Well itís been a couple years and it was time to head back out to see all the great things offered in the Seneca Creek Wilderness in WV. I also decided that this would make a great trip to make LM and to get new members acquainted with our group. Welcome Wei, Andrew and Blaize!
We (GQ, Savage, Radiance, Bridget, Wei, Andrew, Blaize, and Max) started out Friday afternoon from the Vienna Metro Parking lot and slogged our way out of the DC traffic into WV. Upon arriving at the Sheetz in Moorefield, we connected with Jeff and got some quick dinners to go. God bless you Sheetz! From there, we headed into the Seneca Rocks area in order to connect with Gen. At this point, we had quite the caravan going with 5 cars in total.
Eventually, with maybe a U-turn or two, we made it down Whitmer Rd and headed down the dirt/gravel road to our camp for the night. I was expecting to camp at the Johnny Meadows camp locations but to my surprise, it was packed with RVís and car camping tents. Luckily, that whole area is littered with dispersed camp areas by the National Forrest. We quickly set up and by around 10:45, we all retired into our shelters.
The next morning, we woke around 7, took a leisurely breakfast, and got back into the cars to head up the parking lot at Spruce Knob. After again, some u-turns, it was around 8:45 when we finally got to some hiking. Before officially starting the hike, we all took the quick hike in to the observation deck atop Spruce Knob to take in the great views.
Once back to the Huckleberry Trailhead, I quickly went over the route description to camp and went over some safety stuff. Bridget was so helpful as you can see in the pic below!
Hiking down the Huckleberry Trail, you are greeted with lots of Spruce and open areas. It reminded me what it would be like hiking out in Canadian forests!
At the next trail junction, we took a right onto the Lumberjack Trail and made our way through the muddy mess of a trail until we hit the High Meadows Trail. I almost lost a shoe in knee deep mud! Also on this trail, you pass by some plane wreckage on the left.
After a couple miles, the trail turns into the High Meadows trail and begins the steep descent in the Seneca Creek Valley. As the name would suggest, we were quickly greeted with our first high meadow and took this time to have a nice long lunch while soaking in the warm temperatures and the sun.
After lunch, we passed through more wide open meadows offering great vistas and before we know it, we were on the Seneca Creek Trail approaching the Falls. It was nice to see such a high volume of water passing over the falls as I have seen it pretty dry in the past. It made for such a picturesque setting!
As the near by camp sites along Seneca Creek seemed to be filling up quite quickly, I decided that we would stay planed near the base of the falls and claim up the remaining camp spots. Doing this, broke a new record for me as a DC ULer, making camp at 2pm. Yes, it was quite early and there was still another 6 hrs till twilight, we all did manage to occupy ourselves with different activities: Wood gathering (and a fire starting lesson), Yoga sessions, extra hiking around, photography, fire burrito making, and wild edible foraging. It was nice!
By the time sunset came around, the dogs (Haden and Nala) were completely beat and we were all enjoying a nice roaring fire. Thanks to some, we even enjoyed a couple liters (yes liters) of the finest boxed wines.
The next morning we were on the trail by 8 and prior to hiking, I had mention to the group to be prepared for an immediate water crossing. Needless to say, that early in the morning and as the morning temps were in the upper 30s, we all had no problems keeping awake.
Staying straight on the Seneca Creek trail, we then made the turn uphill on the Judy Springs trail. From here it was a straight climb all the way back to the cars. Once again, we passed through beautiful open meadows and dense Spruce Forrest. It made for a nice Sunday morning walk. By around 11, we were back to the cars and ready to head out for lunch.
Thanks to all that made this trip especially great. I love coming to this area, but all of your company made this trip real special for me. Hope to see you guys again real soon!!