Seneca State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

Seneca State Forest is an exciting place to visit with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. Found within Dunmore, West Virginia, this is the oldest forest in West Virginia, and one of its largest. The forest is found near the Greenbrier River, so you won't have far to travel if you're interested in swimming in the river, although you can fish within the bounds of Seneca State Park, at Seneca Lake.

You'll find there are lots of places to hike if you come to visit or camp in Seneca State Forest. One of the major features of the state forest is the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower, which is 65 feet in the air and offers you awe-inspiring views. You can even make arrangements to camp in the tower overnight. In addition, there are twelve trails found within the forest and a variety of nearby trails, offering something for everyone in the area.

You'll have limited camping options in Seneca State Park, with ten sites for tent or RV camping. You'll have the nearby towns to also provide lodging and entertainment. If you're a history buff, you can also enjoy Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, complete with a Civil War museum.

RV Rentals in Seneca State Forest

Transportation in Seneca State Forest

Driving

You'll find Seneca State Forest located nearby to Dunmore, West Virginia. It is only a short ten-mile ride to nearby activities if you're camping in Seneca State Forest with your rig, so you can experience Green Bank Observatory and the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. The sites are primitive for camping at Seneca, so you'll want to come prepared with any amenities you need.

Once you arrive and check in for your reservation, you'll want to navigate to your campsite or cabin. These are all primitive sites, but you'll find nearby coin-operated laundry machines, as well as showers.

You can bring your bicycle into the park, especially for exploring some of the trails, but anyone under 15 years old has to wear a helmet. Bicycles are only allowed after dark if you have lights on the front and back and they are on for safety and visibility.

You can bring your boat when you come to visit Seneca State Forest. You can use it in Seneca Lake or within the Greenbrier River, so come prepared to enjoy the boating opportunities, such as kayaking or canoeing.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Seneca State Forest

Campsites in Seneca State Forest

Reservations camping

Seneca State Forest Campground

In addition to eight primitive cabins that you can rent out, Seneca State Forest offers ten different sites for camping that are reservations only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. These sites will accommodate tent camping, as well as RV camping, and offer level tent and trailer pads for your camping convenience. The sites are all primitive and lack hookups. The area does provide coin-operated laundry facilities, as well as showers. The campsites have picnic tables and firepits for you to enjoy with your surroundings.

You can bring your boat with you, as well as your bicycle if you're staying at this campground, so you can make the most of bringing your RV to the grounds. Bicycles must have lights on the front and back to be used when it is night, however, for safety reasons. The maximum stay is typically 14 days, although you may be able to get permission from the area superintendent for a longer stay.

First-come first-served

Seneca State Forest Campground

After Labor Day, the campground switches to a first-come, first-served system. The same ten sites are available at this time, so you'll want to arrive early if you're looking to snag a spot. These sites are primitive and lack hookups. You can bring your RV or tent to the campsite.

Alternate camping

Thorny Mountain Fire Tower

Camping is available at the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower found within Seneca State Forest. This site allows camping actually within the tower, making for a very unique camping experience. There are two cots in the facility, but up to four campers can stay there. You need to make reservations a while in advance, and they open up to a year in advance due to this being a popular place to stay. You cannot bring your RV here for camping purposes.

Seasonal activities in Seneca State Forest

In-Season

Hunting

You will find opportunities for hunting when in-season at Seneca State Forest. You will find the ability to hunt on 11,000 acres of woodland, offering vast opportunities. There are a variety of hunting options including deer, bear, turkey, as well as small game such as rabbits. You will need a valid hunting license and permits to hunt within the state forest. You can obtain your license prior to arrival at the state forest by applying only for your permits.

Swimming

At Seneca State Forest, you've got a few places where you can enjoy the ability to swim while you're camping in the forest, be it with a tent or camping rig. You can swim in Seneca Lake, or you can travel a little further away to the Greenbrier River and enjoy swimming there. If swimming in the wilderness is not for you, you can get a pass to swim at Watoga State Park's swimming pool, which cabin guests can obtain.

Fishing

You will find a variety of fishing available in and around Seneca State Forest. The state forest has a lake, Seneca Lake, that you can fish in. Here you'll find excellent fishing for trout, bluegill and largemouth bass. You can also travel a little further to Greenbrier River, which offers fishing, as well, including smallmouth bass and rock bass. Make sure you have a valid West Virginia fishing license when you come, which you can get online prior to your trip.

Off-Season

Picnicking

When you come to Seneca State Forest to camp with your RV or trailer, you'll find plenty of places to enjoy a nice picnic on the grounds. There are numerous sites found around the park, as well as a large shelter, which can be rented for special occasions, such as family reunions. You will find conveniently located facilities, including toilets and drinking water. The sites also have fireplaces and tables. You can also bring your own picnic to enjoy along the shores of Seneca Lake.

Biking

You can bring your bike with your camping trailer to explore some of the trails found within Seneca State Forest, but you will need to be aware that bikes are not allowed on all of the trails. For instance, the Fire Tower Trail does not allow biking, although the Hill Top Trail does. You can find more biking trails than just the miles within the state forest as connecting trails run through the state forest, providing you access to Greenbrier River and Allegheny trails.

Hiking

You'll find plenty of options to hike when you bring your rig to Seneca State Forest for camping. The forest offers 12 different trails that range in their difficulty, with most being considered challenging trails. Some trails will have to be shared with bikers. The Fire Tower Trail runs from the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower down to Seneca Lake and features a steep grade. You'll also find nearby trails around the Allegheny and Greenbrier River trails.

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