Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area

Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area is known for some of the best rock climbing on the east coast and home to the highest peak in West Virginia, Spruce Knob. Visitor facilities include the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, Seneca Shadows and Big Bend campground, and the Spruce Knob Tower. Many thousands of acres of unspoiled quiet land await discovery. Use your imagination to see how the area may have looked to the early settlers, as they crested the mountain ridges or moved up the river. Imagine living a self-sufficient life on a high hillside farm. Envision the Native Americans gathering food on hunting forays. You will discover not only beauty, but a sense of history in the area.


Seneca Rock Recreation Area Provides Resources

The Forest Service was directed to manage this special area with emphasis on the outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, cultural resource protection and scientific study. Other resources are managed in harmony with these emphasized activities. Cattle and sheep graze much of the open area, maintaining these areas in their open state, providing visual quality and benefiting wildlife while also providing beef and wool to local communities.

Parts of the National Recreation Area are leased for natural gas production; openings built for gas wells are seeded with game-supporting grasses. Some areas are leased to farmers who raise corn or hay, continuing the rural agriculture landscape that has existed here for nearly 200 years. The Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA provides a wealth of products, resources and recreational opportunities.


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Seneca Rocks Discovery Center

The Seneca Rocks Discovery Center is located at the base of Seneca Rocks. It has an outstanding and majestic view of the vertical wall of Seneca Rocks. For more information please contact the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center at (304) 567-2827 or the Cheat Potomac Ranger District at (304) 257-4488. The Seneca Rocks Discovery Center is open between the months on April and October and is closed during the winter months.

Interpretive programs
Interpretive programs are offered on weekends throughout the busy season (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Traditional Appalachian crafters and artisans are on hand demonstrating their techniques, Saturdays (during summer months) from 10 AM to 4 PM. Time-honored music of the West Virginia Mountains is offered at 1 PM on Saturdays. Special living history events, such as frontier living history, and blacksmithing is offered during the summer. For a complete listing of scheduled events, special programs, or presentations, please contact the Discovery Center.

Sites Homestead
Within walking distance, of the Discovery Center, is the Sites Homestead. The home was originally constructed as a single-pin, log home in 1839 by Jacob Sites. In the 1860’s additions were added by Jacob’s son William. Jacob Sites moved into the North Fork of the Potomac Valley during the 1830’s. Exterior renovations to the Homestead were completed in May of 1990, using locally available materials and skilled craftsmen. The roof was replaced and a porch was added in 2008 to help preserve the home.  Tours of the home are available on Saturdays, during the summer season, and weekdays by special request at the information desk. Visitors are welcome to tour the grounds of the Homestead and heirloom gardens at any time during the regular day-use hours.

Campground Camping
Camping is available at commercial campgrounds to the north of the rocks along State Route 28. Seneca Shadows, a National Forest campground, is one mile south of the visitor center on U.S. Route 33. Campsites, trailer sites with electronic hook-ups, walk-in tent areas, group campsites and warm showers are available.


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Seneca Shadows Campground

Seneca Shadows is the newest campground in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. Many sites offer outstanding views of the 900 foot Seneca Rocks. This campground is a popular base camp for visitors while traveling through the Potomac Highlands. Located approximately one mile east of Seneca Rocks, West Virginia on US Route 33.

Operational Hours: April -October
Camping Fees: Single and Doubles range from $19-$25 per day, Group Sites up to 40 people are $60 per day, non camping use is $2 per day.
Restrictions:

  • Maximum length of stay is 14 days.
  • Checkout time is 2:00 p.m.
  • Pets must be on a leash.
  • Tents must be on pads provided.

Water: Showers
Restroom: Flush Toilets


Big Bend Campground

Big Bend is located in the Smoke Hole Canyon next to the South Branch of the Potomac River at the end of County Route 2. Upper Loop Sites 13-30 are not reserveable and are on a first-come, first-serve basis. The River Loop sites and the Double Campsites are reserveable. Reservations can be made online or by calling (877) 444-6777. Located 10 miles south west of Petersburg, West Virginia.

Operational Hours: April -October
Camping Fees: Single and Doubles range from $20-$37per day.
Restrictions:

  • Maximum length of stay is 14 days.
  • Checkout time is 2:00 p.m.
  • Pets must be on a leash.
  • Tents must be on pads provided.

Water: Showers
Restroom: Flush Toilets