McConnells Mill State Park — Off the Beaten Path
If you believe that you are relatively familiar with McConnells Mill State Park you still might have missed some less visited spots that are well-worth a side trip. I recently found out that despite my 100+ visits I still had a thing or two to discover.
Most out of towners might not have visited Hell's Hollow and the waterfall there, something that I've written about before, well-connected by some nice trails but still not the main attraction for most, which tends to be the Mill and areas above and around the Mill. And there are a few other spots worth exploring after you've satisfied your appetite for the main attractions or feel adventurous.
#1 The other waterfalls, above Armstrong BridgeDown about 30 yards or so on the right of the downstream side of Armstrong Bridge there is a little stream that feeds into the main creek. If you hike up the little stream about 15 minutes or so you get to this lovely little waterfall. Just above the waterfalls on the right side there is a great place to layout a blanket and have lunch. This is a secluded spot and it is very unlikely that you will see anyone. There is not a trail up to the falls. You get there by walking along the creek or on what looks to be the occasional deer trails found mostly on the right side. Some mild climbing is involved, and you will need to crisscross the stream multiple times, but it is not too bad.
|Near the Armstrong bridge, up a downstream tributary. Picture take July 3rd, 2019, FUJIFILM XT-2, XF 14mm lens.
#2 Large rocks and crevasses opposite the Mill sideI found this little gem of an area by accident, having failed to find a parking spot at the Mill (haven't we all experienced that many times, best option is to park above in the spacious parking lot above the Mill and take the trail down or walk down the road if you park in the near-422 lot).
I drove across the covered bridge and made the first right that I came to as I ascended the hill. As you drive along this road there are some little pull off areas to the right. Exploring this area is well worth the stop. Word of CAUTION however. There are signs posted for calling 911 because the crevasses between the boulders are deep and everywhere. What makes the area beautiful also makes it dangerous. You can either very carefully climb down into the crevasses or find trails that go down near them. I loved walking in and around the crevasses. All pics below taken July 4th, 2019, with a FUJIFILM X-T2, XF 14mm lens.