Hiking Seneca Rocks
I seem to be finding myself in West Virginia lately… but who can blame me? It’s such a beautiful state. For my latest adventure, I planned to head out to the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area in the Monongahela National Forest. It was a cold day, hovering right around freezing, but it was clear and sunny. I invited a few of my friends from JMU (I was visiting there for the weekend) and we all piled into the car to drive an hour and a half out to West Virginia.
It just so happened that I forgot all my hiking stuff. My boots, a sweatshirt, my camera, a headband... I literally forgot everything. So, I was wearing a bunch of my friends clothes, a pair or sneakers that were two and a half sizes too big, and I had to borrow someone else's camera. Go me.
The drive was very mountainous and scenic which is always a plus. When we arrived at Seneca Rocks, we parked in the lot behind the Discovery Center (which is only open April-October). There’s a small bathroom, and benches lining the field beside the lot for people to enjoy the view without having to hike or climb the rocks. We started off following the paved path/road towards the rocks not really knowing where we were going. We crossed the North Fork South Branch Potomac River before starting to slowly work our way uphill until we came to a sign that said “East Face Trail.” We decided this sounded/looked right and so we began to hike up the STEEPEST TRAIL EVER. It was only about 1.3 miles long, but oh my gosh it was by far the steepest hike I’ve ever been on… and on top of it being steep, parts of the trail consisted of slick mud and snow. Needless to say, it took us a while to finally get to the top, but once we were there the view was great! There’s a little wooden platform with some benches that you can go onto enjoy the view. I tried to climb a little further up onto the very tippy top of the rocks but it was way too dangerous and covered in a lot of snow which made it difficult to see where there was rock and where there were crevices you could fall into. We stayed at the top for a few minutes to take some pictures and enjoy the view, but it was super windy and freezing cold. The hike down was easier and seemed to go a lot faster but it was really hard on my knees and quads because it was so steep. Overall the hike was fun. Everyone was laughing the whole time because of how ridiculous and hard it was but we were all glad that we had done it.
Although it may be cold, if you get a sunny day, get outside!!!