Exploring Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

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Though Alpha Falls is not the most powerful of McConnells Mill State Park’s waterfalls, this one boasts being the tallest single drop of those in the park. Alpha Falls drops about 60 feet!

You might miss the stream it is fed by, especially in the hot summer months.

Catch this waterfall after a period of heavy rain or after the snowmelt. You won’t be disappointed!

Where to begin your hike to Alpha Falls

Depending on how much time you have available, Alpha Falls could be a quick stop or a destination.

The quickest way to get there is to park in the small, unpaved Alpha Pass parking area off of McConnells Mill Road.

There is room for 4-6 cars in this parking area. If this spot is full, continue on McConnells Mill Road to the split and park in the larger Point Parking area.

As soon as you get out of your vehicle, you’ll be able to hear the sounds of the waterfall over the hillside. Catch glimpses through the leaves next to the one table picnic area. It’s not a spectacular view, but more of a peek into what is to come.

Stop for a picnic lunch or snack at the picnic table with the sound of the trickling Alpha Falls in the background.

How to get to Alpha Falls

On the left side of the parking lot, you’ll see a sign for the North Country Scenic Trail. Yes, you’ll get to take a few steps on the NCST to get to Alpha Falls!

The trail begins as a dirt and wooden staircase heading down towards Slippery Rock Creek.

The trailhead from the Alpha Pass Parking area includes a fairly steep incline and a set of stairs.

Follow the steps down the hillside just a short distance, 20-25 yards down the trail, notice a single track trail to the right. Take that path! It is unmarked, but it’s clearly a well worn path.

Continue a little further across a small wooden footbridge, and you’ll start to see the falls through the foliage.

The small side trail to Alpha Falls passes along these large rock formations.

In the colder months, you’ll walk right next to some rock overhangs and cliffs featuring some gigantic icicles! Hiking to these falls will take you no more than 5-10 minutes from here.

Spend some time exploring and photographing at the base of the falls.

long exposure view of Alpha Falls

From here, continue down the creek bed to a small beach on Slippery Rock Creek, or retrace your steps back to the North Country Trail to continue the hike.

Alternative Routes

A little longer but even more beautiful is hiking along Slippery Rock Creek from the mill and covered bridge.

Hiking from here to the falls will cover a little over a mile round trip, but most of the way includes the creek and weaving around the large boulder formations that the park is known for.

You'll find beautiful views of Slippery Rock Creek along the trail.

To explore the entire length of the park, hike between Hells Hollow Falls and back, which will cover about 15 miles. This hike wouldn’t be for the faint of heart, but you’d really experience everything that the area has to offer.

What else should you check out while visiting McConnells Mill?

If you’re looking for more waterfall adventures, check out Hells Hollow Falls and Breakneck Falls.

Make sure to see the mill and covered bridge, too. You wouldn’t want to miss the park’s namesake.

When in season, plan a picnic near one of Slippery Rock Creek’s rapids and watch the whitewater kayakers pass on their adventures.

Check out this guide for things to visit if you are planning a day at McConnells Mill State Park.

Places to Explore near McConnells Mill

Looking for more waterfall adventures? You’re in luck! Within two hours of driving, you can reach Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio or Ohiopyle State Park on the southern border of Pennsylvania. Both of these parks feature multiple beautiful waterfalls.

If you’re looking for something nearby, check out Moraine State Park to kayak Lake Arthur, bike, hike, or swim.

The opportunities are endless!

Have you visited Alpha Falls or any of the other McConnells Mill State Park waterfalls? Which one is your favorite?