Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek
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Allegheny/Seneca Creek - Seneca Rocks WV

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
12.7 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:

2 Days. 7 hours 1st day, 2 hours 2nd day
1,610 ft with two ascents
Monongahela National Forest
FS Seneca Creek Backcountry (PDF)
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Seneca Rocks Weather Forecast
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Parking area on gravel FR112 has spots for 10 vehicles. 38.71179, -79.54994

Seneca Creek and Seneca Falls make this one of the most beautiful stream hikes in the mid-atlantic. With numerous first rate camp sites along its banks, this is a definite backpackers delight. If you backpack make sure to add this fantastic hike to your list.

From the parking area head down the Seneca Creek Trail (TR515) 1.1 miles and turn left on the Tom Lick Trail (TR559). Ascend the mountain on what appears more of a old forestry service road than a trail before arriving at the ridge, and intersection of the Allegheny Mountain Trail.

Turn right on the Allegheny Mountain Trail (TR532) and in 0.3 miles pass the North Fork/Big Run Trail on the left, then in another 0.5 miles pass the Leading Ridge Trail again on your left. Continue on the Allegheny Mountain Trail for 0.4 miles before passing the Swallow Rock Trail and great camp site at a small pass on the ridge.

Continue uphill on the Allegheny Mountain Trail then in 1.5 miles pass the Bear Hunter Trail. 1.5 miles further the Spring Ridge Trail turns left, stay right downhill through a small clearing and rejoin the Allegheny Mountain Trail on the other side of the clearing. 0.1 miles downhill the trail will split with the Allegheny Mountain Trail turning left and the Horton Trail (TR530) turning right downhill.

Turn right on the Horton Trail as it descends the mountain steeply for 1.1 miles before arriving at Seneca Creek. Cross Seneca Creek and climb up to the Seneca Creek Trail (TR515) on the opposite bank.

Turn right on the Seneca Creek Trail passing several great camp sites just below Seneca Falls 200 yards from where you crossed the creek. Cross Seneca Creek just above the falls and pass another fantastic camp site.

In 1.5 miles from the falls there is an unmarked trail on your left. Follow it for 30 yards to one of the prettiest campsites in the forest, with an old grist stone and waterfall on the other side of the creek.

Continue up Seneca Creek Trail and pass the Bear Hunter Trail on your right in 0.1 miles, then in another 0.1 miles arrive at a clearing and the Judy Springs Campground and intersection of the Judy Springs Trail that crosses Seneca Creek on a wooden foot bridge.

Don't cross the footbridge, but remain on Seneca Creek Trail for 3.3 miles back to the parking area. Passing the Swallow Rock Trail in 1.1 miles and the Tom Lick trail in 2.4 miles.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Allegheny/Seneca Creek hike:

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

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Went to Spruce Lake Campground to camp the day before. It was gated so ended up staying at Gatgewood Campground. This was a nice place to camp on top on the mountain. It was close to the trailhead. After taking the first trail off Seneca Creek the trail constantly proceeds uphill. Same with the Allegheny trail. It however will climb and somewhat level off at times. this will take you to the top of a ridge where there are some good views of an adjacent mountain. The trail had some boggy spots that were manageable. The recent weather was fairly dry but could have had some past rain to contribute. The Allegheny trail starts to descend and intersect with other trails. After taking the Horton trail, we began a technical decent. down to Seneca Creek. This trail is on the side of the ridge and tends to fall of at times. It is humbling to look to the left. Use caution here. Once we arrived at Sceneca Creek the Scenery was spectacular! Soon we had to begin crossing at points. We brought crocks but I only used them twice when crossing. Was able to rock hop the other 2 or 3. Could have gotten away with using them once but I had them on when leaving camp so kept them on. There is a big water fall 15 ft+ early on. It is a great spot! I think the crossing above this required crocks. we continued on and passed several campsites. Ended up camping a bit before Judy Springs. Noted that firewood looked scarce at most sites. Camping along the creek was enjoyable. A mouse crawled across my back when I was sitting on the stone seats by the fire. It continued to bother me. Thinking it had been feed by prior campers. I tied our food up in the Y of a big tree. When I checked it the next day I found that a couple items were eaten completely. I think it was the mouse. Maybe a tree with a limb would have been better but didn't see any good options. The hike out was really nice! We side hiked the Judy Springs trail. The trail seemed to disappear. I kept following it as best I could to a nearby trail. Turned around and hung out on an outcropping above Judy Springs for a while. It was enjoyable. Continued out on a slight ascent along the creek trail that offered fairly easy terrain. The views were spectacular consisting of the creek, open areas with various vegetation and spruce thickets over the trail. Not much wildlife was seen other than a few birds, hawks? the trail is marked well with signs and the maps available will help. Thank You for the info here.

