The West Side Trail is the only way for non-climbers to reach the peak. It’s 1.3 miles one way, making it 2.6 miles round trip.
Destination Distance From Downtown
3 of 5 diamonds
The run to the top of Seneca Rocks is fairly steep and can be muddy and slippery after it rains. There are plenty of places to stop and stretch, but it's challenging for runners that aren't in top shape.
Time To Complete
While the trail isn’t long, it’s steep. Your time will depend on how comfortable you are running up hills.
Spring, Summer, and Fall
The trail can be muddy and slippery in the spring when it rains, and icy in the winter.
As one of the most recognized landmarks in West Virginia, Seneca Rocks looms 900 feet above the North Fork River. While this crag is extremely popular for rock climbing, you don’t have to rope up to enjoy the scenic views from the top. You can try your hand at the 2.6-mile round-trip West Side Trail that follows a series of stairs and switchbacks to the mountain’s peak.
What Makes It Great
Even though the trail is a short 2.6 miles round trip, it’s steep, so you will definitely get a great workout as you climb to the top. There are plenty of switchbacks to ease the ascent, and several benches provide great spots for resting and stretching. The trail is well maintained, so you don’t need to worry about roots or rocks sticking out. Once you get to the top, take some time to catch your breath at the observation tower and admire the beautiful scenery. On a clear day, you can see up to 15 miles away, and if you’re lucky, you might even see an eagle soaring overhead.
Descending the steep trail can be tricky, especially if it has rained recently, so keep your eyes on the ground in front of you. If you want to put in some more mileage, stop into the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center and the staff can give you some nearby trail suggestions. There are several stands and shops in the area to grab a drink and a snack after your run.
Who is Going to Love It
Trail runners looking for a quick, but challenging workout will enjoy Seneca Rocks. The well-maintained trails and amazing views ease the challenge on the way up.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Seneca Rocks is at the junction of Route 33 and Route 55 in West Virginia.