McConnells Mill State Park
Location: 1761 McConnells Mill Road, Portersville, PA 16051. Latitude 40.95283680792606 Longitude -80.17012413757325
Parking: Park near the end of McConnells Mill Road, just before the intersection of Kildoo Road. There is a walkway with stone steps that leads down to the mill.
What to See: This park is rather unique with an old grist mill right next to a covered bridge that crosses over the Slippery Rock Creek gorge. There are lots of trails including a portion of the North Country Trail running along the creek. The park has lots of oversized rocks and boulders strewn in and around the creek, with some constricting the roads to single lanes.
Directions on PCs: Locate the Google map below the search box on the right-hand side of this webpage. Click “Get Directions” on the map pin details.
Directions on Tablets and Mobile Phones: Locate the Google map near the bottom of this page, just below the search box. Click “Get Directions” on the map pin details.
The gist mill sits next to the Slippery Rock creek, with a small dam that focuses some of the water into the path of a steel turbine. The turbine passes the power onto a shaft that can power various milling machinery. The building closely resembles a typical barn, with many similar construction techniques from the 1800s.
An overlook near the spillway allows visitors to get right next to the rushing creek.
Above the dam, the creek seems to be at a standstill. We saw a few ducks and snakes in the water.
Inside the mill, you can see some of the equipment that was used as well as several iterations of the turbine.
You can even peer down into the water inlet to see how the turbine works. Most days the turbine is not active.
Each piece of equipment comes with a description of its use, and more information about milling than I thought was possible.
The grist mill itself is quite impressive, but the park has lots more to offer. Just a few dozen feet down the road is a red-covered bridge that you can drive over, and many trails follow the path of the creek.
The single-lane-covered bridge was recently remodeled and is again open for vehicle traffic.
It sits just a hundred feet or so from the grist mill and forms part of the North Country Trail.
There are four parking spots next to the bridge, but good luck getting one of them!
Large Rocks and Boulders:
One of the coolest parts of the park is the large rocks and boulders. Above they force the road into a single lane along Kennedy Road, on the hill that descends to the grist mill.
After the mill, the rocks again take a central focus leaving no room to pull off and park.
The drive out along McConnells Mill road snakes between large rocks.
McConnells Mill is one of the few parks that my wife and I visit each year, and we enjoy it every time, I highly recommend it!