Thinking about moving to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania? Considering applying to college at SRU? Planning a trip to western Pennsylvania and looking for some fun towns to visit?
Whether you’re a resident, a tourist, or a prospective student, here are nine essential things you must know about living in Slippery Rock, PA.
1. Slippery Rock is Small
Slippery Rock is perfect if you like small-town life. This borough of Butler County, PA, is home to just 3,500 residents who live in the town permanently.
If it’s hustle, bustle, and big city life you crave, Slippery Rock probably isn’t the place for you.
2. Most People That Live in Slippery Rock are Students
Slippery Rock University has a larger population than the number of town residents alone! While only 3,500 people live as full-time residents of Slippery Rock, more than 8,400 students attend SRU (as of the fall 2021 semester). Only 10% of those students live in dorms and housing owned or operated by the college.
The vast majority of those students, approximately 89%, are from the state of Pennsylvania. Most students who aren’t from Pennsylvania come from nearby states.
3. Slippery Rock University is the Heart of the Community
Slippery Rock University dates back to 1889. Yet outside of Pennsylvania and some neighboring states, “The Rock” is not widely known. However, for Butler County and the borough of Slippery Rock, it is the heart of the community.
The SRU campus is in a beautiful rural setting. It mixes stunning 19th-century buildings with all of the modern amenities you could ask for.
SRU has more than 150 undergrad majors and minors and more than 40 graduate programs.
It also has a wide array of sports, clubs, organizations, arts programs, and more than a dozen fraternities and sororities to choose from.
Based on the 2020 Forbes ranking of America’s Top Colleges, SRU ranks as number 545 out of 600. Niche.com ranks it at 265 out of 1,612 public universities. U.S. News ranks it as the number 78 regional university in the north out of a total of 175 schools.
4. Slippery Rock is Only an Hour North of Pittsburgh
The bad news is that when you’re in the mood for a stadium concert, an NFL game, fine dining, or high-end shopping, you’ll have to venture outside of Slippery Rock.
The good news is that the city of Pittsburgh is only 50 miles away.
Jump on I-79 South from Slippery Rock, and you’ll be in Pittsburgh in less than an hour.
5. Slippery Rock Has an A+ Crime Rating
In comparison to the U.S. as a whole, Slippery Rock is a safe town. Statistics show that it has 60% less overall crime than the U.S. average and 85% fewer violent crimes, such as murders, rapes, burglaries, and assaults.
But, like all towns big and small, you still have to be vigilant. To do so, remain aware of your surroundings at all times. You need to take precautions and not make yourself an easy target or a potential crime victim.
Crime can of course occur anywhere and at any time, so always keep your guard up, no matter where you are.
6. Head to Main Street to Eat and Drink
Main Street in Slippery Rock is where to go for bars, breweries, pubs, and casual restaurants.
Not sure where to eat or drink? North Country Brewing Company, Elephant #8 Thai Taste, Ginger Hill Tavern, and Bob’s Sub & Sandwich Shop get the most love on Yelp and Google reviews.
You’ll also find boutiques, thrift shops, tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons, vape stores, and other popular businesses on Main Street.
7. Slippery Rock is Great for Hiking
If you love the beauty of nature, you’re sure to enjoy living in Slippery Rock. This rural town is full of beautiful scenic spots, hiking trails, and public parks.
A few miles south of Slippery Rock is Moraine State Park. Here, you can enjoy a picnic, ride your bike or hike a trail, ride on horseback, or take a boat out on Lake Arthur.
You can also head to McConnells Mill State Park, a National Natural Landmark with Slippery Rock Creek Gorge views. In this 2,500 acre park, you can go whitewater boating, fish, hike, rock climb, or take incredible photos in front of a waterfall.
8. Slippery Rock Has Some Fun Attractions
Slippery Rock has a lot to offer if you’re an outdoor adventurist and nature lover. But this small town has some fun indoor attractions as well.
If you aspire to become the next Dustin Johnson, you can learn PGA tips and tricks by taking golf lessons at the Slippery Rock Golf & Events Center. You can book a lesson with a PGA pro or reserve a simulator where you can play on over 100 different courses worldwide.
Want to show your friends how brilliant you are at solving puzzles? Want to perfect the art of throwing an axe? Head to Mystery Mayhem for axe throwing and escape rooms with fun themes such as Alice in Wonderland and Casino Heist.
Feeling a bit thirsty? Head to the Long Run Winery or the Winfield Winery Tasting Room to sample the best local wines that Pennsylvania has to offer!
9. Slippery Rock Hosts all Sorts of Special Events
Slippery Rock hosts lots of fun festivals, exhibits, and seasonal events throughout the year.
The university itself offers many student activities year-round. Additionally, you’ll also find jazz festivals, farmer’s markets, and Tough Mudder obstacle courses to enjoy.
Other rural, nearby towns hold their own festivals throughout the year. Drive a few miles out of Slippery Rock, and you’ll find seasonal celebrations, including Halloween, Christmas, and Earth Day fests.
Slippery Rock is a lovely spot bursting with natural beauty and offers plenty of things to do and see.
The next time you’re in western Pennsylvania, check out Slippery Rock for yourself. You just might fall in love!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove Slippery Rock to help them with their online marketing.