Whether it’s a visitor from California, national college football announcers, or a curious traveler who spotted the town’s name on an interstate sign, Slippery Rock intrigues thousands of visitors each year. “The Slippery Rock name brings people in” chuckled Herb Burger of the nonprofit Slippery Rock Development, Inc.
This little village is one of the prettiest places in Western Pennsylvania, thanks to a recent renaissance that brought $4 million in grant funding to the town. A signature rock waterfall and brick and rock sidewalks complement many new storefronts, while old-fashioned street lamps and a gazebo add nostalgic charm.
Home to Slippery Rock University, the town is popular among college students who seek a small-town campus atmosphere. The university provides many opportunities for cultural enrichment, notable speakers and performing arts.
Many describe Slippery Rock as an artsy college town punctuated by street fairs, student jazz ensembles playing on sidewalks, public art pieces and a water sculpture by renowned aluminum artist James Myford. History takes center stage thanks to a recent effort that identifies historic buildings with bronze plaques explaining the structure’s historical significance.
Slippery Rock also is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town borders two of Pennsylvania’s premier state lands including Moraine State Park and Jennings Environmental Education Center. The community’s popularity promises to become even more enticing as a “trail town.” Located along the famous North Country Trail, the town may become a trailhead for the North Country National Scenic Trail, which passes within four miles of Slippery Rock. When completed, the trail will become the longest off-road hiking trail in the U.S., linking forests, mountains and prairies across seven states.
Residents and visitors also take advantage of nature’s bounty at the Slippery Rock Community Farmers' Market, open 9 AM-noon Saturday mornings from May to October. Locally produced vegetables, eggs, meat, herbs, breads, honey, plants, soaps and more are sold at Rock Falls Park (111 Stoughton Beach, Slippery Rock).
While planning your Butler County visit, spend some time in Slippery Rock and come back to see how the town evolves. Bill Sonntag, a long-time resident and member of Slippery Rock Development, Inc. envisions new businesses catering to hikers and “daycationers”. “We’re open for business and fun,” he said.