Spruce Knob and Spruce Knob Observation Tower

Area Status: Open
Spruce Knob Tower with People

At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak. This area offers backpacking and day hiking opportunities for the visitors looking to get a splendid view of the gorgeous natural scenery surrounding the area. 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.

Spruce Knob Tower - A stone and steel observation tower sits atop the Knob, providing visitors with a vantage point from which to enjoy a breathtaking view. The half-mile Whispering Spruce Trail circles the knob and provides panoramic views. Interpretive signs along the gentle, graveled trail describe the high country vegetation, geology and animal life.

Vault toilets, picnic tables, grills and vehicle parking complete the facilities available at the tower. Toilets are closed in winter.

There are two campgrounds located close by for individuals looking to escape to the area for an extended stay. Spruce Knob Lake Campground is located nearby offering close access to Spruce Knob Lake for boating and fishing opportunities.  Gatewood Campground is also close, offering group camping sites.  Visitors looking to camp in a more remote location are welcome to backpack the 60 miles of trail offered in nearby Spruce Knob - Seneca Creek Backcountry.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open when roads are snow-free. Toilets open April 15.
Open Season: Opens when roads are snow-free.
  • Camping is prohibited in parking lots at Spruce Knob Lake, Spruce Knob, trail head parking lots and within 300 feet of roads in the Spruce Knob area.
  • Building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire of any kind is prohibited at Spruce Knob, Spruce Knob Lake Parking lots, trailheads or within 300 feet of Forest Roads 1 and 112 in the vicinity of Spruce Knob area, except at the Spruce Knob Lake Campground and Gatewood Group Campground.
Closest Towns: Seneca Rocks, WV
Restroom: Vault toilet
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Seneca Rocks Discovery Center or the Potomac Ranger District

General Information


In Seneca Rocks, take WV-28S/WV-55W and follow for about 10 miles, then turn right onto Briery Gap Run Rd. After about 2.4 miles continue onto FR 112. Follow on FR 112 for about 7.4 miles until you reach the intersection with FR 104. Take a right onto FR 104 at the intersection and follow for about 1.6 miles to the observation tower parking. 


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Approximately 60 miles of hiking trails offer splendid panoramic views in the Spruce Knob area.


Approximately 60 miles of hiking trails offer splendid panoramic views in the Spruce Knob area.

Viewing Scenery

Mountain ash dot the landscape and brighten autumn days with brilliant foliage. From May through July, the flowers of azaleas, mountain laurel and rhododendron appear. Hardwood forest of beech, birch, maple and cherry cover the lower elevations.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation :