The forests and meadows around Seneca Rocks are a great place for viewing native wildlife in its natural habitat. The open area directly behind the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center is an especially good place to see animals which often come out to feed in the early morning or the late afternoon.
Pictured are a few of the whitetail deer I saw in the field behind the Discovery Center. Other wildlife I spotted included a fat groundhog, a garter snake, and numerous birds.
Of course, the lure of the town of Seneca Rocks is the rocks themselves. Legend has it that a Seneca Indian princess plunged to her death from the cliffs when her father, the chief, denied her marriage to a white man. (It seems to me that there are a lot of these forlorn-princess stories around!!). The Rocks are impressive. There is an observation building at ground level from which one can view the 900ft. rise of Tuscarora quarzite, 250ft thick, and watch those that venture out take the challenge of the climb. My friends and I, being in our late teens and therefore invincible and immortal, decided to climb the rocks ourselves, armed only with our bare hands and feet. From ground level the rocks looked impressive but, although we knew it would be impossible to scale the most upright of the cliffs, there were routes we thought we'd manage, climbing at more of an angle.
To make a long story short......DO NOT TRY THIS!!! We were all strong and in good shape, but one realizes halfway up that going down is not an option anymore. It's either up, or fall. It's a little disconcerting to look behind you as you're scaling the cliff and see all the birds flying BELOW you and hearing someone with a bullhorn yelling at you to stop what you're doing. Somehow, all of us made it, although there was a moment when one of the girls panicked and wanted to give up and 'just fall'.
The view from the top, when we got there and had recuperated, was fantastic. Worth every bit of muscle pain, every bit of skinned knee and broken nail. West Virginia truly has it's beautiful places.
Fondest memory: The climb I will never forget, inspite of the fact that we were met by the park rangers on our descent (we took the more gradual trail down the back of the cliffs) who fined us for illegal climbing. Like I said, never do what we did. In hindsight it was stupid. (But what an adventure!!)