Minister Creek Trail

MODERATE 113 reviews
#1 of 40 trails in

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.

6.5 miles
1,056 feet

dogs on leash





nature trips

trail running






wild flowers




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.

7 minutes 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!

9 days ago

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

10 days ago

nice trail

18 days 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.

29 days ago

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

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

1 month 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)

1 month 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 !

2 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 .

2 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.

4 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!

8 months ago

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

9 months ago

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

10 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.

10 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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.

11 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.

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

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!

Monday, July 31, 2017

We did this loop in two days so we could enjoy some creekside camping for the night. Overall nice hiking/backpacking. As others have mentioned there are a few spots where staying on trail can be tricky. My girlfriend hiked this trail previously so we did not get turned around. In fact, she was able to help multiple hikers that ended up in our camp who were not sure which way to go. The creekside campsite was nice. I wouldn't hesitate to return to this trail in the future for a quick weekend getaway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Did the north loop. Some nice stream-side camping spots. At some parts of the trail however, the path was not clearly defined and blazes were nowhere to be seen. Had to do a lot of backtracking and climbing to get back on track.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My 11-year old son and I did this trip this weekend. Started on the south loop, and then hooked into north loop. Camped at the triple fork camp. Awesome views, rock formations, and trail in good shape. Only wish the section that is part of NCST was better marked. Otherwise, I felt the blazes were fine.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Start on the eastern limb of the loop saving the overlook for the way back. This has the added benefit of letting you walk downhill on the steepest part of the route

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This is a great hike. We did the loop in mid march and left the overlook for the end of our hike. It was well worth the effort. The bridge on the most northern portion of this trail was washed away. There are a few parts of the trail that aren't marked very well.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wonderful and beautiful. A storm damaged a great deal of the west side greatly changing the appearance of the trail, but the overlooked is thankfully still pristine. The trail is marked by giant boulders.

Monday, November 28, 2016

My GF and I hiked the Southern and Northern loop yesterday and had a great time, beautiful area. Be ready for some up and down walking littered with a lot of roots and downed trees. Our only complaint, like some on here, is the lack of markings. We went off trail numerous times as the diamonds simply weren't there. Most of the time you know you are on the trail but at a few tricky junctions you were left guessing as to which way to go. When you get deep in the woods you like a little reassurance you are going the right way. Based on the conditions it took us nearly 4 hrs. to finish, so make sure you leave yourself enough time when starting. Other than the markings I highly recommend this hike, it is gorgeous.

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