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Difficulty II at this flow (II-III normally)
Length 4.7 Miles
Gauge Slippery Rock Cr at McConnell's Mill
Flow Range 0.50 - 3.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 38 minutes ago -0.272 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 05/25/2012 9:28 am

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.

Rapid Descriptions

Frew Mill (aka Kennedy Mill)

Class - III Mile - 0
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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

Class - Mile - 1.51
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Easy putin, but parking is limited, and there's more flatwater (though pretty) than if you use the putins downstream.

Rte. 422 putin

Class - Mile - 1.65
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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

Class - Mile - 2.23
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The fourth putin. Park at the Ranger Station and hike downstream.


Class - II+ Mile - 2.68

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.


Class - II+ Mile - 3.28

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)

Class - Mile - 3.4
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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 - 4.08

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 - 4.45

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 - 4.64
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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

Class - Mile - 4.77
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Take out on river left.


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Luke Ramsey
5 years ago

As of 8-6-14 the strainer at Gilligans is gone. Big props to who ever removed it. Watch for new strainer at airport.

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Luke Ramsey
6 years ago

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.

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Chris Mitchell
12 years ago

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.

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Stephen Zerefos
14 years ago

The USGS gauge at Wurtemburg PA is back - use it instead of the USACE gauge mentioned above.

Gage Descriptions

The gage is also available online at the USACE Beaver/Ohio site. There is a correlation to the McConnell's Mill stick gage: McConnell's Mill = Wurtemburg * 1.4 - 1.7 . 0' is minimum; 2.0' is getting high. (People do run it below the suggested min and above the suggested max, of course. Consider the above when determining your fun levels.)

Directions Description

Used to be, to shuttle you'd drive through the park and take Kildoo Road to get to the takeout. Kildoo Road is now closed, so the best way to get to Eckert Bridge is to go out to Rte. 19 and take Cheeseman Road downhill.

For directions from the Ranger Station to the takeout, click here.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1983-05-22 High Fatality High Water Read More



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Pennsylvania Dam Removal Conference to be Held January 31st.

Kevin Colburn

There will be a one day conference on January 31st in eastern Pennsylvania that will address dam removal and rehabilitation in the state and region. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Registration for the conference is due by January 23rd.
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AW Scores on Pennsylvania

Jason Robertson

852thumb.jpgEarlier this week, days before AW's 4th Annual Ohiopyle Falls Race we learned that Pennsylvania accepted all of American Whitewater’s recommended changes to the state’s regulations. These changes will improve river access, visitor experiences and safety, and river management throughout the State, including the Lower Yough, Lehigh, and Slippery Rock.

Matt Muir


Ryan Groth


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191457 05/08/08 n/a n/a
1195157 05/30/09 Matt Muir Renamed Baker's Dozen --> Martin's Ledge
1197689 05/18/10 Ryan Groth link to larry wentzel's page
1201344 05/25/12 Matt Muir Updated link