Explore the most popular camping trails in Allegheny National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
6 days ago

Came here with my dog and had a blast. Lots of little streams and waterways go the dogs to drink and for me to water filter. I’d say 80% of the trail is shaded. So it keeps you cool. I came in on a hot day and the shade saved me and my dog. Overall an awesome hike with the last leg of it a bit challenging due to steep uphill to the scenic overlook. A great hike though. Will be back !

Hiked this trail with my 3 kids (9, 12, & 14-years old) as an overnight starting on 6/9/18. We had a wonderful time and were lucky to catch a cool spell with nights in the 50’s and days in the 70’s. This was my kids first backpacking experience and upon finishing I am happy with my choice of Hickory Creek as a starter trip. We took the southern portion first and camped at Jack’s Run for the night, finishing the trail the next day.

The trail is topographically mild with little to speak of in the way of elevation changes. That said, there is a good diversity of habitat along the trail with the southern leg of the loop being a closer canopy-covered section, the bend north has some meadow areas and then northern leg more openly wooded.

I am glad that I read the other reviews here, because as warned stinging nettle on the southern section is dominant and we all wore pants on day 1 in preparation for it. By the northern portion the nettle ends and ferns are the dominant undergrowth. Some reviewers here claim that the trail is hard to follow, but in our case and season, I found the course pretty obvious and that blazes, although dim, were rather frequent and easy to follow. The trail gets a bit sketchy to follow around both Coon’s Run and Jack’s Run were most of the fire-ring campsites have been made and beaten down side trails occur, but we were able to find the course again in short time.

Both Coon’s and Jack Runs were following well and water was easy to find and filter. We saw some black bear scat, but never an actual bear. Our animal sightings were deer, small mammals, birds, and a single newt.

We were off trail by lunch on day 2 and spent one more night at Heart’s Content Campground where that night the fireflies put on a beautiful show for us in the meadow. I’d recommend that people give this trail a leisurely overnight or long day. Time and obligations make it hard to get out, but I hope that my kids and I will be able to make the time more often now that they’ve enjoyed their first backcountry camping adventure.

Would rate moderate to difficult more because of certain sections being tight to get through otherwise ok. The markers are not well laid out we lost about an hour and a half back tracking because we thought we had lost our way . As it turned out we were going in the right direction all along. My suggestion if this happens to you is keep moving forward and don’t double back . Great scenery and we enjoyed the hike .

backpacking
13 days ago

Just finished two days on this trail. It was a great experience for a novice (me), and my experienced friend. We traveled counter clockwise, at a gradual pace. Spent first night near a creek, and second near the Morrison campground. Even though it was a busy weekend in the park (The Allegheny 100 was going on), outside of the camp. we saw very few other hikers. We found the trail easy to navigate, however, a couple of people we encountered seemed to have a hard time with it. Stayed covered with repellent, and very few if any insect bites. As others have mentioned, the return from Morrison to Trail head was wet, and covered many creeks. Overall, an excellent experience.

backpacking
23 days ago

Very nice first hike in the Allegheny National forest. hiked on May 20th and saw 1 other hiker and no bugs. Covered the 11 mile loop with an overnight, trail-side camp. Moderately strenuous with a fair amount of elevation gained and lost. Lots of picturesque overlooks and rock-falls. Very high return for the effort. The trail is well marked and cleared but gets a little confusing around the intersection with the North Country trail and needs a careful look at the map.

backpacking
25 days ago

Pretty trail, fairly easy going. Well marked, I did the internal loop solo and it took about 4 1/2 hours at a steady pace with lots of stopping for photos.

1 month ago

Hiked the first few miles as an out and back before thunderstorms arrived. Fun trail, lots of downed trees, beautiful orange Eastern newts, and some interesting rock formations. Out of paper maps at the trailhead. Three other cars in the parking lot, but I didn't see anyone on the trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

First time backpacking is perfect for this trail. very easy going and plenty of wonderful camp sites.

Was a really nice trail but it seemed as though one of trail markers was numbered wrong which caused me to back track for 2 miles. other than that, it was very easy going and super relaxing. would recommend for beginners or anyone looking for a relaxing weekend. keep an eye out for streams as I wasn't able to fill my water up until I made it to the camp sites.

Well marked and easy trail to navigate on foot...bikers may want to wait till it dries a bit more. Nice.

backpacking
2 months ago

Great trail. Very beautiful. Camped out on the reservoir. There was plenty of down trees for firewood and there are bathrooms. Camping by the lake was super peaceful and then at night we could see the milky way galaxy band. Great for beginner backpackers or a great way to test gear.

hiking
2 months ago

While this trail states 6.5 miles don’t let it fool you. There are ways—and I found them—to tag on at least an additional mile (accidentally perhaps). This is a great hike with many challenges. Plenty ascensions to keep one alert; a couple water crossings (is this where I went off trail?); and you might even come across some friendly hikers as I most certainly did over my 3 + hour hike. I will mark this one on the calendar: must do again!

