Minister Creek Trail

MODERATE 94 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.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1056 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
1 month 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
6 months ago

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

backpacking
6 months ago

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

hiking
7 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.

hiking
7 months ago

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

7 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.

8 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.

hiking
8 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.

hiking
8 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.

9 months ago

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
9 months ago

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!

backpacking
9 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

backpacking
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

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Great sites, cool scenery, fantastic rock formations and an overall very enjoyable hike. Unfortunately, the trail is not very well maintained. The trail markings are poor and we ended up off trail on numerous occasions. Still had an amazing time and would recommend this hike in a heart beat.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Overall, beautiful trail. Good variety of vegetation, large rocks, and beautiful streams. We started on the right side of the north loop trail and ending on the side by the overlook. There are some really huge boulders you walk in between. There was one part of the trail where there weren't any white diamonds, but keep following the blue tree marks until you see another white diamond and proceed from there. We also came across quite a few trees down covering parts of the trail.

backpacking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

North loop. Very nice overnight loop.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Loved it

hiking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

Great trail! We did the whole north trail in 3 hours. My Fitbit said it was about 6.5-7 miles. No service to track the hike. Just be prepared to walk up and down the mountain 3 times. Great, beautiful hike though!! Recommend!

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It was a beautiful trail in the Alleghany National Forest. Moderate difficulty but with some surprises that demanded a little bit more. We stayed at a bed and breakfast down the road which also hosts the yearly Firefly Festival. Well worth the trip.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beautiful trail! Quite a workout straight to the top! can't wait to go back in the fall when all the trees are changing!

backpacking
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Excellent trail with an amazing view at the overlook! The trail was 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. Overall a great trail that I look forward to doing again in the future!

hiking
Thursday, June 02, 2016

Amazing trail, we did the loop counterclockwise and the reward at the end was worth it.

hiking
Sunday, May 08, 2016

brought my five year old son, we had a blast. campground at trailhead was nice, and lots of campsites on the trail.

camping
Monday, April 11, 2016

I love this place went for the first time at the end of February and camped for a night at, I believe, the three rivers campground this weekend I went off the beaten path and found some really cool place and a nice campsite about a mile in to the north loop down next to the creek, I will definitely be going again sometime

hiking
Sunday, April 03, 2016

We walked the South Loop and Middle Loop for a shorter (about 4 mile) hike. Very beautiful view from the overlook and also a lot of really cool huge rocks that we explored on those trails. We got a little excited when we arrived and started walking the opposite way, which could easily be mistaken for a trail if you've never been here before and weren't paying attention. Overall a really cool trail that we will be returning to soon to hike the North Loop!

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