Description - **Information provivded by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources**
The forest offers pioneer guest cabins; a four(4) acre lake for trout, bass and bluegill fishing; a small campground and 11,684 acres of lush woodlands for hiking, hunting or communing with nature. The lake and forest are named after the Indian tribe which once roamed the area. Seneca's large size and modest development make it a great place to find peace and solitude.
Overnight guests at Seneca State Forest may select from among eight completely furnished pioneer cabins. Designed to provide a glimpse of pioneer life, these cabins feature fireplaces, gas lights and woodburning cookstoves. Although they do not have running water or electricity, they have gas refrigerator/freezers, water from hand-pumped wells and vault toilets. One recently constructed accessible cabin includes supplementary gas heat.
All cabins are fully equipped for housekeeping, including:
Cooking, eating, and fireplace utensils
Firewood, kindling, and matches
Outdoor charcoal grill, picnic table, and porch swing
Pots, pans, and dinnerware
Beds, linens, blankets and towel sets
Toilet paper, soap, dish detergent, and other cleaning supplies.
There are coin operated showers (two private units with full modern bathrooms, one of which is wheelchair accessible), and a coin operated laundry, all located at the forest office.
Cots are available for an additional charge and may be reserved in advance to avoid a handling fee.
Another option for overnight visitors at the forest is the beautiful rustic camping area. This well designed campground consists of 10 large, secluded sites (one of which is wheelchair accessible) in a wooded setting, with picnic tables, level tent/trailer pads, and fireplaces. Virtually any size or type of camping unit can be accommodated, but the campground is especially well suited to tents. Seneca's campground is often mentioned by tenters as being one of the best they've seen. A handpumped well for drinking water and vault toilets are centrally located in the campground. Firewood is available for sale, and campers may use the coin operated shower and laundry facilities described under the cabins heading and which are ½ mile from the campground.
Campsites are cleaned after each use by forest personnel.
There is no RV dumping facility at Seneca.
The campground is open from April 1st to early December. Reservations are not accepted for the campground, but it does not often fill to capacity anyway. Guests planning on arriving late on a summer weekend, particularly a holiday weekend, may wish to call ahead to check on availability and inquire about alternate campgrounds (there are several in the area) should Seneca fill up. Rest assured that there are always campsites available somewhere close by.
Even the serious hiker will be impressed by 23 miles of challenging forest trails. In addition, the Allegheny Trail winds though the forest, and the adjacent Greenbrier River Trail is accessible from Seneca.
A total of 40 miles of forest trails and roads are open to bicycling. Access to the Greenbrier River Trail provides even more opportunities, and nearby are the mountain biking hotspots of Snowshoe and Elk River Touring Center. Families will find the grounds of the nearby National Radio Astronomy Observatory a good place for leisurely bicycling.
Numerous picnic sites and a large shelter are provided for the enjoyment of visitors.
These sites offer tables, fireplaces, drinking water and toilet facilities.
Properly licensed individuals are welcome to hunt in the forest in season. A 500 foot no hunting zone surrounds all forest facilities. Deer, bear, turkey, and small game are popular quarry for hunters.
Seneca Lake is stocked with trout in the spring and fall and offers largemouth bass and bluegill fishing as well. An accessible fishing pier and restroom are provided. The nearby Greenbrier River offers the angler many species of fish including smallmouth and rock bass. Normal licensing is required. Within an hour's drive you can access many of the state's best trout streams.
Boating Canoes, rowboats, and a paddleboat are provided on Seneca Lake. Cabin guests have free access to these boats at no charge, while others wishing to use them must pay a fee. Lifejackets are provided.
Visitors may swim unsupervised in the cool water of the Greenbrier River, which is also suitable at times for canoeing, tubing and snorkeling. Another option is to visit Watoga State Park's swimming pool. Cabin guests may request a free pass to this pool in season.
Available nearby in-season. Pony rides are offered for the very young.
Available on Rt 219 just south of Marlinton at the Pocahontas Country Club or north of Marlinton at Snowshoe's Hawthorne Valley 18-hole course.
You'll also find at Seneca:
Free lending library of reading materials for use by overnight guests.
Recreation - Boat Rental
Climate - West Virginia experiences four distinct seasons, none of which are extreme. Temperatures in the highlands of the Allegheny Mountains are somewhat more severe than the rest of the state. Generally temperatures during the winter months range from 15 to 40 degrees F. Ample snow accumulation provides for cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities. Spring brings blooming trees and shrubs to the forested regions of the state, as well as warmer temperatures. During this season, March through May, expect mild temperatures between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers are normally hot with high humidity, especially at lower elevations. Expect temperatures to range from 70 at night to 95 during the dog days of August. Fall brings cool, crisp air to West Virginia and spectacular foliage color changes. Bring a light jacket for this season, which brings temperatures between 35, at night, to 70 degrees F, during the day.
Seneca State Forest is located on WV. Rt. 28, four miles south of Dunmore. It is also accessible from WV Rt. 39, five miles east of Marlinton and then 10 miles north on WV Rt. 28. Its location in central Pocahontas County, which is renowned for its scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities, make it ideal for exploring numerous points of interest. This county, nicknamed the Birthplace of Rivers, is 62% federal and state land, with Monongahela National Forest, four state parks, two state forests, and one state trail (the Greenbrier River Trail).