Encompassing 100,000 acres, the scenic Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA) contains the highest peak in West Virginia, some of the best rock climbing on the east coast, outstanding views and a chance to enjoy America's great outdoors. Congress established the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area in 1965. This area is unique because it was the first NRA to be designated in the USDA Forest Service. The Forest Service was directed to manage this special area with emphasis on the outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, cultural resource protection and scientific study. Other resources are managed in harmony with these emphasized activities. Cattle and sheep graze much of the open area, maintaining these areas in their open state, providing visual quality and benefiting wildlife while also providing beef and wool to local communities. Parts of the National Recreation Area are leased for natural gas production; openings built for gas wells are seeded with game-supporting grasses. Some areas are leased to farmers who raise corn or hay, continuing the rural agriculture landscape that has existed here for nearly 200 years. The Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA provides a wealth of products, resources and recreational opportunities. Visitor facilities include the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, Seneca Shadows and Big Bend campground, and the Spruce Knob Tower. Many thousands of acres of unspoiled quiet land await discovery. Use your imagination to see how the area may have looked to the early settlers, as they crested the mountain ridges or moved up the river. Imagine living a self-sufficient life on a high hillside farm. Envision the Native Americans gathering food on hunting forays. You will discover not only beauty, but a sense of history in the NRA.
Very enjoyable trail. We left the summit and hiked down Huckleberry Trail 4.7 miles, then took a right on Lumberjack Trail. After about a mile on Lumberjack we found debris from the airplane hanging in the tree on the left side as we traveled. From there it's a 30 second hike into the woods downhill to the crash site.
Round trip it was just under 5 hours. We had our 10 year old with us. The hike was mostly wooded, with not many vistas but still beautiful. We met many other hikers. There was no a lot of elevation change, and most of the hike was fairly flat. The footing was the challenge. Much of it was either roots or rocks. I wore my running shoes but if I do it again I will wear my hiking boots for a little harder sole. Forget about cell service, so either take a map or GPS. I lost cell service along the drive and was able to find the summit by following the signs.
Not a bad hike. Some ankle rollers in spots along the trail. TAKE WATER!! Especially on the hot days. No water on either end of the trail, but you can fill up over at the store at the Y intersection. Take a dip at the swimming hole on your way out and get a really good view of where you hiked to.
I was excited to do this trail. I came up here about 7 years ago on a camping trip with my family, but they didn't want to do the trail. I convinced my fiance to go with me this time. I wouldn't consider it easy. The incline is pretty steep in a lot of places; the majority of the trail is switchbacks. The view from the observation deck is sufficient and beautiful, but if you decide to go out on the rocks, be very careful and take your time.
This hike was really fun. I would not consider this trail easy since there are plenty of switchbacks on the way up. The view form the observation deck was nice but climbing out on the rocks past the sign was awesome. There are a lot of rocks to climb on. Fun times! We headed down when it started to rain because the rocks get really slick really quick.
Great. Clear day, view was amazing. Visitors center was very good. Many check this as an easy hike, be warned the elevation change is drastic and if you hump it it's a great workout. My son and I passed everyone - for they needed to take a rest along the way. Many should be able to do this hike, just plan ahead and take your time.