About This Park

Seneca State Forest is West Virginia’s oldest and largest forest. Surrounded by nature in rugged Pocahontas County, Seneca offers peace and solitude for guests searching for a quiet getaway. Recreational opportunities abound in the forest’s 12,884 acres of lush woodlands. Hiking and biking the forest’s 23 miles of winding trails, and boating and swimming Seneca Lake and the Greenbrier River are all popular activities. Hunting and fishing by properly licensed individuals is permitted on forest grounds. Seneca is, perhaps, best known for its 65-foot tall fire tower, which provides incredible views of the forest and miles upon miles of surrounding woodlands.

Accommodations

Activities

Select an activity below to learn more
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • DeerViewing
    Hunting
  • Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Scenic Train Rides
Attraction is located outside of the park.
Groups, Meetings and Weddings Rules & Regulations Download Park Pack & Map Deals

History

Most of the land that is now Seneca State Forest was acquired by the West Virginia Game and Fish Commission in 1924. At that time, most of the forest’s timber had been cut. In the following decade, the Civilian Conservation Corps managed reforestation, timber stand improvement and game and fish management programs. The state built the fire tower in 1924, and construction of the state’s first campground was completed in 1928. That year, the state also opened its first tree nursery. The forest’s recreation facilities opened to the public in the summer of 1937, and hunting was allowed the following year. By 1938, access roads, trails, picnic areas, eight cabins and a lake had been constructed.

Additional Information

Picnicking

Numerous picnic sites and a large shelter are provided for the enjoyment of visitors and can be reserved for any event. These sites offer tables, fireplaces, drinking water and toilet facilities for your convenience.

Trails

Allegheny Trail

This trail enters Seneca on Thomas Mountain Road near Sitlington, traverses the length of the forest and exits on Thorny Creek Mountain. Access from Sitlington Road, Laurel Run Road and Cabin Road.

Distance: 8.5 miles

Black Oak Trail

From north end of Loop Road to Clover Lick Road.

Distance:  1.25 miles

Crestline Trail

From end of Michael Mountain Road along crest of Michael Mountain. Highest point of Seneca State Forest. No biking permitted.

Distance:  2 miles

Fire Tower Trail

From Fire Observation Tower to Seneca Lake. Steep grade. No biking permitted.

Distance:  0.75 miles

Great Laurel Trail

Great Laurel Trail connects Hill Top Trail to campground at campsite #8.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Hill Top Trail

Trail runs from Cabin Road near Forest Headquarters, across Loop Road to Thorny Creek Trail.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Horseshoe Trail

A circular trail which departs the campground near campsite #9 and ends near campsite #8. No biking permitted.

Distance: 1.25 miles

Little Jim Trail

Trail runs from Cabin Road near Forest Headquarters to Thorny Creek Trail.

Distance:  1 mile

Little Mountain Trail

Trail runs from Cabin Road near Forest Headquarters to Thorny Creek Trail.

Distance:  1 mile

Rich Patch Loop

A loop trail that begins from a trailhead parking area on Michael Mountain Road approximately ¾ mile off State Route 28.

Distance: 3.2 miles

Thorny Creek Trail

A circular trail which follows Little Thorny Creek from its headwaters on Loop Road to the point where it leaves Seneca below the lake. The trail then leaves the stream, climbs Little Mountain and meets the southern terminus of Loop Road. Note: Several stream crossings.

Distance: 6 miles

Scarlet Oak Trail

From the southern end of Loop Road to Cabin Road ½ miles from Forest Headquarters. No biking permitted.

Distance:  0.5 miles

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