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 rocks are a magnificent formation rising nearly 900 feet above the North Fork River. Eastern West Virginia contains many such formations of the white/gray Tuscarora quartzite. Seneca Rocks and nearby Champe Rocks are among the most imposing examples. The quartzite is approximately 250 feet thick and is located primarily on exposed ridges as caprock or exposed crags. 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. Millions of years of erosion stripped away the overlaying rock and left remnants of the arching folds in formations such as Seneca Rocks. Read full article....
At a Glance
The Discovery Center will close on Sunday, October 20, 2013 for the season. It will then reopen in April 2014.
Due to the hardness of the Tuscarora sandstone formation, and the degree of climbing difficulty, Seneca Rocks offers rock climbers a unique opportunity found nowhere else in the east. There are over 375 major mapped climbing routes, varying in degree from the easiest (5.0) to the most difficult (5.12). Only trained and experienced rock climbers should attempt to scale the rocks. There are two climbing schools located in the communities of Seneca Rocks and nearby Riverton who train prospective climbers in beginning and advanced rock climbing. The school in Riverton also offers a climbers rescue course.
River and Stream Fishing
Fishing is available in a stream before you climb the Rocks; Catch and Release.
A self-guided interpretive trail beginning behind the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, the West Side Trail offers the non-climber a way to reach the lofty heights of the rocks and view the scenic valley below. The trail is 1.3 miles and ascends the north edge of the rocks to a viewing platform. Although steep the trail can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Steps, switchbacks and benches scattered along the trail all ease the trip for visitors. At the top you'll be rewarded by stepping onto the platform and viewing the lovely valley below.