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Hiker Comments for the High Meadows/Seneca Creek Hike - 1 to 24 of 24   
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By: Craig Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 23, 2019
Nice hike. It was 19 degrees and 6 inches of snow when we arrived at the parking lot. Our group included people between 10 and 40. We did the hike backwards and hiked down the creek to the first campsite after the falls. The second day we hiked out on Lumberjack, taking the short cut of Horton trail which cuts several miles off the trip. Caught several night Brook trout, and one fellow in the group took a swim in the pool beneath the waterfall. The snow made the trail between Judy Campground and the falls pretty muddy, and as the description said Lumberjack trail was very muddy. If you do this hike be prepared for multiple creek crossings. The worst is at the falls, you cannot rock hop your way across and with high water we all either just got wet shoes, or took off our shoes and waded.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
This is really a great Hike. I did this with my 12 year old son and we both wanted to see the piper PA-23 crash site which was really worth checking out. One thing I would like to say is that all the reviews seem to be a little negative about the Lumberjack trail and for this reason I have always been reluctant to try this hike. But I don't think it was that bad of a trail, just wear long pants because there are a lot of Nettles along the way. The High Meadows Trail Had some Very Awesome Views But I would like to give a word of Caution Watch out for Rattlesnakes!! I was admiring the Views and not watching my feet and almost stepped on a Big Timber Rattlesnake on the trail, actually thank God I did not step on it because my Son who was behind me spotted it and I had just walked over it.

After getting my heart rate back under control We continued on down to Seneca Creek, be prepared to cross Stream 3 times before Judy Springs which is where we set up camp. The fishing was amazing on Seneca creek If you are into catching native Brook trout. The hike from Judy springs to the Trail head is I think the Best section of the Seneca Creek trail. So enjoy it and Be Safe.

By: Kat V. Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, August 26, 2016
Great hike and challenging if done backwards. We arrived a bit late on the first day to go the recommended way up Lumberjack to High Meadows and decided to do the hike backwards to take advantage of the multiple pre-existing campsites along the Seneca Creek. We were literally the only ones out on the trail (only 2 cars in the parking lot) and ended up about a mile and a half south of Seneca Falls. The next day we continued our backwards hike to Seneca Falls (gorgeous) and then up to the High Meadows trail. This part was a killer and I would rate it as a 5 out of 6 on difficulty for the steep incline. We then went down Lumberjack to Horton trail to join Judy Springs to get back to Seneca Creek trail. We saw no bears and only saw one bear scat the whole time (which we were very happy about). We also visited the airplane crash site on Lumberjack, which was very sobering. We saw about 10 people on the trail on Saturday and when we left Saturday night the parking lot was full. If we had to do it again we would set up camp on Friday night right at Seneca Falls and just do an out and back along that creek.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Great creek hike with some great campsites - if it's not too busy. We decided to do this hike backwards, starting at the Seneca Creek trailhead, along the creek to the falls, and back along the Lumberjack Trail, but everyone we talked to on the trail said that Lumberjack was nothing but rocks and muck, so we stuck to an out-and-back on Seneca Creek.

This was on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, so pretty much every established campsite was taken, though there were enough flat spots along the trail for us and the other "overflow" hikers to get a decent night's sleep. The sites near the falls were nice, but the ones near the Judy Springs trail intersection seemed nicest because of the little field there. (I've always liked camping on the edge of the woods instead of in the woods, though.)

The repeated stream crossings were slightly annoying, but it was easy to make it across all of them without getting any water over the top of my boots. (NOTE: wear waterproof boots!) We hiked up to the high meadows before we turned back to the car, and they're pretty nice - would be really great in the fall. We're planning to return in fall or winter, so I'll add second opinions after that future trip.

By: reswob10 Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Great Hike! Just as beautiful as everyone says.  Great for beginner hikers.

Only word of warning, don't use the tool above to get directions to the parking lot/trail head (the blank entry that asks you to put in your starting point).  It puts you on FR112 just south of Seneca Knob campground.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 6, 2015
The Seneca Creek parking area was packed!! Most of the people were just there for the day though. We got started about 1 pm and considered parking at the Lumberjack trail head, but decided it would be best to do that uphill on the forest road 1st rather than last. Lumberjack is boggy, but I think we went on one of the better days because of the drought conditions we have been having. If you have hiked in Dolly Sods, then you can handle these bogs. You pretty much walk straight onto the High Meadows Trail, so don't feel like you've missed it. Every intersection is marked with a wooden sign. When we reached Seneca Falls, it was breathtaking!! We could not have asked for a better camping experience or spot!! We had the whole area to ourselves!! The next day, we did the 5+ miles back out to the parking area. There were a lot of people camping around the Judy Springs area. I would have to say that this hike is a 'low' 3 as far as difficulty is concerned. I (mrs roberts) carried a 25-28 lb backpack, and did about seven miles with a blister on my heel.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 8, 2015
Great hike with diverse scenery! The only strenuous part was the descent starting at High Meadows - it's the last leg of the first day and was difficult.

The directions, as stated in other comments, are a bit off, though it's pretty straightforward.. Once you hit High Meadows Trail (which was our favorite part), you'll keep going through three large meadows. After the third meadow, you'll come to a creek crossing - it's a small waterfall with water running over smooth rocks and then falls down some small levels. Be careful crossing - it's an easy one to slip on and seriously hurt yourself.

