username
X
password
register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Seneca Rocks Trail #563, WV

details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
32 6 0
Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List WV > Eastern Panhandle
Rated
3.5
3.5 of 5 by 2
 
0
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,541 feet
Elevation Gain 853 feet
Accumulated Gain 865 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.43
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2019-08-31 Daytripper
4  2019-06-11 Daytripper
13  2017-05-30 Daytripper
11  2012-09-22 RickVincent
Author Daytripper
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 57
Photos 1,121
Trips 360 map ( 2,338 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Sun  5:05am - 5:15pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
face of a thousand pitons
by Daytripper

Likely In-Season!
Overview
Located within the Monongahela National Forest and overlooking the junction of the Seneca and Shawnee trail or Warriors path Seneca Rocks is composed of Tuscarora sandstone and rises about 900 feet above the North Fork of the Potomac River.

History
During World War II this was used as training by the U.S.Army in preparation for mountain assaults, due to that practice the rocks were also known as the face of a thousand pitons. The unit portrayed in the recent movie Hacksaw Ridge spent time training here.

Hike
The hike is easy to moderate on a well maintained and signed trail with switchbacks. It's a lovely heavily shaded trail with Oak, Poplar, Ash and other hardwoods trees. You can begin by visiting the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center maintained by the Park Service. There are artifacts from archeological digs concerning Native Americans, info on fauna and flora, topo maps, souvenirs. Or you can skip it and park behind the visitors center at the Sites homestead a restored 1840's farmhouse. Either way the hike begins by crossing the north flowing Potomac River which at this time of year is flowing heavily.

The hike is popular, if you want to avoid crowds try to start early. On the day I went about 9am with temperature at 68, I passed one other hiker and 3 volunteers at the top but on the way down about 15 to 20. This also makes the chances of seeing any wildlife better on the drive there, as deer graze next to the road, rather than on the hike.

Once you get to the viewing platform you can see the river below and the mountains of the Spruce Knob recreation area. If you try to go above the viewing platform there is signage to discourage it. To continue will require short scrambling along a narrow rock ledge which enables you reach the top of the southern section of the rocks.

After the hike you can check out Harper's General Store for some interesting shopping or sign up for horseback riding trips up to the viewing platform. It's a little off the beaten path but if you're in the area it's worth the time to hike and check out the views!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2017-06-02 Daytripper
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Seneca Rocks Trail #563
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Returned to one of my favorite local hikes, a cool 65° to start , a little busy with the holiday weekend ,particularly by time I returned to the parking lot. Had the view platform to myself for a brief period, did not go up the rock formations nor go up higher on the old Jeep road above the platform this time. Passed by a baby bottle perched on a bench but saw no likely owners crawling on the trail. Returned via the Rory Gap Road crossing the river over the vehicle bridge. The river is down quite a bit from a couple of months ago. Portends bad luck trying to get a trout dinner. Quite a few climbers gearing up at the Rory Gap parking area , a brief crazed thought of trying it myself. Nice to get a hike in with some elevation after the last month by the seaside.
    Seneca Rocks Trail #563
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Cool morning hike , 62 degrees at 0830,to the viewing platform in 28 minutes.Clear views all around from the observation platform. Opportune stop on the high point of the bridge over the river as an eagle happen to fly overhead, didn’t move quick enough to get a photo. Stopped at the discovery center then on to shopping in Franklin,WV.
    Seneca Rocks Trail #563
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    On the way to do some exploring of the Dolly Sods wilderness decided to stop by one of my favorite hikes and to visit the discovery center there. First day with no rain in the forecast in a week, the rivers and streams are running high , nearby Roy Gap road was closed ,the river was almost at the end of the walking bridge. Enjoying the cooler weather, met about a dozen other hikers, one 4 foot black snake. Trail it self as expected was a little muddy but in good shape, they were doing some clearing along the nearby fire road which also doubles as the horse route to the top from Yokum stables, yes you can get a horse ride to the viewing platform. Good views of Spruce Knob, the WV high point, on this clear day.