By: Fritz Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 9, 2016
This area is a beautiful place to hike! Amazing colors in the fall! I was there a few days after heavy rainstorms (pushed up from Hurricane Matthew) had blanketed the area. The creek was running strong and there were streams and small waterfalls everywhere! And to my surprise, the meadows and Seneca Creek Trail were not too swampy or muddy. My original plan was to start at the Allegheny Mountain trail head and hike it north. But I accidentally headed northwest on the Big Run trail, as the two trail heads are very close to each other. (Be sure to read the trail sign at the trail head carefully so that you don't make the same mistake!) Once I realized my error, I bushwhacked around clockwise until I reached the Allegheny, but the area was so beautiful that I kept going and hiked through the meadows of Slab Camp Run until I reached Seneca Creek. From there, I headed north to the Swallow Rock Trail hiked northwest up the Swallow Rock (which was probably the most difficult part of the hike, due to its grade) to the Allegheny turned south on the Allegheny, and then hiked back to where I'd starting at the trail head. I camped that night - and the night prior - at Spruce Knob Lake. Very nice! I will definitely be back to camp and hike there again soon!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 11, 2016
This is my favorite area to hike in West Virginia, and one of my favorites in the world. It has everything and is great if you want to get a first-time backpacker hooked on hiking.

I've gone in June, July, and March. I would say July is the best time to go since the huckleberries are in full bloom and you can take advantage of the beautiful swimming holes that are abound. Also, the vegetation is unbelievably lush during the wet summers.

One tip to people who are interested - There is an even bigger waterfall a mile or two down from the falls just below the Horton/Seneca Creek trail junction. I believe it is beyond the boundaries of the official trail but there is a trail that will take you all the way...just be careful crossing the very very old bridge about a half mile from the main waterfall.

I love this place. To me, it is the closest one can get to heaven on earth.

By: nate phillips Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 16, 2015
my dad and I hiked this trail as a backpacking trip. It was very nice we loved it except for a couple of things LOTS OF MUD!!!!!!, and horse poop as well. Beautiful rivers/river crossing they where crystal clear. We camped at the best campsite in the forest BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! there where some downed trees in the path. Bring a saw it helped us a lot with firewood its hard to find DRY wood. Overall one of the best. We have already planned a trip back.

By: Steve Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 11, 2012
First day on the Allegheny Mountain trail was nothing special. There were periodic bogs due to several rainstorms earlier in the week. The last mile on Horton Trail drops 1,000 feet and was brutal on my knees. For that reason I would not take this loop again. Once we reached the falls it was great. It's a very pretty area with lots of good campsites. Love those stone chairs! Hiking out the second day on the Seneca Creek trail was very nice. Water was low so we were able to do all crossing by stepping on rocks. If the water level is high I think you would need wading shoes for the two crossings nearest the waterfall. The falls/camping area and the Seneca Creek trail are why I give this hike four stars. We spoke with a couple who took the High Meadows/Seneca Creek loop and they said the Lumberjack Trail was a boggy disaster. I prefer loops for overnight trips but next time I come here I'm just going to hike in and out on the Seneca Creek Trail maybe with some side trips to the Judy Springs and High Meadows trails.

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