Seneca Rocks

  • Highlights: Views, rocky summit
  • Distance: 3.6 miles out and back
  • Elevation Change 839 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt with some rocky sections
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Seneca Rocks Discovery Center parking area, 13 Roy Gap Road, Seneca Rocks WV
  • Trail Markings: trail signs, no blazes
  • Website: AllTrails and US Forest Service
  • Beer Pairings: Hermitage Taphouse—Weapons Free IPA & Cold Trail Blonde Ale

Trail Map:

The Hike:

The rocky summit of Seneca Rocks dominates the landscape. This has been a popular destination for generations. Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA) contains the highest peak in West Virginia with some of the best rock climbing in the east.

This is a very popular destination and the steep trail to the summit can become very crowded. Try to get an early start to beat the crowds. AllTrails has this hike beginning at the Visitor Center. This parking area has some of the best views of Seneca Rocks. A shorter hike to the summit is from the Picnic Area near the Sites Homestead.

The trail to the summit is steep with numerous switchbacks. Signs are posted along the trail describing the geology and history of the area. A viewing platform near the summit has nice views to the west. This is the end of the “official” trail.

A sign warns about potential dangers of scrambling to the rocky summit. The rocks were wet after an overnight rain, so we didn’t climb all the way to the summit. The summit scramble leads to some amazing views—but be careful up there.

We really enjoyed the views of the rocks from the base. In addition to the Discovery Center, plan to spend some time at the Sites Homestead and its 18th century garden.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Hermitage Inn and Taphouse in Petersburg WV is located about 30 minutes from the trailhead. They offer six taps of craft beer, a variety of craft beer in cans, and a full bar. They have indoor and outdoor seating and a decent menu with a variety of food options. 

Kathy enjoyed Weapons Free (9% ABV • 30 IBU), a double IPA from High Ground Brewing in WV. This hazy New England-style IPA is brewed with Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, and Citra hops. Pete wanted something cold and refreshing in a glass. Cold Trail Blond Ale (5.5% ABV) from Mountain State Brewing is a wheat beer with a crisp, clean finish.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.