood plain is known as Walnut Flats.

The trail then becomes more difficult, traversing very steep terrain. At the five-mile point, the trail crosses uplands then drops back down to creek level and follows along the creek bank to Eckert Bridge.

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