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Located in the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest—a hotspot for mountain biking and rock climbing—the Seneca Creek Trail is a scenic feast of streams, meadows, forest and waterfalls. Unlike other rail-trails in the national forest, this out-and-back route shows characteristics typical of former railroad corridors: it is flat and provides a relatively steady, easy hike and is doable with a mountain bike.
The trail is part of the 70-mile Spruce Knob–Seneca Creek Backcountry Trail System. At 4,863 feet, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak. While all of the interconnecting trails are well-marked with blue diamond blazes, do not expect the additional 65 miles of hiking to be so gentle.
The trail follows Seneca Creek, a fast-flowing, spring-fed mountain stream whose clean, crystal water can be heard and seen nearly everywhere along the trail. From the trailhead, you'll immediately pass through meadows and spruce groves. A few miles in, you will encounter hardwoods. A canopy of maple, beech, birch and cherry creates a natural tunnel, offering a wide array of color in the fall and shade in the summer.
Multiple creek crossings dot this trail, and there are no footbridges, so come prepared to get your feet wet. Near the trail's end, the last, and most rewarding, creek crossing brings you to the 30-foot Upper Seneca Creek Falls. The spectacular falls are the highest on Seneca Creek and offer a dramatic finale to this trail.
From Elkins, take US 33 south to Briery Gap Road (County Road 33) and turn right. Follow it approximately 2.5 miles until you reach Forest Service Road 112 and turn right. This steep, narrow gravel road is not maintained in winter. Drive approximately 11 miles until you reach the trailhead on your right. Limited parking is available.
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