Exploring Waterfalls and Hiking Seneca Creek Trail

By ,

July 13, 2020

The Seneca Creek Trail is located in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area in Riverton, West Virginia. The popular trail features multiple small waterfalls along the way that feed into Seneca Creek and provide for a great wading or swimming spot if the water is not too fast-moving and the temperature is warm. The 30 foot Upper Seneca Creek Falls are featured at the end of the hike. The forest canopy consists of red spruce, maple, beech, birch, and cherry trees. This trail is perfect for an overnight backpacking trip, a trail running day-trip, or for stream fishing. The trail is accessible year-round but is best used from March until November when temperatures do not dip too low.


This trail is a 10.1 mile, out and back route.


The Seneca Creek Trail has a moderate difficulty rating. The trail has a high point of 3,875 feet and a low point of 3,128 feet. The average grade of the trail is 3 percent, and the max grade is 7 percent.

What to bring

Visitors should bring along enough water (or a way to safely treat the creek water), a compass, snacks, proper layers and footwear, and any camping gear they’ll need if they chose to stay overnight. There are multiple campsites, but no trash cans. Visitors should be sure to follow Leave No Trace guidelines and pack-out any trash they may acquire. Trash and food should be strung up or packed away to avoid wildlife contact in the backcountry setting. Travelers should expect to get their feet wet. There are no footbridges on the route and multiple stream crossings. Good ankle support hiking boots are recommended for a few piles of rocks. Some hikers chose to bring a separate pair of stream crossing shoes. A PDF map can be obtained by downloading the Seneca Creek backcountry guide from the Monongahela National Forest. The Seneca Creek Trail is labeled as “TR515” and is a green color.

How to get there

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. However, it is good to note that 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. Coordinates: 38°42’42.1″N 79°33’00.0″W