The highest point in the Mountain State is found in Riverton, West Virginia, and showcases natural beauty as far as the eye can see.
Sitting atop Spruce Mountain at an elevation of 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob offers outdoor enthusiasts some of the best unspoiled wilderness West Virginia has to offer. Situated within the 100,000-acre Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area and part of the Monongahela National Forest, Spruce Knob is perfect for those looking to enjoy a day hike, backpacking trip or a picnic for two while watching the sun set behind the mountain scenery.
About a 30-minute drive from the nearby town of Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob is accessible by vehicle in the warmer months. A nearby highlight is an observation tower, located along a gravel trail just 900 feet from the public parking area.
Those looking to enjoy the lay of the land can trek along the Whispering Spruce Trail. This half-mile, gravel route encircles Spruce Knob and features interpretive signs that detail the history of the knob and its surroundings. The trail also features multiple scenic overlooks, making for a great stop for both budding and experienced nature photographers.
One natural phenomenon occurring at Spruce Knob is the appearance of deformed red spruce trees, with growth only on one side due to the strong westerly winds against the trees. While the red spruce is the most plentiful tree on Spruce Knob, yellow birch, sugar maple and eastern hemlock trees also grow in the area.
Travelers looking to take on a more extensive hike can choose from nearly 60 miles of trails throughout the area, including the 3.5-mile Seneca Rocks Trail. The 25-acre Spruce Knob Lake is stocked with trout for those more interested in casting a line than a day’s hike. Backpackers seeking primitive overnight accommodations can choose from the nearby Spruce Knob Lake Campground or Gatewood Campground. Those seeking hotels will find them in the nearby towns of Seneca Rocks, Riverton and Elkins. For more information and directions to Spruce Knob, visit fs.usda.gov/mnf.