    Seneca Rocks Trail #563
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Located within the Monongahela National Forest and overlooking the junction of the Seneca and Shawnee trail or Warriors path Seneca Rocks is composed of Tuscarora sandstone and rises about 900 feet above the North Fork of the Potomac River. During World War II this was used as training by the U.S.Army in preparation for mountain assaults, due to that practice the rocks were also known as the face of a thousand pitons. The unit portrayed in the recent movie Hacksaw Ridge spent time training here. The hike is easy to moderate on a well maintained and signed trail with switchbacks. It's a lovely heavily shaded trail with Oak, Poplar, Ash and other hardwoods trees. You can begin by visiting the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center maintained by the Park Service. There are artifacts from archeological digs concerning Native Americans, info on fauna and flora, topo maps, souvenirs . Or you can skip it and park behind the visitors center at the Sites homestead a restored 1840's farmhouse. Either way the hike begins by crossing the north flowing Potomac River which at this time of year is flowing heavily . The hike is popular, if you want to avoid crowds try to start early ,on the day I went about 9am with temperature at 68, I passed one other hiker and 3 volunteers at the top but on the way down about 15 to 20 .This also makes the chances of seeing any wildlife better on the drive there , as deer graze next to the road, rather than on the hike. Once you get to the viewing platform you can see the river below and the mountains of the Spruce Knob recreation area. If you try to go above the viewing platform there is signage to discourage it , to continue will require short scrambling along a narrow rock ledge which enables you reach the top of the southern section of the rocks. After the hike you can check out Harpers General Store for some interesting shopping or sign up for horseback riding trips up to the viewing platform. Its a little off the beaten path but if your in the area its worth the time to hike it and check out the views.
    Seneca Rocks Trail #563
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I flew into Pittsburgh late on Friday night to meet up with my friend Dean. We started our drive to West Virginia and pulled into a hotel in Buckhannon around 2:30am. After about 6 hours sleep, we got back on the road to Seneca Rocks.

    Seneca Rocks is located in Pendleton County, WV, near the confluence of Seneca Creek and the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. The tuscarosa sandstone peaks (fins really)are a prominent formation that is quite obvious as you drive towards the town of Seneca Rocks down route 33. The drive down 33 was beautiful as we climbed to about 3700 feet then dropped back down to 1500 feet. This area tends to reach peak autumn color in late September, so the colors were already starting to mark their arrival of fall. Probably another week and the area will look phenomenal in yellows and reds.

    This is a serious rock climbers destination featuring about 375 climbing routes and a variety of hiking trails. We opted for the hiking trail, a very well maintained route that I would rate easy to moderate. Easy to me, but moderate to others who might be challenged by the 900 foot elevation gain. We hiked towards the outlook point near the peaks. Once at the outlook we continued on past a sign that warned against further hiking towards the top. Park information says that the top of the peaks are only accessible by technical rock climbing. Although, I would say that is true for the southern-most peak, we reached the top of the northern peak quite easily. This is not a place for those with a fear of heights. Once on top, you realize that these peaks are nothing more than narrow fins that are 2-3 feet wide in some areas with sheer 300-400 foot drops to the east and west.

    We took some photos of the surrounding rural landscapes and also took some time to watch the climbers make their way up both faces of the fins. At least a dozen or so climbers could be seen with their bright-colored clothing popping out against the gray stone. Very cool to watch them climb from our higher vantage point.

    Wanting to try something a little more adventurous, we opted for an off-trail return around the backside of the "Rocks." There seemed to be a lightly tread trail in some areas (probably approach trails for climbers). At times, we found ourselves clinging to the rocks and shimmying our way over exposed drop-offs. One spot looked sketchy enough that we decided to lower our packs down a 20 foot ledge, so as to make for a little more comfortable downclimb.

    We passed climber after climber along the way, and I really started wishing that we would have brought along our climbing gear on this hike. We continued on around the back and soon arrived at a forest road which led us back to the parking lot.

    I turned around for one last look at the Seneca Rocks, snapped a few pics and we got on the road to our next adventure at Summersville Lake (North of the New River Gorge).

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road


    To hike
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Mar 09 2010 6:40 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker