Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail

MODERATE 30 reviews
#4 of 39 trails in

Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail is a 12.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Limestone Twp, Pennsylvania that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1407 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

views

wildlife

Directions from Warren, PA: The trailhead parking lot is located at the picnic area within Hearts Content Recreation Area, 15 miles southwest of Warren, PA. US 6 and Township Road T3005 meet in the middle of Warren at the Hickory Street Bridge. TR. 3005 begins here, crossing the Allegheny River toward Warren General Hospital (bear left away from the hospital after you cross the bridge). Follow TR. 3005 about 11 miles to its junction with a marked township road which leads to Hearts Content Recreation Area (four miles).

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Lots of fun on a two day overnight with my wife. Easy hike with only gradual inclines and declines. Lots of downed trees to transverse and impressive ax work by dedicated volunteers. Traveled south on the loop with plenty of nettles so wear ur pants on this section. Nice camping spots at Coons with established fire rings and good rocks for sitting and cooking. not many people on a raining weekend, but a few day hiking groups. Lost the trail for a min. at coons as it crosses the creek to the right, no big deal. Camped at Jacks Run, plenty of great sights here and plenty of water. As u head north from Jacks you will encounter a mass of downed trees that require some navigation and bushwhacking to get around. Lost about 20 minutes locating the trail again. Not a lot of wildlife; deer, frogs, birds in the AM.

backpacking
23 days ago

Did half the loop and found a nice camp, existing fire ring, some spots for water, but definitely bring your own. Did the other half loop the next morning, went off trail a bit in the halfway corner and ended up on a game trail before backtracking. Quiet, some good forest covered with a canopy of large trees. No bear, some coyote scat, some newts, lots of singing birds in the morning. Enjoyed this trail and thankful for the folks that maintain it. Pretty impressive seeing the ax cuts from some hard work back there. Definitely recommend pants for this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

First of all I'd like to thank the previous users on this trail who mentioned the stinging nettle. My wife and I usually hike wearing shorts, and if we did not have our zip on legs for our hiking pants, we would have been miserable on this hike. The south end of the loop is literally covered in stinging nettle with some of it 5-6 feet tall. After crossing Jack's Run you're good to go with the shorts. We met a group of 8-10 backpackers who were out there for a three day trip maintaining the trail. Since this is a wilderness area, no power tools allowed. They were cutting through the many trees on the trail with axes. It is dedicated souls like this who make hiking and backpacking possible for the rest of us. We thanked them for volunteering. The large blow down of trees north of Jacks Run, now has a new re-route to the down hill side of it. This is a beautiful area and we were able to do the entire trail in less the seven hours.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail. I only did part of it but I did see two black bear while on my hike. I will be coming back to backpack the entire loop.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this trail as a day hike. I think it ended up being about 13.7 miles. There are a few places in the trail that aren't marked well. It looked like some people had attempted to mark the trail with stones. Thanks for the help! The scenery is great and changes frequently! Just north of Jacks Run there is a section of the trail that has multiple trees down. I would estimate it's at least a 50 yard section. Just pay attention to the tracks of other hikers and you will be able to navigate around it. This is a good hike. We've done this hike two years in a row now.

backpacking
2 months ago

Backpacked this trail 6/24 to 6/25. Had nice information board at trail parking lot, which included a hiker sign in. The trail has a 1.5 mile hike to the actual loop, this is something to take note of. At about a half mile in there is a split in the trail, this is not the loop. Stay left at this intersection to save yourself 45 mins of extra hiking towards a dead end. The actual loop will have a wooden sign, this is where you can decide to go left or right on the loop. The trail was beautiful, acres of high canopy forest, with the forest floor covered in ferns. Markers are faded but consistently marked along the trail. Recent storms have knocked down several trees over portions of the path, look for hikers markings on trees (carved arrows, shoelaces) these will help you find the trail after getting around the downed trees. 3 or 4 streams that have to be crossed (only fell in once). About 10 cars in parking lot and only interacted with 3 pairs of hikers which was nice. Only reason rated 4/5 stars was due to the large amounts of stinging nettle that lines much of the southeast portion of the loop and the unmarked split leading to the dead end. Only about 7 to 8 total hours of hiking between the two days. Overall had a great time in a really cool place.

