About This Park

West Virginia’s oldest and largest state forest, Seneca State Forest is located in rugged Pocahontas County with 12,884 acres of lush woodlands to explore. Recreational opportunities include boating in Seneca Lake or the nearby Greenbrier River or hiking or biking 23 miles of trails. Relax in a rustic cabin or campsite. Seneca is perhaps best known for the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower, which provides sweeping panoramas and is available to book for overnight stays.


Select an option below to learn more about the accommodations at this park.


Select an activity below to learn more
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • DeerViewing
  • Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Scenic Train Rides
Attraction is located outside of the park.


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

Allegheny Trail (ALT)

The Allegheny Trail passes through portions of Seneca State Forest. The trail is a 311-mile north-south trail with its northern terminus on the Mason-Dixon Line at the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border near Bruceton Mills.  It wends it way south until it meeting the Appalachian Trail on Peters Mountain at the Virginia-West Virginia border. Founded in 1972 by the West Virginia Scenic Trail Association, this trail is also known as the ALT.  To learn more about the ALT, click here.


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.


Download Park Trail Map

Allegheny Trail

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

Distance: 10.4 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

From Rt. 28 just south of the North entrance to Rich Patch Loop 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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