Slippery Rock Creek - 1. Kennedy Mill (Frew Mill Rd., SR 1012) to Eckert's Bridge

Slippery Rock Creek, Pennsylvania, US


1. Kennedy Mill (Frew Mill Rd., SR 1012) to Eckert's Bridge (Slippery Rock Gorge)

Usual Difficulty II-III (varies with level)
Length 4.7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 23 fpm
Max Gradient 30 fpm

Triple Drop, Slippery Rock

Triple Drop, Slippery Rock
Photo by Chris Kiehl (KHCC)

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Slippery Rock Cr at McConnell's Mill
virtual-6363 0.50 - 3.00 ft II-III 01h00m 1.128 ft (running)

River Description

A local favorite: beginners like it for its relatively easy (mostly Class II, but there are a couple of III-) rapids; experienced paddlers head there for the play. Everyone likes its beauty.

Check out Three Rivers Paddling Club or Larry Wentzel's exhaustive description.

Directions: head for McConnell's Mill State Park. From the West and North, take I-80 to Rt. 19 South. Check out the Keel-haulers Map (linked to in the 'Maps' section at the right) for details to the putin and takeout. There are several alternate putins: the Ranger Station, probably half a mile downstream from Rt. 422; Frew's Mill, a mile or so upstream of 422 (this adds a lot of flatwater, but it also adds a couple of neat rapids and some nice scenery); and Rose Point, not far upstream of 422. Rose Point is an easier putin, but it adds some flatwater and parking is limited.

It can be a fun run in the mid-winter, but be warned: you might find the wrong kind of white water. Click here to see what I mean.

For those who might have trouble with the Slippery Rock Gorge, especially at high water, check out the Lower Slippery Rock.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-05-25 09:28:21

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Frew Mill (aka Kennedy Mill)IIIPutin Hazard
1.5Rose Point PutinPutin
1.7Rte. 422 putinPutin
2.2Ranger StationPutin
2.7AirportII+Playspot Photo
3.4McConnell's Mill (Dam)Portage Hazard
4.1Triple DropII+Photo
4.5Gib's NemesisIIPlayspot Photo
4.6Martin's LedgeIIPlayspot
4.8Eckert's BridgeTakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Frew Mill (aka Kennedy Mill) (Class III)

For the extra flatwater, if you put in here, you get a spanky slopy drop to begin your river trip. The drop under the bridge is pretty scrapy at levels below about a foot on the stick gauge. It's a cool drop at higher levels, but watch out for the eddy on river left--you can get shoved into a rock and woody debris and stuff.



Lat/longitude coords for putins, takeout, and rapids are verified by GPS.

Rose Point Putin

Easy putin, but parking is limited, and there's more flatwater (though pretty) than if you use the putins downstream.

Rte. 422 putin

This used to be popular. If you use this one, park well off the road (on the river-left side of the eastbound lane of the highway) and be respectful of private property. It's a steep hike down to the river.

Ranger Station

The fourth putin. Park at the Ranger Station and hike downstream.

Airport (Class II+, Mile 2.7)


Photo of Matt Darnell by Matt Kocher

This deep hole in a narrow space between two large boulders is a great playspot. Old-schoolers get enders here; modern playboaters use the hole for their own devices. Try to roll up quickly, as there's a sloping rock on river left that you can easily get swept up against.

Maytag (Class II+, Mile 3.3)

The Maytag Punch

The Maytag Punch
Photo of Rody Walter by Ed Edgell taken 03/15/04 @ 2.5'

This is another hole formed by a boulder constriction. At higher levels (1.5' or more), the hole is quite munchy. Punching it is risky; you can usually boof into a small eddy to the extreme right. There's a large pool after this rapid before the portage at McConnell's Mill.

McConnell's Mill (Dam)

This beautiful mill, a major attraction of the park, with tours and a covered bridge just downstream, is a mandatory portage. Take out at the beach on River Left and put in on the rocks below the Mill.


The stick gauge is just downstream of the dam, on river left.

Triple Drop (Class II+, Mile 4.1)

Triple Drop, Slippery Rock

Triple Drop, Slippery Rock
Photo by Chris Kiehl (KHCC)

Three drops (duh), with lots of eddies to catch on the way. This is one of the tougher drops in the Mile between McConnell's Mill and the takeout.

Gib's Nemesis (Class II, Mile 4.5)

Susan's G Spot

Susan's G Spot
Photo of Ann Corey beginning to go vertical at Susan's G Spot by Chris Kiehl (KHCC) taken 04/21/96 @ 0.5 ft

Also known as Susan's G Spot, this has a great popup spot on river left and a grabby pourover hole to the right of the sweet spot. Pick your poison!

Martin's Ledge (Class II, Mile 4.6)

At the right level (Maybe 0.7-1.8 feet on the stick gauge), this rapid has one of the sweetest flat-spinning holes imaginable. It'll give you a dozen donuts without any effort. This is the last rapid before Eckert's Bridge.

Renamed in June 2006, in honor of Martin Wick, a stalwart supporter of Slippery Rock Creek.

Eckert's Bridge

Take out on river left.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 22 2015 (1367 days ago)
Luke RamseyDetails
As of 8-6-14 the strainer at Gilligans is gone. Big props to who ever removed it. Watch for new
strainer at airport.
July 30 2014 (1633 days ago)
Luke RamseyDetails
There is a strainer blocking the right channel of gilligan's island (the rapid after you pass under
route 422 with the big rock and eddy that everyone practices roll in). You can walk on the right or
paddle the seldom run left channel. Also I was there last week when the AW gauge read 0.7 FT.
However it was just about 0.0 FT.
September 2 2007 (4156 days ago)
Chris MitchellDetails
There are a few things you need to know about this run. First of all it is a small hike down to the
put in and up to the bridge after the take out. These paths are covred in slippery rocks (this is
what the creek is named after and for a very good reason) BE VERY CAREFULL!!! a broken ankle is
very possible.Second about halfway down the first part of the run to the covered bridge there is a
large rock on river right that is great to do seal dives off of. Third shortly after the covered
bridge there is a series of rapids in a row. Shortly after the beginning of this series there is a
big log in front of a big boulder at river right that comes out about 4 - 5 feet. This is very
dangerous because you can't see it until it is right on top of you. Scout this rapid before running
it. there is a path on river left that runs the length of the rapid. Other than that this creek is
spectacular to run and a great creek to teach a new paddler as long as caution is taken when
approaching the log I just talked about.
August 11 2005 (4908 days ago)
Stephen ZerefosDetails
The USGS gauge at Wurtemburg PA is back - use it instead of the USACE gauge mentioned above.