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Posts tagged ‘McConnells Mill State Park’

Hells Hollow Falls

This is an “on this day memory” from 5 years ago.  On January 31, 2016 we visited McConnells Mill State Park, where we followed a park map to Hells Hollow Trail–a 0.5 mile trail that leads to a waterfall. We parked in an unpaved parking lot, located at the trail head, and hiked the fairly easy trail to Hells Hollow Falls.

The majority of Hells Hollow Trail was level and easily navigated.
We took the right-hand path to the waterfall.

It was a fairly steep descent the last few feet to the waterfall.  The trail was very icy on the way down to the waterfall.

We hung onto the rail and made it to the waterfall without too much difficulty.

 

At the end of the railing we found wooden steps that led down to the creek bed.  The steps were free of snow and ice. The water was shallow enough that we were able to walk into the creek to gain a good position for taking photographs.

Hells Hollow Falls


This visit was the first (and only time so far) that Bob and I saw this waterfall.  I would like to one dayL combine a visit to McConnells Mill State Park and this waterfall with a visit to nearby Living Treasures Wild Animal Park with our granddaughters.  It has been 5 years since Bob and I visited Hells Hollow Waterfall and even longer since we visited the animal park.  The hike to the waterfall would be easy for the girls, and they would love to see the animals at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park.

Monaca PA Weekend Getaway

On Sunday, January 24, I was looking through a file folder that contains membership information for hotel reward programs.  We have membership in three reward programs: Best Western, Choice and Marriott. We make the most use of the Best Western, followed by the Choice reward programs.  I couldn’t recall the last time we had stayed at a Marriott hotel. I logged onto the Marriott reward website, signed into our account and discovered that our account would be closed for inactivity on February 1. We had a little over 10,000 points in our account. We would lose those points, if we didn’t use them. Marriott offers several tiers of hotel accommodations. A Tier 2 hotel provides a free stay for 10,000 points. I searched for Tier 2 hotels located within a 3-hour drive of our home.  The Fairfield Inn & Suites in Monaca, PA came up in a couple of my searches.  I made a hotel reservation for January 30 for one free night.

We departed home at 8:45 am, on January 30, en route Monaca, PA.

En route Monaca, we stopped in Hermitage PA at America’s Cemetery. We visited the cemetery one time before, in September 2007. At that time the cemetery was known as Hillcrest Memorial Park.  I had hoped to photograph the cemetery against a Winter background.  Unfortunately, there was very little snow and lots of wind.  It was not a good time for photography.  Bob and I plan to return to America’s Cemetery another day.

We arrived at the Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel shortly before noon. Our room was ready so we were able to check in right away. What a nice room!

Our hotel room (Room 214)

Across one wall there were two queen beds with a built-in nightstand between them. Across the opposite wall was a built-in desk/dresser/luggage stand and an arm chair, with a matching ottoman. The desk was on wheels and could be moved anywhere in the room. The ottoman was stored underneath the built-in luggage stand. Our room included a microwave and refrigerator, and the bathroom was generously sized.  The one window in our room looked out on a hill, at the top of which was a church. Our room was on the second floor. If our room had been on the top floor (4th floor), we would be looking at a cemetery. We requested this side of the hotel, as I read in reviews that it was the most quiet and darkest location.

Soon after checking in, we left in search of Texas Roadhouse. The restaurant was only a 5-minute drive from our hotel. After a scrumptious lunch, we went to Beaver Valley Mall. We made a few purchases in Kitchen Collection. Other than shopping in Kitchen Collection, the time spent at the mall was a walking event. The mall isn’t huge, so it didn’t take too long to walk around it.

Later in the evening we ate dinner at D&G’s Pizza, which was a short walk from the hotel. Bob ordered a steak fajita wrap, and I ordered a club hoagie. Both of our sandwiches were good.

Bob called it a night around 8:00 pm. I did the same about 30 minutes later.

 

We got up around 6:00 am the next day and had eaten breakfast by 8:00 am. The delicious hot breakfast was complimentary and included waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, cold and hot cereals, various pastries and breads, juice and coffee/tea.

We checked out of the hotel around 8:45 am and began our drive home. We made a couple stops on our way home.  Our first stop was at McConnells Mill State Park, where we followed a park map to Hells Hollow Trail, a 0.5 mile trail that leads to a waterfall. We parked in an unpaved parking lot, located at the trail head, and hiked the fairly easy trail to Hells Hollow Falls.

The majority of Hells Hollow Trail was level and easily navigated.
We took the right-hand path to the waterfall.

It was a fairly steep descent the last few feet to the waterfall.  The trail was very icy on the way down to the waterfall.

We hung onto the rail and made it to the waterfall without too much difficulty.

 

At the end of the railing we found wooden steps that led down to the creek bed.  The steps were free of snow and ice. The water was shallow enough that we were able to walk into the creek to gain a good position for taking photographs.

Hells Hollow Falls

I am happy that I had my winter boots with me.  I put on the boots before beginning the hike to the waterfall.  My winter boots are mostly waterproof.  My socks ended up only slightly damp.

Seeing this waterfall was a first for Bob and me.
Can you tell how happy I was that we found this waterfall?

We are already talking about making a return trip to Hells Hollow Falls!

