This 'Camp and Hike' occured the weekend of June 25-27, 2004. The only hiking was a 3 mile up and back of the Seneca Rocks Trail. Participants were Christine DiLapi, Charlie Johnson, Frank Maida, Bill Isham and myself.
Friday, 6/25/2004- Traffic was terrible leaving DC after work. And it started to rain just south of Warrenton, VA. And it kept raining. I was worried whether I would have to sleep in my car tonight or, worse yet, have to set up a tent in the rain. But, when I traveled the last ridge before getting to Seneca Shadows Campground, WV, my destination that evening, I saw clear skies off in the distance. I thought that the rains would let up about the time I arrived. And they did. This has happened to me alot lately. So, I thought that I better thank the Creator of trails and everything else for this miracle. And I did.
When I got to the campground around 9PM, Charlie J, Bill I and Frank M were there waiting out the rain. So I hastilly put up my tent. Then, we sat around and 'kibitzed' until about 11PM that evening. We then retired.
Saturday, 6/26/2004- It was a warm and somewhat noisy night. Between the car alarm going off somewhere and some late arrival yelling for Joe in the middle of the night, my sleep was somewhat interupted. Also, it rained lightly at times, but nothing heavy. We got up Saturday morning bright and early. We ate, then sat around and waited for Christine. She showed up around 9ish. We then walked down to the Visitor's Center, looked around, took some pictures, then started the 1.3 mile 900 foot 'up' to the top of Seneca Rocks. It was a big but well graded and switchbacked 'up'. We made it to the observation platform right below the peak in under an hour. We spent some time there taking pictures, eating and resting. We then hiked about 2 tenths of a mile to the peak. The view was fantastic!
We spent about an hour at the peak just taking in the view, taking pictures and talking. These beautiful views were something that you don't see every day so we sat there for awhile and just took them in. The weather was perfect. Mid '70's, slightly overcast, no humidity. I didn't want to leave, but we did in about an hour.
The area was full of people of all ages that had hiked up to the summit. We even became a little overwhelmed by the volume of people that were arriving as we were descending the peak. We then decided to take the road less traveled, a jeep road that appeared to be going up to another peak. We traveled this road for about a mile. It ended up ridging the top of the mountain and ending at a gas line right of way. Christine and Frank wanted to hike the gas line right of way over to the top of the next mountain. The rest of us wanted to go back to the campsite and drink beer. So Frank and Christine set off. Bill, Charlie and I bought some beer, returned to the campsite and spent a leisurely afternoon drinking beer and debating politics. About 5:30PM, Christine and Frank showed back up. We could see way off in the distance where they had hiked to. It was pretty far away.
We went to dinner at one of the restaurants at the bottom of the mountain. The food was good and moderately priced. Then we walked back up to the campground. Frank made one of his fantastic fires. Then we sat around the campfire, 'kibitzed' some more, then retired for the evening.
Sunday, 6/27/2004-We again got up, made coffee, tore down our camp, then headed over to another local restaurant for a great country breakfast. We then said our good bye's and went home.
Here are some random thoughts about this hike... Some in the group wanted to do some rock climbing but we never got a chance. It was really nice just to sit around, relax and do nothing on a Saturday afternoon. I'll have to do that more often. The campground manager told us about a place called Nelson's Mountain that has some neat obstacle course type of climbing adventures available. So I guess we're coming back to this area some day. We had a good time and a good hike. Seneca Shadows Campground is a neat place to use as your basecamp to do things in this area. Just be sure to bring earplugs.
Note- This was one of my favorite outings with this group. I returned here in September, 2015 to RV camp.
View along top of Seneca Rocks, WV.
By Mike Calabrese
View from observation platform at
Seneca Rocks. By Mike Calabrese
Charlie, Mike and Christine at the
summit. By Bill Isham
Silouette of Frank M at the summit.
By Bill Isham
Seneca Rocks, WV at dusk.
By Bill Isham
Group pic @ beginning of hike.
By Charlie Johnson