The Waterfalls of
Click on individual images for expanded view.
McConnells Mill State Park, in Lawrence County PA, encompasses 2,546 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, which is a National Natural Landmark.
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. Scenic overlooks, hiking, whitewater kayaking and waterfalls are popular natural attractions. Visitors can also tour a gristmill and covered bridge built in the 1800s
Debra and I visited the park on Christmas Eve 2018. We sought out 3 of the 6 waterfalls located within the park boundries. The remaining 3 waterfalls include steep rocky slopes and drop-off clifts, they will be attempted on our next visit.
Hells Hollow Falls
The hike to this fall is very easy. It's a level, 1/2 mile along a well built trail which includes foot bridges at each stream crossing. A set of well constructed steps helps the hiker navigate the final steep rocky drop to the base of the falls. I smiled when at the base of the steps the last step off the bottom tread was into 8" of flowing creek water. There the trail ended and wading began.
Hells Hollow Falls is a triple cascade with each descending section growing broader and with each section displaying very complex flow patterns.
Above, on the left Deb is wading back toward the steps. Both of these images depict the bottom two of three cascades. A comparison of these images illustrates the different appearance of the water's flow as affected by shutter speed. Left - fast shutter. Right - slow shutter
Skunk Run Falls
Unlike Hells Hollow there is no trail leading up Sklunk Run. We had to walk in the stream bed because the side hills were very steep. This involved climbing over, under, or hacking through many large deadfall tree trunks and tops. This very interesting spot was worth the effort.
This is a small, 8 foot cascade and it includes a massive right side rock ledge which extends out over the base pool. A large tree clings to the very lip of this ledge. For this tree the clock is ticking!
Skunk Run Falls
Skunk Run Falls - Note the large tree growing on the lip of the rock ledge
Debra viewing Skunk Run Falls.
Note: No skunks were harmed during this photo shoot.
Grindstone Run Falls
Grindstone Run Falls is a rarely visited waterfall within McConnells Mill State Park. It is about 10 feet tall and forms a straight drop curtain from a very level uniform lip. Less than a 1/2 mile hike on an unmarked trail, which steadily drops downhill to the falls, brings the hiker to the final 30 feet, which is a steep rugged, deadfall strewn, muddy stream bank. Well worth the effort!
In viewing this video it becomes obvious that I need to work on my videography skills. But don't miss Deb's creek wade at Hells Hollow!
Video Selection - Hear the Rush!