While in West Virginia, my only request to my parents was that we do some of the things my sister and I enjoyed when we were kids. When we were children, our family regularly went camping (in a tent by the river) each year for a week. We caught fish out of the river to eat and roasted marshmallows over the campfire at night. We also drove around the state of West Virginia, picnicking and viewing all the many wonderful sights and attractions the state has to offer.
As my two children grow older I often find myself thinking that they are missing out on all of these wonderful things. I try to get them into nature through photography and gardening, but I quite often feel that this simply is not enough. I want them to experience some of the things I was able to in my childhood. This is the reason we found ourselves traveling through the state of West Virginia to places I haven't been to in well over ten years.
Our first stop was Seneca Rocks, which is located in Pendleton County, West Virginia. These prominent rocks rise nearly 1000 feet above sea level and are quite popular with rock climbers. Rock climbers we are not, so we opted for a picnic at the picnic area for starters where I got the following shots.
Now it was time to begin the long walk up the trail which will take you to the observation deck located to the left of the rock. The trail is just over a mile in length, although it feels much longer due to the steepness of the trail. You'll cross over a bridge when you first start out.
Then the trail begins. It's moderately easy at first, although quite rocky and rooty in places.
There are large rocks all over the place at this point in the trail, and we stopped a took a couple photos.
As you progress along the trail it gets steeper and steeper with switchbacks, steps, and benches.
Along the way you get an occasional glimpse of just how high you are climbing.
Finally, you reach the top. It took us two hours to get there. You are greeted by one awesome view of the surrounding area where Native Americans once camped and lived.
After a ten minute breather at the viewing platform, enjoying the breeze and watching the hawks soar through the sky, it's time to head back down the mountain. For the very brave you can always actually head out onto the rocks themselves.
This is not recommended though, and I was too big of a chicken to try it out. There were about five people ahead of us who had the nerve to do so.
One final breather on the descent.
And one last view from below.