Purchased by the federal government in 1969, Seneca Rocks is one of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia. These rocks have long been noted as a scenic attraction and are popular with rock climbers. The rock is composed of fine grains of sand that were laid down approximately 440 million years ago, in an extensive sheet at the edge of ancient ocean. Years of geologic activity followed, as the ocean was slowly destroyed and the underlying rock uplifted and folded.
Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
A federally designated wilderness area, the Dolly Sods Wilderness was created in 1970 to protect the unique scenic qualities of the area north of Forest Road 19. Today approximately 2,000 acres along Forest Road 75 is managed by the US Forest Service as a scenic area. The Dolly Sods Scenic Area is the most accessible and most visited part of the Sods. Berry picking, hunting and sightseeing are popular pastimes here. Forest Road 75 crosses the Scenic Area from south to north..
Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area
It consists of 100,000 acres and 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 National Recreation Area to be designated in the USDA Forest Service.
Smoke Hole Recreation Area
The Smoke Hole Gorge is where the South Branch of the Potomac River squeezes between North Mountain and Cave Mountain. For over 20 miles the river has carved a half-mile deep canyon, with nearly vertical walls.The misty fog that often lies along the river as it runs through the “hole” makes the name appropriate. Where the name really came from is uncertain. Some old timers call the canyon “Smoke Holes” and claim Native Americans used the caves for smoking meat..
At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia’s highest peak. From this rugged alpine peak, you can view grassy openings and pastures or look down on forested ridges as far as the eye can see.The vegetation here has adapted to a harsh environment. One-sided red spruce deformed by constant exposure to strong westerly winds cling to the high rocky ridges. Blueberry and huckleberry plants hug the ground. Mountain ash dot the landscape and brighten autumn days with brilliant foliage.
Blackwater Falls State Park with 1688 acres is named after the amber-colored waters that plunge five stories at Blackwater Falls, then twist and tumble through an eight-mile-long gorge. The ‘black’ water is a result of leached tannic acids from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles.Hiking trails and observation points are easy to access in Blackwater Falls State Park. ‘The Gentle Trail’ provides stairways and boardwalks that lead to the base of the falls for a close-up view. Blackwater Falls State Park is a great place to spend a day.
Web Site: http://www.blackwaterfalls.com/
Canaan Valley State Park
Canaan Valley is the highest valley east of the Mississippi. It is home to state parts, ski slopes and the nation’s 500th wildlife refuge sits at the top of a mountain chain that feeds three major waterways that converge in Parson, Tucker County. Swimming, tennis, interpretive nature walks, evening events fill leisure-time hours. Golfers head for the 18-hole championship golf course.In the winter Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Four Season Resort open their slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. In spring, summer and fall, mountain biking, hiking, and backpacking take precedence.
Web Site: http://www.canaanvalley.org/
Timberline Four Seasons Resort
Nestled Timberline Four Seasons Resort is located in Canaan Valley in north central West Virginia, high in the Allegheny Mountains. The mountain boasts 1,000 vertical feet of skiing, with long enjoyable trails for all levels and a climate that is unique in the mid-Atlantic region. Timberline’s high altitude (4,268-foot peak) location is known for cool temperatures, long winters and abundant natural snowfall.
Summer activities include mountain biking, and hiking
Whitegrass Cross-Country Ski
Cross Country skiing and snowshoeing are fun, easy to learn, inexpensive, and healthy ways to spend some of your free winter time. Since ’79 we have taken pride in our wholesome natural foods cafe, unique laid-back atmosphere, curvy exciting trails, and backcountry ski specialty shop. Our day lodge provides close access to some of West Virginia’s most treasured high country.
Grant County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Named for Ulysses S. Grant, General of the Union Army and 18th President of the United States, Grant County is the ‘HeartBeat’ of the Potomac Highlands.Steeped in ancestral heritage, Grant County is known for warm hospitality, breathtaking mountainous landscapes and abundant natural resources.
Come! Enjoy trout fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, wilderness hiking and more!
Web Site: grantcountywva.com
Top Kicks Military Museum
Come visit one of the most unique military museums around.
Preserving and restoring military equipment from WW1, WWII, Korea, Vietnam to Iraq. Weapons, jeeps, half-tracks, uniforms, ammunition, artifacts, medals, radios, and thousands of items. Donations only.
Web Site: topkicksmilitarymuseum.com
Yokums Stables at Seneca Rocks
Visitors to Pendleton County, who would like to take in the breathtaking vista from atop Seneca Rocks, can do so without the exertion of climbing the trail to the top. Go by horse and enjoy a leisurely ride. Yokum’s Seneca Rocks Stables has gentle, well-trained, sturdy horses to carry you there and back.First-time riders are no problem. Experienced guides go with you on every ride. The trail is a gradual scenic climb, and parents can be assured that children six and up will find the adventure an experience to treasure.
