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           West Virginia Travel Guide

Rocking Climbing The Seneca Rocks In Monongahela National Forest And Harpers Ferry

Monongahela National Forest officials advise only the trained and most experienced rock climbers attempt to scale the rocks. Hiking the 1.3 mile trail up the backbone of the rocks to the observation point at Seneca Rocks is also well worth it. I would advice everyone to do so. Steps, switchbacks and benches are scattered along the trail where you can take a break along the way.

At the base of the rocks is a visitor's canter which details the history of the rocks and gives information on the use of the rocks in the training of WWII soldiers in dealing with rugged terrain overseas. Experienced climbers will find over 370 mapped routes to explore, varying in degree from the easiest to the most challenging. Two climbing schools, one in the community of Seneca Rocks, the other in Riverton offer training for beginning and advanced rock climbers. Three other places of interest in the area are Spruce Knob, the highest elevation in the state, and two caverns, Seneca and Smoke Hole.

After testing your skills rock climbing visit Harpers Ferry, which is a place of historical interest that I enjoyed visiting. Harpers Ferry is a National Historical Park, where some of the nations most well known history took place. John Brown's famous raid on the arsenal there and the early events of the Civil War that took place nearby make it a fascinating area to spend a day. Visitors are able to tour Harpers Ferry, get a wonderful view of the Potomac River, or visit the John Brown wax museum.

I remember touring the wax museum, which is in an old house. The figures of John Brown and the men who took part in the raid looked so real that I felt transported back to that time in history. Sitting in a history class does not compare to actually seeing the event first hand. Although first hand is not possible, the wax museum is the next best thing.

The places I have written about are a few of West Virginia's hidden treasures. I suggest you start your trip in the Eastern Panhandle region, which is near densely populated areas and yet a refreshing change from them. Clean air, no traffic jams, quiet nights, wild life in abundance, and clean rushing streams are just a few of the good things that await visitors to West Virginia.

By Sierra Berg

Getting There:

Visit the Randolph County Convention and Visitors Bureau to learn about recreation in the area, and at the Monongahela National Forest, local events, attractions and to plan your trip by visiting www.elkinswv.com or call 1-800-422-3304.