After this crossing, the trail winds for a half mile down hill, with campsites on your right as you defend. There's no clear signs, but once you get to the bottom and the creek is right in front of you, you have two options. Go left, you'll immediately come to a creek crossing that's at least 20 feet long. Go right, and you'll follow the creek and pass by the falls and a lot of camp sites. If you camp, you'll need to cross the stream (this is the start of the Seneca Creek trail). There's also a few campsites on this side of the stream. We came out on the seneca creek trail as we didn't want to do all the uphill and re-hike the huckleberry (but also had a car parked wouldn't be able to walk back to your car at Huckleberry trailhead from Seneca trailhead without a ride). There are at least 4 creek crossings on the full Seneca Trail which vary, but you should be ready to take off your boots at least once or twice.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Beautiful, beautiful and more 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 3, 2013
Set out on the Lumberjack Trail knowing that rain is 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 of rain...imminent... Tent up...FIre 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.

By: Matt Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 1, 2013
There's not much bad to say about this hike. It's got a little of everything. Everything is beautiful, and the creek is full of trout. Wish I knew how to fly fish! There are so many campsites we almost lost count, but there were around 15 along the creek. One even had pots, pans, and a coffee pot hanging from the tree.

The first 5+ miles are very boggy, like everyone says. Wear good boots. The trail is pretty flat, and declines only as you start making your way down to the creek. There are wild blackberry bushes, but they won't fruit until mid to late summer. Next time I am definitely bringing a fishin' pole!

By: Gabriella Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 2, 2012
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.

Favorite things:

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.

By: Dave Rating: 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.

By: Rating: 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.

By: Nate Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 5, 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!

By: Rating: 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!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 4, 2009
After reading the description, we were really looking forward to a hike on par with Old Rag, and while it was lovely, it did not meet the hype. We left the parking lot at 10:30 and reached the campsite (which was beautiful and romantic) at 3. We ended up hanging out for a little bit, enjoying the river, but then left since we still had the whole day ahead of us. Would we go back? Yes, if we were bringing friends, in the mood for campfire social hour, and the point was to enjoy nice camping in the woods with good fixins for dinner. Was it worth it just for the hike? Alas, probably not. The pros: much less crowded than Old Rag and the like, an ideal hike for a dog (off leash is allowed, and there aren't a lot of people), the meadows are open and beautiful, great camp sites, waterfalls. The cons: long and boring  paths through the woods were quite boggy, lots of horse trail riders (and the poop that comes with). Recommend bringing a pair of crocs for the stream crossings - in two locations, you're up to your shins in water. Overall a nice hike, but not the best in the area.

By: Raoul Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 3, 2009
Did this as an overnight trip. The meadows and falls made it a pleasant one overall. The first part of the hike on the Lumberjack Trail was slow going due to a great deal of mud. At one point the trail disappeared into a marshy area with high grass and ankle deep water.    

It is easy to lose the trail leaving the first meadow - there was a well worn path going downhill to the left but you actually want to go a bit to the right as you leave the meadow to stay on the trail.

For the part where you first reach Seneca Creek and "turn right downstream," you actually have to cross the creek first. There appears to be a path to the right before crossing, but it eventually leads up a hill away from the creek. Seems like others had also ended up here.

The creek crossing near the main falls is about knee deep. We had water shoes so it was no problem.

Lastly, the distances for the campsites after you have been following the creek seem to be too short in the description. We camped at the site on top of the small waterfall, but it was probably closer to 1000 yards than 100. We kept wondering when we were going to find it and stopped just as we were running out of daylight. The next morning we saw the other campsites by the waterfall, which were all taken. The hike back to the parking area is short, so there is probably time for exploring side trails on the second day.

By: Caitlin Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 14, 2009
This is a great hike, but make sure you bring a map! I'm not going to judge this hike on the mistakes that my group made, but the directions were a bit flimsy. We wrote down the general directions and got turned around several times because of missing markers. You WILL have to cross several streams, and there are NO bridges. We weren't prepared for that and all 4 of us had to share 1 pair of water shoes (there are some areas where you're in knee deep water.. and its coooold!)

The views are amazing, and its nice to get out from under the trees and enjoy the sky. The trails can get pretty muddy, we spent a lot of time trekking on the side of the trail because the mud was so deep. The high meadows were a great place to stop for lunch. And the campsites are great too... right next to the river and falls!

Overall, I would definitely do this hike again, but after getting in shape some. I wouldn't recommend this hike for a total beginner, as there are some strenuous hills. But for someone who's been on a few hikes its great!

By: LandurSea Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, November 17, 2008

This was truly a fantastic hike- my favorite so far.  This beats Morgans run and Old Rag hands down.  It has good challenge [nothing extreme, just good old fashioned uphill], and extremely good visual features.  Some of the best campsites I have seen and great apple picking when in season.

I will hike this again and plan on taking in the allegheny sister hike.

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 24, 2008
With rain one week prior to our hike the Lumberjack trail portion was extremely muddy, which made the rocky terain even more of a bear to hike.  Once onto the High Meadows portion of the hike the sceanery was spectacular.  We camped by the falls and this was a great location looking directly into them.  Overall the views more than made up for the difficulty.  I would strongly suggestion boots with good ankle support, and possibly some gators if it has rained any time recently.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 24, 2008

We hiked in on the Lumberjack trail and then setup camp at Judy Springs. To save time we skipped the High Meadows portion and went down the Horton trail to the falls.  As the previous reviewer stated it rained a lot the previous week. This made the trails a little muddy, but made the runs, creeks, and falls that much more spectacular.  This was a great hike and the GPS coordinates were right on.  I've hiked several trails in this area and they are all really well marked with blue diamonds.  If you just want to setup a base camp and do out and back hikes on other trails, Judy Springs is centrally located and has a lot of campsites and drinking water.

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