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Allegheny National Forest

The Allegheny National Forest (ANF), Pennsylvania’s only National Forest, is approximately 517,000 acres and includes land in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties in the northwestern corner of the State. About 463,000 acres are forested, 42,000 acres are non-forest, and 11,000 acres are covered by water (primarily the Allegheny Reservoir).

Allegheny National Forest Hiking Guide
by Allegheny Group Sierra Club

The North Country National Scenic Trail and Baker Trail are the two long distance backpacking trail that traverse the ANF. There are shorter trails that can also be used for overnight backpacking as well as trails for dayhikes. Some of these trails include the Minister Creek Trail, Buzzard Swamp Trails, Tracy Ridge, and Hearts Content areas, just to name a few. The ANF allows primitive camping while backpacking and also has many designated campsites that are available for a small fee and allow for dayhikes from a base camp.

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The Minister Creek Trail is a group of circuit hikes comprised of a south loop, middle loop, and north loop. From the parking area at the trailhead, a circuit hike of a little over 7 miles can be done hiking the entire north loop. The trail is marked with white diamonds. Longer circuit hikes can be done by hiking the north, south, and middle loops in series. The Minister Creek Trail offers challenges to a wide range of skill levels as it climbs to the plateau within the Minister Creek Area. The trail joins the North Country National Scenic Trail along the northern segment of the north loop. This was our first hike in the Allegheny National Forest for Shari and I.