The Minister Creek Trail is extremely picturesque. Its path winds along Minister Creek and is laced with millions of ferns in the summer. There is an abundance of wildlife; bear, deer, raccoon, beaver and skunk to name a few. Birch trees are in abundance, and there are scattered Mountain Laurel. You can hike off the trail by just following the creek, or you can follow the trail markers and remain on the trail itself. The trail, at one point, closely follows the North Country Trail. Water is plentiful and in season, small brook trout can be taken from the creek. On the west side of the trail there is a beautiful outcropping that allows a spectacular view for hundreds of miles.
ANF Motorized Trails
The Allegheny National Forest offers hundreds of miles of motorized trails for snowmobile, ATV and Dirt Bike use. The ANF produces both Snowmobile and ATV Trail maps, which are available at the Marienville Ranger Station and the Forest County Visitor Center in Tionesta at no charge.
ATV Permits are required and are available at the Marienville Ranger Station, Forest County Visitor Center in Tionesta, Forest Lodge & Campground and Forest Recreation in Marienville. An annual permit is $35 and a daily permit is $10 per day. BE SURE YOU BRING YOUR REGISTRATION AND INSURANCE CARDS WITH YOU WHEN PURCHASING A PERMIT. Trail Condition Reports are issued by the ANF on Monday, Wednesday and Friday weekly and can be found on the ANF website . Call the ANF at 927-6628 when planning your ride to get the latest updates on trail conditions, openings/closings and weather.
North Country Trail
The NCT passes through some unique old growth forests, the 4,080 acre Tionesta Natural and Scenic Area, and passes near the 120 acre Heart's Content Scenic Area, boasting 300-year-old white pines. The trail meanders through Forest County and hikers can map out access and pick-up points for day trips. If overnight camping is more your thing, seven National Forest campgrounds are located along or a short distance off the trail. In addition, primitive camping is permitted anywhere within the forest, but not within 1500 feet of the Allegheny Reservoir or roads along the reservoir.
A 9.6 mile system of interconnecting trails offers excellent opportunities to view wildlife, cross-country ski, mountain bike or go bass fishing. Fifteen man-made ponds were constructed in the early 1960's in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Buzzard Swamp is within a special management area that emphasizes wildlife management and recreational opportunities.
Buzzard Swamp offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on the Forest. The area is an important link in the Atlantic flyway during the waterfowl migration. During spring migration, 20-25 species of waterfowl can be seen around the swamp. An observant hiker could see bear, deer, beaver, coyote, snapping turtles, turkey, osprey, and bald eagles. Don't forget your binoculars or spotting scope for great views of the native fauna. All of the ponds have small and large-mouth bass, perch, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. Boating is permitted on the ponds, but no motors are allowed. The nearest pond is 1 mile from the trailhead, and since no motorized vehicles are allowed within the swamp, boats must be carried.
PA Route 666
Pennsylvania Traffic Route 666 is an east–west state route located in northwest Pennsylvania. The western terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 62 in the Hickory Township municipality of East Hickory, and its eastern terminus is at U.S. Route 6 in the hamlet of Sheffield in the township of the same name. It cuts through most of Allegheny National Forest, and is sparsely populated, with the largest settlement along the road being Endeavor, Pennsylvania. Its official name is the David Zeisberger Memorial Highway. The route #666 was assigned in the 1928 numbering of State Routes in Pennsylvania. The highway originally ended in Nebraska, Pennsylvania until being extended southward. The route was realigned in 1946 onto its present routing and has remained the same since. The route is a favorite of drivers of a variety of vehicles offering a meandering and scenic roadway tour of the forests.
Forest County offers many opporutnities to enjoy our beautiful scenery and wildlife from horseback. Bring your horse and explore the new Spring Creek Horse Trail on the Allegheny National Forest. This trail is approximately 38 miles long and connects to Kelly Pines Campground, which offers limited equestrian camping. You will also find privately operated equestrian camping at Duhring and an equestrian bed & breakfast near Marienville. If you're looking for an organized trail ride outfitter, there are several at Kellettville and Cook Forest. You can find information on these by going to our "Businesses" page and then selecting "Recreation" from the list on the left.