From McConnells Mill State Park we drove to The Boot Box in Meadville. Bob purchased a pair of work boots.  I purchased a pair of waterproof hiking shoes, so I am better prepared for our next hike!

 

 

Easter Vacation – Day 4 of 5: McConnells Mill State Park

On the fourth day of our Easter vacation we drove from Waynesboro VA to Grove City PA.

Approximately 20 miles before we reached Grove City, we stopped at McConnells Mill State Park.   The gristmill for which McConnells Mill State Park is named sits along Slippery Rock Creek.  It was one of the first rolling mills in the country.  The gristmill processed corn, oats, wheat and buckwheat for local customers.

We walked through the covered bridge to the other side of Slippery Rock Creek.

McConnells Mill

I like the view of the mill from across the creek on the far side of the covered bridge. I wish someone would trim the tree branches that cross in front of the mill!  I would love to take a photograph of the mill without the tree branches obstructing the view.  I considered jumping over the guard rail and climbing down to Slippery Rock Creek,  but I decided the climb down was too treacherous for me.  I do not walk well on rocks, being very unsteady on my feet.

We did follow a trail to the right of the covered bridge, which led to the rocky bank of Slippery Rock Creek.  With Bob’s help, I was able to walk on some rocks into the creek basin.

While standing on a rocky ledge, I was able to capture a photograph of the covered bridge from a new (to me) perspective.

With my confidence at a high, owing to the fact that I was able to walk on some rocks, we climbed back up the hill and crossed through the covered bridge to the other side of Slippery Rock Creek.  We followed a trail on that side of the creek, until we found some rocks that I thought I would be able to walk out on to.  Again, with Bob’s help, I walked across some rocks to the creek basin.

Bob took this picture of me photographing the covered bridge.

Here are a couple photographs of the covered bridge that I captured from this side of Slippery Rock Creek.  Again, these photographs of the covered bridge were taken from a new (to me) perspective.

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge

We followed the trail back to the gristmill.

This was the last photograph that I took before leaving the state park en route to our hotel in Grove City.  It was not, however, the last photograph that I took at McConnells Mill State Park while on our Easter vacation.
The next morning, after checking out of our hotel, we returned to the park.  The morning light provided more photo opportunities for photographing the gristmill and covered bridge from the dam side of Slippery Rock Creek.

It was approximately 7:30 AM, when we returned to McConnells Mill State Park.

For the next hour or so, while waiting for the sun to get higher in the sky, I entertained myself by taking photographs of the moon, of Bob and of the reflections in the water.

The Moon

Bob

Bob

The Moon

 

 

At 8:51 AM my wait paid off.

My next blog post will continue what I began sharing here — day 5 of our Easter vacation.

McConnells Mill

We went on an approximate 300-mile jaunt today along Pennsylvania’s curvy, hilly, roller coaster like roads.  The map shown below shows our day’s travels.

When we planned today’s trip, Smicksburg was our destination choice.  Smicksburg is located in northern Indiana County and is home of a large Amish population.  We did go to Smicksburg; however, we did not make a stop there.  We did see Amish traveling in horse-drawn buggies and saw specialty shops along the way that offered country crafts, quilts, furniture, and foods. I guess we weren’t in the mood for shopping because we just kept moving on through the town.  Bob mentioned interest in a pair of leather chaps, so we changed direction and headed west.

We drove to Lutz’s Leather in Beaver Falls, where Bob did purchase a pair of leather chaps.  Bob will ride in better comfort now on cold days.  While we were waiting for the length of the chaps to be cut, we looked around the store.  We ended up purchasing two pairs of over-the-glasses sunglasses — one pair for each of us — in addition to the chaps.

NewSunglasses

Bob took a picture of me wearing my new over-the-glasses sunglasses.
I like them!

After shopping at Lutz’s Leather, it was time for lunch.  We passed Brown’s Country Kitchen en route Lutz’s Leather and had decided then that we would eat lunch there.  The restaurant was about 10 miles from Lutz’s Leather.  Bob ordered Buffalo Chicken Salad.  I ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger with a side salad.  Bob’s Buffalo Chicken Salad came with seasoned french fries served on top of the salad.  Bob is watching his carbohydrate intake and rarely eats potatoes.  He asked that the french fries be served as a side dish.  I ate the french fries 🙂

McConnells Mill State Park was only a couple miles from Brown’s Country Kitchen, so we decided to include the park in our day’s drive.

I love the view of the mill from here.
The view could be improved immeasurably, if some trees were cut down!

McConnells Mill Covered Bridge crosses over the Slippery Rock Creek.

The mill was not open, as it is not yet in-season for the park.

What a glorious Spring day it was.   It was so good to see blue skies and sunshine, along with warm temperatures, all day long.  Cooler temperatures, along with snow and rain, are returning tomorrow according to the weatherman.  I am happy that we took advantage of today’s beautiful weather!  We had a great day together!

Another Autumn Scene

The leaves have fallen off many of the trees, leaving branches bare. I do find, from time to time, a tree still with its colorful leaves. I find ofttimes that the colorful leaves add a touch of life to a photograph.

Approaching Top of Hill

We drove through McConnells Mill State Park on our way home from our Halloween weekend in the Pittsburgh, PA area. I took this photograph through our car windshield, as we were exiting the park.
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