trail running
2 months ago

Listed as running (NOT A RUNNING TRAIL) I'm an avid trail runner and there were only stretches when you were in the pines when you could actually run. Spent most of our time stepping over downed trees every 20 yards. Trail was nice for hiking but go elsewhere if you plan to run.

2 months ago

We backpacked this trail in late June, 2017. Overall it's a nice trail. The south side of the loop has plenty of nettles so be prepared for that. Elevation changes were not too aggressive. It's easy to get turned around in a few places as the trail disappears while traversing around fallen trees. Also, blazes are fading or nonexistent. I believe this is due to it being a wilderness trail. We started on the south end to get the longer leg out of the way on the first day. Approximately 7 miles. We finished the loop on the north end which didn't have nearly as many nettles as the south end. We camped at Jack's run. There were a handful of sites available, All appeared to have a good access to the nearby water.

4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Nice long trip takes you through a diverse area. One big stream that you have to cross. Great for a small 2 day trip

5 months ago

Markers are sparse, trail often hard to see, but that just adds to the allure.

6 months ago

Love it

backpacking
10 months ago

The trail is great. I went there with a small group and my dog. Great weekend trip. We were there in late April. The streams were flowing very nicely. Lots of downed trees to navigate around. All and all a nice trail. I will definitely be back.

backpacking
11 months ago

A lovely walk in the woods, like most of the Allegheny National Forest. The trail is in a Wilderness Area and the blazes are being deliberately allowed to fade. The footpath is occasionally hard to spot, especially in areas without much undergrowth; there are also some spots where large new-fallen trees are blocking the footpath and picking it up on the other side can require a little bit of casting about. Aside from the occasional challenge in trail-finding, though, my husband and I found the hiking to be very easy, even speedy, without much in the way of elevation changes. Not much in the way of notable geographic features, but the trail does travel through several kinds of habitat, even passing a few small meadows.

In early September we found low water at Coon Run and Jack's Run, although both did have enough water to be viable water sources for camping. Good established campsites readily apparent from the trail at both of these streams. On the east side of the loop the trail approaches a small unnamed feeder branch of Hickory Creek that also appeared to have adequate water and some established campsites further off the trail, although we did not investigate these personally. Smaller side streams and springs were generally dry.

We visited during Labor Day weekend (September 3-4) and saw 5 or 6 other groups of backpackers (in addition to numerous dayhikers on the section closest to the trailhead). In the morning, birding was excellent although we did not see any larger wildlife. Because it's a wilderness area, human noise from ATVs, gunfire, motorboats, etc, was at a minimum. (Yay!)

An additional note: I think the trailhead and connector trail have been moved from the original description above. Parking is no longer at the picnic area; there's a separate trailhead parking lot directly off Hearts Content Road -- look for a sign.

hiking
11 months ago

backpacking
Monday, August 08, 2016

Hiked this trail this past weekend and did an overnight with some friends. Pretty good trail overall. I like how you get a little bit of everything on this loop (inclines, declines, different types of vegetation, etc.). There were several other pre-established, but not official, campsite areas set up. Just look for the fire pits. I think we'll definitely be back again at some point.

Two things worth nothing to my fellow hikers -
- When we went (in August) a lot of the streams were dried up. There were 2 or 3 that we came across, but several of them were tried out. Just keep this in mind when filtering water.
- Wear pants. There are some gnarly plants along a few stretches that look furry, but when they hit your skin they are really really irritating (burning and itching sensations).

We also didn't see that much wildlife. Just a few deer here and there. This was somewhat surprising as we had been told there was a high chance we'd see bears.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016