The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In West Virginia

Seneca Rocks Trail
Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area • Seneca Rocks

Legend has it that the spectacular crags of white/gray quartzite that soar 900 feet above the flat valley of the North Fork of the Potomac River were the childhood playground of Snowbird, beautiful daughter of Seneca Indian chief Bald Eagle. To determine the warrior who would win her hand in marriage she staged a contest to seewho could scale the magnificent cliff.

The first documented roped ascent of the Seneca Rocks, however, took place in 1935. Today there are nearly 400 mapped climbing routes on the rocks. In 1969 the federal government purchased the West Virginia landmark and pieced together the national recreation area with Spruce Knob (the nearby roof of West Virginia) within the Monongahela National Forest.

Seaman can forego the spring-loaded cams, nuts, and quick draws to get to the top of the Seneca Rocks unaided on foot. A 1.3-mile hard-packed trail ascends the north edge of the rock formation to reach a wooden viewing platform. There are enough switchbacks and steps to enable any dog to conquer the Mountain State’s most recognizable landmark.

Sure-footed dogs can climb a bit further up bare rock to notches at the very top of the formation for views of the Allegheny Mountains to the west. One view you will most certainly haveis of your vehicle down below in the parking lot.

HIKING TIME: 1-2 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Bluestone National Scenic River
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Gauley River National Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

New River Gorge National Reserve
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Links to National Forests With Hiking

Monongehela National Forest

State Parks With Hiking


West Virginia State Parks
Dogs are permitted in state parks, state forests, and state wildlife management areas; however, 
they are prohibited in state park and state forest cabins and the areas immediately around them, 
in state park lodges, and in swimming pool and beach swimming areas

 Audra State Park
Babcock State Park
Beartown State Park
Beech Fork State Park
Blackwater Falls State Park
Bluestone State Park
Cabwaylingo State Forest
 Cacapon Resort State Park
 Camp Creek State Forest
Camp Creek State Park
Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center
 Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Cathedral State Park
Cedar Creek State Park
Chief Logan State Park
Coopers Rock State Forest
Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park
Greenbrier State Forest
Hawks Nest State Park
Holly River State Park
Kanawha State Forest
Kumbrabrow State Forest
 Little Beaver State Park
Lost River State Park
Moncove Lake State Park
North Bend State Park
 Panther State Forest
Pinnacle Rock State Park
Pipestem Resort State Park
Seneca State Forest
Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park
 Tomlinson Run State Park
Twin Falls Resort Park
Tygart Lake State Park
Valley Falls State Park
 Watoga State Park
Watters Smith Memorial State Park

Hiking With Your Dog In West Virginia