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Home > Visit a Gateway > Spruce Knob/Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area
Spruce Knob/Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area - Seneca Rocks, WV

The National Recreation Area provides opportunities for hiking, camping, picnicing, wildlife viewing, rock-climbing and other outdoor activities. Visitors can call or stop by the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center for information about all recreation area activities and facilities.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing Camping Educational Programs Fishing Hiking Picnicking

To hike to the top of Seneca Rocks, start at the Visitor Center. A 1.3 mile, self-guided, interpretive trail ascends the north edge of the Rocks to a viewing platform. Although steep with many steps, people of all ages have enjoyed the scenery viewed by walking this trail.

Camping: There are two developed Forest Service campgrounds with in the National Recreational Area. Seneca Shadows is on Route 33, one mile south of Seneca Rocks. Big Bend is reached by State Route 2, off of U.S. Route 220, approximately nine miles north of Upper Tract. Camping is allowed in the National Recreational Area outside of designated areas.

Fishing: Behind the Visitor Center, a 3/4 mile section on the North Fork is “Catch and Release” only. All fish must be returned to the water. Only artificial lures may be used. Possession of any bait is illegal. Special area regulations and other information on the North Fork and Seneca Creek can be found in the West Virginia fishing regulations brochure.

Picnicing: Many tables and barbecue grills are located near the river. Restroom facilities are available all year.

Observation tower:
A stone and steel observation tower sits atop the Knob, providing visitors with a 360-degree view. The half-mile Whispering Spruce Trail circles the Knob. Interpretive signs along the gentle, graveled trail describe the high country vegetation, geology, and animal life. Vault toilets and vehicle parking are available at the tower.

Picnic area: The Spruce Knob Picnic Area lies 1.5 miles south of the observation tower. A well, vault toilets, picnic tables, and barbecue grills are nestled amongst a dense stand of spruce trees.

Camping: Gatewood Campground has six sites and Spruce Knob Lake campground has 43 sites. Roadside camping is permitted most areas of the recreation area. Camping is prohibited at or near Spruce Knob Lake. Off-road vehicles are prohibited on National Forest lands except on designated routes.

Fishing: Spruce Knob Lake provides a 25-acre impoundment regularly stocked with trout. A wooden pier provides level, easy access for all visitors and is close to the parking area. Anglers may also enjoy stream fishing for rainbow, brown, and brook trout in the Gandy Creek and Seneca Creek drainages west of Spruce Knob.

Hiking: Approximately 60 miles of hiking trails offer splendid panoramic views in the Spruce Knob area. Located near the lake, Gatewood Nature Trail offers a three-mile loop in a tranquil setting. Many more trails crisscross the woods and ridges nearby.

Size: 100,000 acres

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