Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek - MNF
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High Meadows/Seneca Creek - Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
13.5 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
2 Days. 6 hours 1st day, 2 hours 2nd day
1,210 ft
Monongahela National Forest
FS Seneca Creek Backcountry (PDF)
Printable Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Seneca Rocks Weather Forecast
Graphic Precip/Temp Forecast
Current Weather Radar Loop (Java)
Garmin (GDB), GPS eXchange (GPX) (What's this?)
3D View of Route!

e.g.. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Parking area on gravel FR112 has spots for 10 vehicles. 38.71179, -79.54994

The sister hike to the Allegheny/Seneca Creek circuit, the High Meadows loop also has spectacular views from two open pastures on Spruce Mountain. With views, Seneca Falls, and some of the best camping spots in the Monongahela, the Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek area is one of the best backpacking destinations on the east coast.

From the Seneca Creek parking area, hike up FR112 for the only section of road walking on the loop. In 0.7 miles turn left off FR112 onto the Lumberjack Trail (TR534). All the trails are marked with blue diamonds.

The Lumberjack Trail is very boggy, even in dryer weather. If there has been any rainfall within the past week be prepared to take extra time on the the Lumberjack Trail. Follow the Lumberjack Trail for 3.6 miles and arrive at the intersection of the Huckleberry Trail (TR533). Continue straight on the Lumberjack Trail for another 2.0 miles, passing through a small clearing, then arriving at the High Meadows Trail junction.

Stay left on the High Meadows Trail where in 150 yards it cuts back to the left heading steeply downward for 0.4 miles before entering the first set of meadows. Cross to the opposite side of the meadow where a blue diamond trail post marks the descent, and several acres of wild blackberry bushes. After passing through the blackberry's the trail will turn back to the left and reenter the forest. Continue to follow the trail for 0.4 miles, then be alert as the trail turns right downhill off the old path it has been following.

At this point the High Meadows Trail passes through a rocky area in the forest, and is hard to follow for the next 200 yards before entering the next set of meadows. Follow the blue diamond trail markers through the meadows as it descends to the left for another 0.4 miles before heading more directly downward, then turning more uphill to the left.

As you enter the forest cross a small stream, and arrive at the next intersection. Turn right downward towards Seneca Creek (the arrow has been scrapped off the sign), and in 0.2 miles reach Seneca Creek at which point the trail turns right downstream. Continue for 0.1 miles, turn left crossing a small gully, and in 150 yards turn sharply down to the junction of the Seneca Creek Trail (TR515).

You will cross Seneca Creek here, but first turn right for 75 yards to the Seneca Falls overlook. There are also several campsites 100 yards further on. After visiting the falls head back up the trail and cross Seneca Creek, and pass a campsite on the right. Continue on the right bank of the creek for 1.0 miles before crossing back over to the left bank. In 100 yards there is single campsite at the top of a small waterfall, and in another 200 yards a larger camping area. Cross Seneca Creek again, and in 0.1 miles there is one of the prettiest camping spots in the Monongahela with a waterfall on the opposite back.

In 0.1 miles pass the intersection of the Bear Hunter Trail on the right before arriving at the Judy Springs campground. Pass through the campground, and continue past the Judy Springs Trail (TR512) on the left, DO NOT cross the footbridge. In 0.5 miles cross Seneca Creek for the last time where the trail becomes easier to follow for the remainder of the hike. Pass the Swallow Rock Trail in another 0.5 miles, and the Tom Lick Trail 1.4 miles further on. 1.0 miles past the Tom Lick Trail arrive back at the Seneca Creek parking area.

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Hiker Reviews For The High Meadows/Seneca Creek Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the High Meadows/Seneca Creek hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Beautiful, beautiful and more beautiful...love the feel of this forest. Completed some trails in this area as a day hike. I'm going back! Cool air, less buggy than SNP and great scenery...this area has it all...

By: Brian B. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Overall, an excellent hike (done as overnight backpack). But note that no one is kidding about the boggy conditions - I think there was quite a bit of recent rain, so the entire first day was pretty soggy, and as for some of the Lumberjack trail. . .I've literally seen drier rainforests, with several boot-sucking sections to cross. Camped at the falls (three excellent sites on your left just past the overloook) I pitched my tent maybe 50 yards away. The high meadows are indeed nice no blueberries yet but some ripe rasberries, and the hike up Seneca Creek is fanstastic. Saw a number of folks (two other groups camped at the falls, and maybe 3-4 others on the way out). BTW, don't miss the spur road to the top of Spruce Knob. . .well worth a small detour.

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 03, 2013
Set out on the Lumberjack Trail knowing that rain is imminent...one word... mud... and one other word...mud... Six miles in..the fun starts... Downhill descent...especially with a backpack...through excellent views through the meadows...slipped a couple of times through the... mud... Blackberries two to three weeks away...will be plentiful... Seneca Cactii? Purple fuzzy flowers... Seneca Falls...Awesome...I loved it...Boy Scout Camp for the weekend... Half a mile down before you cross the Seneca Creek..home... Weather cloudy...cool...chance of rain...imminent... Tent up...FIre going...cooking ribeyes over the flames... Awesome... Saw those classy campsites upstream... Stunning place! One word defines the overnight backpack... Mud... One word defines the experience...AWESOME!

By: Beardedhiker Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 19, 2013
I thought this was an excellent hike. A friend and I hiked the loop and all the reviews of the first section being muddy and wet are spot on. Once you get to the meadow section it dries up. Good views we did not see one person until we got to seneca falls. Camped overnight and then took seneca creek trail out. Overall it was a great hike with good views and fun creek access. Will be going back for sure but intend to do a big loop over several days.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 22, 2013
This was the first time I made it to Monongahela National Forest since I live around Washington DC. The back country roads were amazing. I decided to do an impromptu last minute solo motorcycle/camping/hiking trip. It was a little confusing finding the trail start since I was on the bike and it was getting dark when I arrived at FR 112, but after I found the beginning everything else went pretty smoothly. The terrain on lumberjack trail is horrendous and basically a muddy creek, so good hiking shoes are a must. The entire hike was pretty wet even though it hadn&rsquot rained for about a week. The hike itself wasn&rsquot bad. My favorite part was obviously Seneca Falls which is a beautiful place for lunch. However, be prepared to forge Seneca Creek several times because there is no easy place to cross. I just took my shoes off. After I arrived at the parking area, I made the mistake of going to the right, since I left my bike at the beginning of Lumberjack trail when I should have turned left, so I walked an extra 2 miles. Overall, it was a great experience and I am glad that I had a chance to explore some new territory. I also saw a bunch of deer, a rabbit, a huge hawk, two black bears and a little snake. I am looking for the most extreme, difficult and secluded hikes, so if anyone has any recommendations please email me.

    View all 17 reviews for the High Meadows/Seneca Creek hike
Early August
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