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North Country Trail in Pennsylvania
The North Country Trail travels through McConnell's Mill State Park, which is a great glacial feature. This state park has been designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. The trail in McConnell's Mill State Park consists of 7.5 miles going from the Hell's Hollow Trailhead to Alpha Pass. Some of the sites to see along the trail are the Limestone Kiln in Hell's Hollow, Hell's Hollow Falls, several natural bridges and even a cave.
McConnell Mill was built by Daniel Kennedy. The Mill was one of the first rolling mills in the country. The North Country National Scenic Trail now runs beside the mill. There are two covered bridges in Lawrence County, one was built in 1874 and uses a Howe Truss. The bridge was recently rebuild and now looks completely brand new now. The North Country Trail passes across one of the bridges to get you to the other side of the gorge.
There is another map below as well as pictures and info on other hiking trails in the park. This section of the North Country Trail is very popular. Follow the blue blazes.
Hiking in McConnells Mill State Park
There are several hiking trails in the park, including a pair that lead to a waterfall (with an old Limestone Kiln next to it). A recent addition to the trail system is the North Country National Scenic Trail.
- Alpha Pass Trail is a "moderate" 1.5 miles hiking trail that is marked with blue blazes. The trail is part of the North Country Trail. The section in the park begins at the Alpha Pass scenic view. It then runs along the east bank of Slippery Rock Creek to the Old Mill.
- Hells Hollow Trail is an "easy" 0.5 miles hiking trail that begins at the Hells Hollow parking area and follows Hell Run to the restored lime kiln and on to Hells Hollow Falls.
- Kildoo Trail is a "moderate" 2 miles (3.2 km) hiking trail loop. It begins and ends at the McConnells Mill Covered Bridge and follows the banks of Slippery Rock Creek. The western portion of the trail is marked with blue blazes and is also part of the North Country Trail.
- Slippery Rock Gorge Trail is a "moderate" to "difficult" trail that is part of the North Country Trail in some places and is marked with blue blazes. The trail passes through several different geological areas. The first portion of the trail is in the upper end of Hell Run Valley. The trail then descends into Slippery Rock Gorge and onto an flood plain at the bottom of the gorge. From the flood plain, the trail ascends the gorge and descends once again before following the main creek bank to its terminus at Eckert Bridge.
Mile Elevation Description 0.0 1172 ft
Hell Run Trailhead and parking area. Follow blue blazes.
0.25 1219 ft
Side trail on right leads to Hell Hollow Falls in 0.25 miles.
0.8 1312 ft
Highest point along the NCT in McConnells Mill State Park.
2.2 1065 ft
Begin steep descent.
2.3 886 ft
Begin steep ascent.
4.4 1019 ft
Another steep ascent.
4.6 1173 ft
Trail levels briefly.
5.0 1188 ft
5.7 978 ft
Begin to climb.
6.0 1040 ft
7.0 1129 ft
McConnells Mill & historic covered bridge.
7.5 1144 ft
Alpha Pass Trailhead and parking.
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