Minister Creek Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sheffield, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,056 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

Good variety of vegetation, large rocks, and beautiful streams. White diamonds and blue tree markings show the trail route. The trail is well maintained and provides a variety of hills as well as some flat stretches warranting its moderate rating. There is a variety of terrain and even differences in the layout of the forest. If you're camping at the overlook don't forget to carry in water from either the campground or the stream. Camping at the overlook provides several large sites good for both tents and hammocks. Deerlick camp, at the end of an offshoot trail on the East side, is inaccessible due to some downed trees that haven't been cleaned up and what appears to be beavers. Both seem to have caused the creek to damn making the campsites inaccessible. Therefore you'll need to camp at the junction with the North Country National Scenic Trail or at the bridge on the South East side of the trail close to the Middle Loop Junction.

hiking
18 days ago

Awesome trail, however, I recommend going counter-clockwise. We started the trail clockwise and reached the overlook fairly quickly. In my opinion, this was easily the biggest payoff and would have been best reserved for last. Also, once you pass the second bridge, the path can get somewhat confusing to follow as it intersects with a separate trail and isn't clearly defined. We ended up following this trail a bit until eventually running back into the white diamonds that mark the Minister Creek Trail. Overall still a great time!

hiking
18 days ago

One of the steepest hikes I’ve done in my lifetime! Very beautiful views from the top. Keep pushing yourself forward and you’ll be rewarded!

backpacking
19 days ago

Spent the weekend and stayed 2 nights. Beautiful trail with plenty of camping areas. There were a lot of hikers this weekend taking advantage of the weather. I can see why it is easy to get confused at the north end with the North Country Trail. Going counter clockwise, just after the second bridge there is a very distinct trail in a visibly open area. That is the NCT! The Minister Creek trail is off to the right and not real easy to see. It looks more like a deer trail initially. Although it's a relatively small loop, staying 2 days was the best idea. We were relaxed and enjoyed 2 nights out in the tent.

hiking
20 days ago

Great trail, plenty of space to camp out throughout the trail and at the beginning. pretty flat up until the last part of the north trial to get to the overlook. Well maintained and a great hike overall.

28 days ago

Did the trail counter clockwise. I Loved the trail, throughout my wife and I kept saying this reminds me of....(insert cool place you’ve hiked). Older growth woods to Hemlock stands, through the blowdown areas to the creek that runs the through the north end. A couple creek crossings stepping on rocks and a couple bridges also. Are only mistake was with the poor trail markings. The North country trail cuts through the north end of loop ( make sure you don’t get on it by accident) Follow the white diamonds - they seem to disappear at times especially on the return leg. We got on the North country trail and added a couple accidental miles to hike, but we were hiking on a beautiful day, with plenty of time left in day-no biggie. Basically at the north end you caught it for just a short time. At the sign post that has been ripped off with the with the white diamond- look to your right. You have to look hard to see Minister trail. Someone wrote on actual trail marker pointing at it. (Kind of dog legs here. All kinds of camping at north end.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, well established and easy to follow. wide variety of vegetation.
Seemed at times it was all uphill but the views were well worth the work.

It will tax you legs and lungs. I'm planning on another hike soon.
Good camping areas on the north loop.
combines with the north country trail for a short time.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice area to hike around! The middle and south loops are fantastic, but the north loop has areas that are extremely overgrown with numerous downed trees and erosion. Great campsites on the north loop.

backpacking
2 months ago

great introductory hike for teaching our kids backpacking. There ages were 14, 11, 7, and 3. There are campsites at about the ¾ mi mark, and about the halfway point ( 3-3½ mi). Has plenty to keep it interesting for kids (Creeks, water, views, unique rock features) but not too long. Does have some cliffs/ledges to be aware of. Love this place!

2 months ago

Great views! On the harder side of moderate, definitely recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise.

backpacking
2 months ago

nice trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great hiking, great views, had a wonderful day hiking with my 5 dogs. We did the big loop 6.9 Miles. The black berries in the blow down area where amazing.

3 months ago

Lots of ups and downs, great camping at the peak of the loop.

3 months ago

Beautiful views and stunning rock formations. Keep alert though because this trail intersects with others and we got turned around more than once. take a map with you.

hiking
3 months ago

just completed this trail for the first time in many years. I wanted to see the changes over the last 15 years. much of the trail is the same with the exception of two severe blowdowns which have occurred in the last few years. From what I was told there was a teenage girl who tragically lost her life during one of the storms. The trail is still quite and a great place to clear your head of all the day to day stress. I saw many deer for the two days I was on the minister and north country trails and many bear footprints as well.
This trail is heavily used at times in the summer months but you probably will not see many people.

3 months ago

very beautiful...And pleasant.. but easy to loose track of the trail..good camspites near the river...

hiking
3 months ago

A great hike overall. Awesome for sightseeing and exercise (I think it should be rated difficult). Some of the rocks are massive and very cool! It is poorly marked in some spots, but you will find your way. It is also slightly overgrown in some places, but it is acceptable. I would recommend taking it counterclockwise to get the overgrown parts and uphill hiking over with first, and to end with the overlook/sights and downhill hiking. I think this is an awesome hike and that anyone can have a good time on it! (I got 130 floors from this haha)

backpacking
4 months 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 !

hiking
4 months ago

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
4 months 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.

hiking
6 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!

backpacking
10 months ago

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

backpacking
11 months ago

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

hiking
Sunday, October 08, 2017

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.

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

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

Sunday, October 01, 2017

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.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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.

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

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
Sunday, September 03, 2017

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.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Just under 7 miles, overall elevation change about 390ft. Considering the rain we had this summer the trails are in great shape. One creek crossing, you may get your feet wet ( bridge out ) but thats it. A nice feature of this trial is a massive view upon a large rock of ANF. North loop or middle loop will take you to the vista(both lefts off the trail head depending which you choose). Butterfly hatch was going on. Saw a few small snakes and tried to fish but only caught chubs. Busy trail, running into 6-8 groups one being rather large. Go on a weekday if you want privacy. Several large campsites along minister on the north loop side.( if you're looking at a standard map it's the left side of the loop). The trail is easier to follow in the summer than fall and winter, keep in mind where minister creek is and since you know the stream flows toward the parking lot, you really can't get lost. Fun and easy trail.
Please act like decent animals and clean up after yourselves

backpacking
Monday, August 14, 2017

My wife and 3 children (11, 6 & 5 years old) completed the North loop. There are great views every 1.5 miles or so to keep everyone engaged when hiking over two Allegheny elevations meeting up with the North Country Trail. I was blown away by the amazing campsites at the double bridges on the map. Great people on the trail. The only time we got turned around a bit was where a bridge washed out and the trail markers seemed to go in two different directions right around the camp sites and trail merge. Besides some blown down trees here and there across the trail it was a great time and family friendly. We will be back again!

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