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Spruce Knob Area, WV Training Exercise

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This 10.5 mile circuit backpacking trip turned day hike took place on Saturday, June 25, 2005. Particpants were leader Charlie Johnson, Christine DiLapi, Frank Maida, John Calabrese and Mike Calabrese.

As luck would have it, much to my surprise, Mike and John had choose to stop at the Hardee's in Moorefield, WV for a road break. Rather then run Mike over as I started to leave the parking lot, I stopped for this crazed individual jumping in my path. We were able to then hookup with Christine and Frank for a wholesome breakfast, before heading for the trailhead.

After repositioning a vehicle at Forest Road 112 and Lumberjack Trail, we managed to shove off at 10 am. We began our adventure along the Seneca Creek trail. This trail follows directly along the course of the creek on old railroad grade. With only four creek crossings and reasonable water level, we were able to use rocks at each crossing. The creek meanders though eddies and small pools. Near by the turn onto the Huckleberry trail there are small waterfalls, followed by a quite large waterfalls. This is a mostly level and pleasant trail, well traveled and defined. Each of the bisecting trails have their own new signpost. There are several primitive campsites, and shaded areas along the creek. The walking at this point was so easy that we made good time.

The Huckleberry trail was an ascent that was difficult to follow initially. After breaking out of the woods it entered a large sloped meadow of wild flowers and tall grass. You were able to see a 360 of the hills. Crossing straight over the field, we managed to reestablish a trail marker before dropping back into the woods. The trail then climbed along a dry water gorge up the side of the hill for a considerable distance, before intersecting with the Lumberjack Trail. We continued on, with John taking the lead, until we came to the Judy Springs Trail.

We decided that without both a good source of water, and suitable camping area, we were close enough to the end to attempt to conclude our hike. The trail was also fairly easy going, although we did not have a nice creek bed to keep our sights and sounds a relaxing company. There were several marshy areas along this old railroad grade that were left over from the turn of the century, with wood ties still visible. We all continued to plunge onward through the woods until we finally arrived at the parking area.

Although the temperature was elevated this day, the air did not seem as hot and humid. I'm sure the woods were cooler at Spruce Knob, WV's highest elevation. This is a excellent backcountry area, with many intersecting trails. I look forward to my next adventure in Spruce Knob. This is a wonderful place to visit with family or friends.

Charlie J

More Pictures

Editors Note: Afterwards, we discovered that we could have gotten 3-4 miles more out of this hike by hiking the Seneca Creek Trail a few miles further and then returning via the Meadow Mountain Trail to the Huckleberry Trail. The maps were not clear on this fact.

Also, Charlie, John and I visited the Spruce Knob high point observation tower after this hike. Those pictures are in the More Pictures area.
Group picture before the hike
  Group picture before the hike.
  By Charlie Johnson
Scenic Seneca Creek, WV
  Scenic Seneca Creek, WV.
  By Charlie Johnson
Campsite and wheat stone
  Campsite and wheat stone.
  By Charlie Johnson
Fantastic waterfall on Seneca CRK
  Fantastic waterfall on Seneca CRK.
  By Charlie Johnson
Rest Break at mile 3.5
  Rest Break at mile 3.5.
  By Mike Calabrese

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