Very nice forest and I had a very enjoyable day hike! My hike along Tracy Ridge was very nice and well marked with white diamond trail markers. Scenic Trail was beautifully marked with freshly painted blue blaze and had some wonderful views through the trees to see the Allegheny Reservoir. But my hike on Johnny Cake trail was very brutal!!! Many of the trail markers were missing and had to depend on following the herd path from other hikers and pink ribbons placed by a trail angel. Lots of down trees to climb over or go around, and mini streams to forge from run off water from the top of the mountain which is expected this time of year. The only downfall going this trail head, was that there is a gate at the road which was closed and locked. So I had to park my car there at the gate instead of the parking lot at the trail head, because it also serves as a camp grounds, which is closed this time of year. So there is additional 1/2 mile hike from gate to trail head that I was not expecting, and did not have calculated during my planning stages of my hike.

Love the area. It may not have vistas and not overly difficult but the area is great to hike in. Plenty of trails to do 10 miles to 40 in a weekend. Very nice camping spots along most of the trails as well and established camp grounds, with privys, if you're not interested in backcountry camping.

backpacking
7 months ago

Good trail. Some parts are poorly marked. Great for a day hike or an easy over night.

backpacking
7 months ago

love this trail, easy to moderate, with some hill climbs. wonderful views, rock castles, etc. plenty of water near by

Overall pretty easy hike. Other than an area about 1/2 way where there are some campsites, the trail was easy to follow even with freshly fallen leaves covering the trail.

Not much for scenery, but a nice length for a long day hike or overnight hike and camp.

Pretty forest trail. The trail is well marked with maps posted in some locations. It was/had been raining when I went, so not surprising that it was muddy, though all of the streams had overflowed their banks. There are a number of places where the trail crosses the streams. The run off streams were still easily passable, but where it criss-crossed the larger stream several times the overflow made it a challenge. The trail itself was also a run off stream for long stretches, so between the crossings and the trail be prepared to get wet if it's been raining.

backpacking
8 months ago

Loved this trail. $10 for a camping permit payable down the road. I went solo for one night and did the whole loop and camped at the lake. Such a beautiful lake view. Heard coyotes singing in the middle of the night, saw a porcupine and a big buck came snorting through camp around 5am. I did get a tick so if you don’t wear Deet make sure you give yourself a solid tick check. Lots of streams to catch water at along the loop. Plenty of campsites on the loop if you didn’t get a permit for one of the sweet lake spots that include metal fire ring and picnic table. Apparently they usually have running water at the lake, but a note stated it didn’t pass the last rounds of testing so is off limits for now. If you go here be sure to check out the Rockrim Overlook just west of the trail via a short car ride. Also you won’t catch a signal back here so say your love yous and goodbye before you hit the drive in from route 6!

hiking
8 months ago

The AllTrails app put us right to the parking lot, the trail starts across the road (the feet painted on the road makes it quite easy to find). When the trail splits, I recommend taking the trail to the right to get a better direction for all the trail options. The scenery was perfect for a great autumn hike. As mentioned below, the blazes are not clearly marked and you can get turned around quickly, especially when you are exploring in and around all the boulders.

I did a solo like of this trail from 346 to Sugar Run Road out and back. The trail is in great shape and well marked. Thank you all the volunteers that have worked on this trail. The majority of this trail is on the edge of the Allegheny Reservoir. You will get some amazing views of the reservoir. I hiked this trail in mid August. There was plenty of water available. There are also a couple camp sites along the reservoir. As you get to sugar run the elevation change makes the hike a little harder. Its over 500ft up and back down again as you get closer to Sugar Run. Over all this is a great hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views. Can be difficult at times. Watch for bears.

There are a few spots where downed trees have forced re-routes, but if you look for them, you will find the silver diamond blazes.

hiking
8 months ago

We did the Rimrock trail loop. Very pleasant forest hike. No views over the water (you can kind of see it through the trees), but the forest is beautiful with a variety of vegetation. Some of the signage is problematic-- there are a number of unmarked spurs and crossings. There are some signs at trail intersections but not all of the options are marked. The map for the Morrison trail in the app shows a cut across that is now closed (we had to double back to try to find it).

Though I had some difficulty personally, I recommend this trail for several reasons. Campsite was great. Trail was in decent shape, but with many fallen tree obstacles- no big deal. As always, be in shape, drink water, be smart. Enjoy this loop. Definitely easier climb up Johnnycake.

Very easy well marked trail in my opinion. Found a great camp sight fairly early on the south loop. No water at sight but there was a spring about 10 minutes back up the trail. Could hear the campgrounds in the distance but they quieted down right before 10 PM. Read all the other posts they saved us some confusion.

Just did an overnight backpacking trip here with my wife and another couple. Absolute blast! Campsites are very nice and the trails are fun. The geology is awesome and the overlook is beautiful.

This was one of my favorite hikes in this area. Along the trail you'll cross creeks and hike through open areas in the woods and see stunning overlooks. We drove down from Warren area where we camped and wasn't sure if it would be worth the 40 min drive but it really was! Would do it again and recommend it.

hiking
9 months ago

Enjoyable trail. There are a couple of places where the blazes aren't completely clear-- we were able to stay on track, but encountered two different groups that had lost the trail and were looping back in. It was fairly busy the day we went, with lots of day hikers and backpackers. Parts were quite muddy and slippery.

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