A self-interpretive 1.3-mile trail, beginning behind the Discovery Center, offers the non-technical-climber like me a way to reach the top of the rocks. The trail begins with the a bridge across the North Fork River then becomes a steep climb, but one that can still be enjoyed by most people in decent shape. Along the trail are steps, switchbacks and occasional benches where you can pause to catch your breath. At the top there is a platform and lovely views of the valley below.
I have visited Seneca Rocks twice but still have not hiked all the way to the top. Both times I was turned back by severe summer thunderstorms. Although I didn't climb Seneca Rocks, I succeed in taking the much longer hike to the top of Spruce Knob, 4,861 feet, West Virginia's highest point. It is just a few miles away in the Spruce Knob - Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, which offers more than 60 miles of trails with varying degrees of difficulty.
At the base of Seneca Rocks runs the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. This is the same river which eventually reaches tidewater near Washington, DC.
Those with a West Virginia fishing license may try their luck at catching trout here but "Catch and Release" is the only type of fishing allowed near the visitor center for a 3/4 mile section. All fish must be returned to the water BEFORE being cooked and eaten. Anglers may only use artificial lures; possession of other bait is illegal. The area is patrolled by West Virginia Conservation Officers.
Don't you just love all the rules. Have fun!
There are more than 375 routes for rock climbers to use in conquering Seneca Rocks. Personally, I'm not built for technical climbing and am too afraid of heights to dangle off a cliff by a rope. However, I have been fascinated to watch experienced climbers ascend Seneca Rocks.
Seneca Rocks and nearby Champe Rocks are among the most imposing examples of white/gray Tuscarora quartzite to be found anywhere. The quartzite is approximately 250 feet thick and is located primarily on exposed ridges as caprock or exposed crags.
Needless to say, only well trained and experienced rock climbers should attempt to scale the rocks. Two climbing schools can be found in the communities of Seneca Rocks and nearby Riverton. They offer both beginning and advanced training in rock climbing.