Web Site: yokums-stables.com
Nelson Rocks Preserve is currently closed to rock climbing by the general public. The closure applies to all conventional, roped rock climbing, both “sport” and “trad”, as well as unroped bouldering, scrambling and similar off-trail activities.Guided rock climbing and instruction by schools and guide services are permitted at the Preserve with the prior express consent of NRP management only. Schools or guide services interested in offering guiding or instruction should contact NRP for information.
Web Site: nelsonrocks.org
Potomac Eagle Train
It was a state study that first suggested that a scenic excursion train would be successful on the South Branch Valley Railroad.A few years lapsed before the Potomac Eagle became the company in charge of making the dream a reality. And by coincidence that time frame was also when a few American bald eagles decided to make the Trough, a narrow passage the train tracks and the river share, a permanent home. In the fall of 1991 the Eagle Canon Passenger Car Company began operating the Potomac Eagle from a siding named Wappocomo Station just north of Romney.
Web Site: Potomac Eagle Train
Nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers excursions that transport you back in time to relive an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life. Trips to Cass are filled with rich histories of the past, unparalleled views of a vast wilderness area, and close-up encounters with the sights and sounds of original steam-driven locomotives.
Web Site: Cass Scenic Railroad
This smooth climate-controlled passenger train has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting mountain wilderness excursion rides in the US. The 4-hour, 46 mile round trip departs at 11 AM from the restored Elkins Depot at One Station Square.
This trip culminates at the inspirational “High Falls of Cheat,” an 18’ high, 150’ wide waterfall in one of the most remote and pristine settings in the Eastern United States.
Website: Tygart Valley Flyer
In historic Durbin, you have the opportunity to ride & experience the sights and sounds of one of the rarest steam locomotives in existence. The DURBIN ROCKET Excursion Train is powered by a rare steam locomotive; Old #3 is one of only three operating Climax geared logging locomotives on earth. This 55-ton antique was built in 1910 for the Moore-Keppel Lumber Co. in nearby Randolph County. Today you can ride in an authentic 1920-era coach and vintage wooden cabooses behind #3 as she puffs and whistles her way along the free-flowing Greenbrier River in Northern Pocahontas County. Your ride covers 10.5 miles in 2 hours and offers many beautiful river and mountain views in the Monongahela National Forest.
Website: Durbin Rocket
Cheat Mountain Salamander
Named in honor of the little endangered creature whose sole habitat is the river of the same name, the ALL-NEW CHEAT MOUNTAIN SALAMANDER takes you through some of the wildest mountain wilderness you will ever experience. Your assigned-seat ticket includes the following enhanced on-board services: a sandwich buffet for lunch and a dinner featuring a choice of hot entrees served buffet-style in our dining car, the “Red Spruce”.
Website: Cheat Mountain Salamander
Valley View Golf Course
Nestled in the scenic South Branch Valley of the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, Valley View Golf Club is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s best kept secrets. Designed by Russell Roberts and Bill Ward, Valley View was built in 1968 and plays to 6400 yards from the tips at a par 71.
With its new 5400 square foot clubhouse, Valley View offers a snack bar, pro shop, locker rooms and a gorgeous covered deck to enjoy after your round is completed. .
Website: Valley View Golf Course
Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides
Private guiding and private instruction offer an opportunity to rapidly expand your skills and maximize your climbing time. Many climbers recognize the value that one-on-one instruction provides by accelerating the learning process through personalized attention. While some are interested in bagging as many of Seneca’s classics as possible, others prefer learning aid climbing and big wall techniques. If you have a specific climb or goal in mind, hire a local and stretch your limits!
Website: Seneca Rocks Mtn. Guides
Eagles Nest Outfitters
Escape from the crowds when you visit Eagle’s Nest Outfitters, located in the peaceful South Branch Valley of West Virginia. Nestled in Petersburg (near Seneca Rocks and Dolly Sods) and surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest, with 848,000 acres of natural wilderness beauty. Eagle’s Nest Outfitters offers you the perfect setting and 80 miles of river for canoeing, fishing, camping, (exciting whitewater or just plain relaxing).
Website: Eagles Nest Outfitters
North Fork Mountain Trail
The North Fork Mountain Area is part of the Seneca Rocks Unit of a National Recreation Area. It extends for 24 miles between US Routes 33 and 55. On its ridge crest is the district’s longest trail, the 23.8-mile North Fork Mountain Trail.
Website:North Fork Mtn. Trail