Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area

Spruce-Knob Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA) is a 100,000 acre area in Monongahela National Forest.  The area acts as a part of the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay; water from the mountains flows into the Potomac River, which flows into the bay.

Congress established the NRA in 1965, the first NRA in a national forest.

Areas:

Seneca Rocks:

Seneca Rocks is a 900-foot high crag on the west side of North Fork Mountain. The rocks are visible from WV-28 and US-33 and are a popular scenic attraction. The Seneca Rocks trail leads from a parking lot on WV-28 and runs about a mile and a half up to the rocks.  See the Trails section below for more information about the trail.
Seneca Rocks

Activities:

Camping:

Spruce Knob Lake Campground is located just west of Spruce Knob with 42 individual campsites.  There are vault toilets, trash receptacles, and potable water at the campground.

Hiking:

There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA.  See the Trails Section below for details on individual trails.

Trails:

Landis Trail:

Length: 1.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate

The Landis Trail leads from a parking area along Smoke Hole Road to the North Fork Mountain Trail.  The trail gains about 1500 vertical feet in about 1.5 miles, so can be somewhat strenuous due to the elevation gain.

Seneca Rocks Trail:

Length: 1.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate

The Seneca Rocks Trail starts at the parking lot along WV-28 and heads up to the Seneca Rocks.  The trail gains 1000 vertical feet in 1.5 miles through stairs and switchbacks, and can be strenuous due to the elevation gain.  There is a scenic overlook just before the rocks, and hikers can climb out to the rocks for fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
At the Top of Seneca Rocks

Whispering Spruce Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

A short trail around the summit of Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.  There is an observation tower here that allows visitors to get good views of the surrounding mountains over the trees growing on the summit.  Following the trail, there are several more overlooks at breaks in the canopy.
View from Spruce Knob


External Links:

National Forest Service website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf/sp/sksrnra.html

Map:

Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA



Photos:


Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA


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