hiking monongahela nf, wv: seneca rocks

March 30, 2020|Hike Review, Hiking West Virginia, Outdoor Activities

Seneca Rocks from below
Seneca Rocks from below
We made it to the top!
We made it to the top!
Ready to start the hike
Ready to start the hike
This is the trail if you choose to continue. Only about 10 feet wide with straight drop offs.
This is the trail if you choose to continue. Only about 10 feet wide with straight drop offs. 
View from the top
View from the top
On the way up
On the way up
At the top
At the top
So I might have been on a one foot ledge holding on very tight and hoping the wind wouldn't blow.
So I might have been on a one foot ledge holding on very tight and hoping the wind wouldn’t blow. 
At the observation deck
At the observation deck

Sigh. My happy place. I love all of the Monongahela National Forest, but one of my favorite places there is Seneca Rocks. It was where I went my first time here, and I come back each time I come to the forest. It has been a long time since I have actually done the hike and it was all that I remember.

You can find this hike in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest by Johnny Molly. It is hike number 10 and can be found on page 68. The author gives it 5 (out of 5) stars for scenery and trail condition, 3 stars for kids and difficulty, and 1 star for solitude. I would agree with all of these. The hike up can be a little tough for kids (especially the younger ones). You will also not find a ton of solitude in general. We were lucky that there were very few people. 

We could not have asked for better weather for this hike. It was in the upper 60’s and sunny. We actually got pretty warm on the hike up. We parked in the anglers lot and it is about .5 miles from there to the trail head. You walk on a trail past the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. If you have the opportunity, this is a great place to get information about the area, the history and pick up good maps. It was closed this visit, so we moved on. 

Once you reach the trailhead, it is 1.3 miles to the observation deck with over 700 foot elevation gain. It is actually not too bad (for a hill). The trail is about 6 feet wide (great for social distancing) and well maintained. There are benches on the way up. Make sure you bring water! Once you reach the observation deck, the rocks continue. There are signs warning of the danger, as it is only about 10 feet wide with sheer drop-offs. 

The hike down went much faster. If you read my post on our overall trip, you read that I took a spill on the way down. Athena decided that it would be fun to launch herself off the trail to chase a chipmunk. She, Trigger, and I tumbled about 10 feet down the hill before coming to a stop. I’m not sure if the dogs actually tumbled as I was desperately trying to stop myself from going any further down. The good new is that other then some painful bruises, I was fine and Athena was in the doghouse. My body now looks like you can play Twister on it (which I think my cats have been trying to do). 

Seneca Rocks is just one of the beautiful places that should be on your bucket list if you have not been there. It is worth the drive and the hike. 

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