Seneca Rocks, West Virginia


Brett Cottrell
Feb 14, 2013
I’m a Westerner. I was born in Las Vegas (which explains a lot) and have lived in Salt Lake and Boise, Idaho, attending undergrad at Boise State. When I came back east to DC for grad school, I scoffed at the so-called mountains. More like hills.

But over the years I’ve come to appreciate the Eastern Mountains, particularly West Virginia. If there’s a flat spot in West Virginia, I’ve yet to see it. Dense deciduous forests towering over lush undergrowth. True, the mountains never really get more than about six thousand feet, but that’s not bad prominence when you’re looking down at sea level.

The campground is beautiful, and because it’s so wooded, it feels more private than it is. Plus, the national forest campgrounds out here have showers. Sheesh. Easterners have a lot to learn about camping.

Seneca Rocks sits along a branch of the Potomac River, and it’s very close to Spruce Knob (the highest point in WV) and the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.

We took a drive to Spruce Knob to see the view, which was great, and then hiked a few miles along Seneca Creek. It was gorgeous and would be a great backpacking destination. The creek, small though it was, was chalk full of little brookies.

The next day we drove up to the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Strange place for back east, while it’s probably only about 5000 feet, it has a tundra-type feel to it. I’d love to backpack there. We took a short hike and ate blueberries that grew all along the trail.

Because the elevation is lower than out west, and the summers back east are hot enough to serve as Hell’s waiting room, we were glad that there was a great swimming hole near the campground on the Potomac. Good times.



Aug 9, 2007


Jan 30, 2013
Seneca Rocks area is very pretty, I didn't stay at the campground there but stopped to get off the bike and stretch my legs. I stayed at a campground near there on south branch of the Potomac in Smoke Hole Canyon (Big Bend Campground).



Dec 21, 2012
Thanks for sharing. The Monongahela National Forest is my main stomping ground. It has everything one could want, serious rock climbing, whitewater rivers that will curl your blood, lush vegetation greener than most places, mnt biking that will 'burn' the muscles, remote backpacking wilderness, backcountry skiing with 100's of inches of snow (currently 2 ft on the ground with 1-2 more feet coming tonight). Plus little restrictions for recreating outside the wildlife management areas(Canaan Valley). My family has spent hundreds of days exploring this area.
Do you live in these parts nowadays? Do you get out there very often? I go out there regularly. Wanted to buy a cabin just before the real estate mkt exploded....was very cheap back then. Too late now. Might head out there this wknd for some skiing.
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