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.
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).
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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Reviews For The High Meadows/Seneca Creek Hike (5 Most Recent)
We did this hike for Labor Day weekend and to my surprise, there were very few people on the trail. We hiked in the opposite way of this post (in through the Seneca Creek trail right off of the parking lot) and within an hour, the first campsites starting popping up. There are a TON of campsites on the seneca creek trail. We ended up camping at a site right across the river. Almost every intentional campsite has a fire pit with rock chairs, which is awesome. It poured the first night we were there, so the trail was really boggy the next morning. I made the mistake of wearing my Chacos, which came in handy for some of the river crossing, but were not fun when it came to navigating through/around the mudpits and horse manuer. The second day we hiked up to the falls, which we took a mini-dip in and had lunch, and then followed the switchback up to the High Meadows/Huckleberry Trail fork. Instead of going up the HIgh Meadows and down Lumberjack, we decided to avoid boggy Lumberjack and go down Huckleberry and then Judy Springs back to Seneca Trail. The Huckleberry trail was a steep climb for about 45 minutes where we saw a baby black bear foraging in the woods. Boyfriend was excited to watch, while I was inclined to keep moving away from said bear...
Anyway, Judy Springs trail was a nice reprieve from the climbing, as it was downhill through a beautiful meadow, which gave beautiful views of the valley. Then, back to the seneca creek trial and on home.
A few downfalls of this hike:
1. Lots and lots of trask left behind. Beer cans in the firepits, aluminum from freeze dreid food packages, trash bags, tarps. It was dissapointing to see. Make me wish I brought an extra bag to pick up trash!!
2. Even though a multitude of campsites are nice to have, I think the high traffic of humans around has scared away a lot of the wildlife. We saw two deer in the morning and besides our random encounter with a bear, there was hardly any wildlife. A bit strange.
3. Lots of mud, even at a slight rain. Bring big boots that can get wet.
1. Beautiful views and scenery. The multiple small waterfalls and beautiful biggen along with the outcropped meadows were really beautiful.
2. The leaves are starting to change color, but there is still a lot of tree cover for the heat. The hike had some nice elevation change halfway in mixed with pretty steady flat trails in and out.
3. Beautiful campsites that can definately accomodate big groups or just a bunch of lovebirds like us.
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 21, 2011
This hike was a lot of fun, and provided a lot of pretty sights at which to gawk. Countless waterfalls permeated the views along the Seneca Creek Trail. And, though the Lumberjack Trail wasn’t too exciting, it did offer many flowers and consistent greenery. We saw a lot of wildlife (or evidence thereof), including deer, groundhogs, a northern ringneck snake, a bear track, and numerous birds.
The trail was consistently soggy, though the multiple stream crossing provided ample opportunities to cleanse one’s foot. We mostly used Chaco sandals to navigate the wettest areas.
There are many, many campsites. It’d be hard to find one that isn’t gorgeous, although people have harmed two of the sites, including the one this site labels as one of the prettiest. Trash all around the site, with lots of nasty stuff left in the fire pits. We hiked out some of the debris, but there was a lot of it. Also, two parties abandoned fires that were still heavily smoking until we doused them with many bowls of water.
All in all, this is a great hike worth the four hour drive from the DC region.
Date of Hike: Monday, April 18, 2011
My 9 year old son and I took a shortened version of this hike, starting at the lumberjack trail 534 but taking the Huckleberry trail 533 toward the creek. Unfortunately when we arrived at Seneca Creek, it was too high to cross, so we had to turn back. The high water made for a few impressive photographs of Seneca Falls. We camped for the night in a meadow near the intersection of the Huckleberry trail and a side trail leading to the high meadows trail. The next morning we returned to the parking area via Huckleberry & Lumberjack trails.
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 05, 2010
Loved this hike! Did it with my son who is 8. We did this route, less the Lumberjack / High Meadows trails. We camped first night at Judy Springs (AWESOME). The springs just shoot right out of the side of the mountain. Next day made it down to the "most beautiful campsite" and set up there, then hiked to the falls and back. Some guys were swimming at the falls (brrr)! Excellent night of sleep both nights. Rained most of the way back to the car on final day and the Seneca Creek trail was a running sloshy mud stream but was expected considering the torrential downpours we were getting. Overall I highly recommend this trail!
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 11, 2009
Awesome hike, first day hike to seneca falls was amazing, rained for the first couple hours on lumberjack/high meadows but didn't slow us down. Bog was pretty deep, but there's ways to get around it. Directions were a little hard to follow in some spots, but it's pretty clear when you're off track. Took about 6 1/2 hours to get to Seneca Falls, hike would be faster in drier conditions. Best camping sites I've seen, beautiful meadows and great streams. Went cliff jumping at seneca falls and camped out a little past them. Hiked back up to the parking lot the next day in about 2 hours, a little uphill the whole time but not bad. Would recommend highly!