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Spruce Knob-Seneca Creek Backcountry with lots of Waterfalls!

  • Apr 12, 2013 · 7:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Ok, here is a another fab trip! We will start at the highest point in West Virginia, Spruce Knob at 4,863' and walk along the ridge for a few miles enjoying the stellar views, then gradually drop down the mountain into the most remote part of the Seneca Creek Backcountry and camp at Upper Seneca Creek Falls. We will then walk back up the Valley enjoying lots of waterfalls and the most scenic mountain stream and area around! You will get to enjoy the best of the "High Country" as well as the most scenic stream around with lots of waterfalls! Please contact me before we go on this trip so we can get everything planned and organized from food to transportation to any equipment concerns! I have been doing this trip since....oh more years than I care to count and it is one of the best you can do....those of you who have been on my trips know I do not exaggerate....just deliver! :-) This is a moderately strenuous trip as most of the walking is down the mountain, so this is also a good first trip for people if they are in good shape. We will drive up on Friday night and car camp at a secret spot so we can get a decent start on Saturday morning.  Since so many people signed up, I will split us up into a couple smaller groups, with one going to the Falls and the other going to another beautiful camping spot or 2.  I will need everyone's cooperation to make this work, so please answer the questions or it shows lack of cooperation and you will be off the trip.  I will change the trip so 2/3 of the people will do 5 miles on Saturday and 3 miles on Sunday, so a perfect backpacking 101 trip.  A chosen few can take the extreme test of going in another way, drop their packs at camp and walk UP Spruce Mountain and meet us on the Ridge, then walk down to camp with us (Joffrey, Dave, Neal, and Steve M are you listening??) The rest of the people will do the regular 9-10 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday, so something for everyone on this trip!

Here is a partial description of the loop we are doing from Hiking Upward:

http://www.hikingupward.com/MNF/HighMeadowsSenecaCreek

More info and a map can be found on the MidAtlanticHikes site:

http://www.midatlantichikes.com/id146.html

There are wonderful pictures here of Upper Seneca Creek Falls and a few of the high meadows on Spruce Mountain. However note we are not going in on Lumberjack Trail, but on Huckleberry Trail, which leaves from the top of the mountain, and is MUCH more scenic and impressive and no horses allowed as on Lumberjack Trail. You will walk out and down Spruce Mountain 9.2 miles to Upper Seneca Creek Falls for a total elevation change (descent) of about 1800', nearly all down hill, then back up Seneca Creek Valley 5.0 miles for about 500' elevation gain to the trail head on Forest Service Road 112. Total Mileage is 14.2 miles including a couple more miles compared to our trip last year for another detour along another great area I know and there you have it.  The trail is rocky in spots so this is a moderately strenuous trip, but doable for newbies IF YOU ARE IN GOOD SHAPE!

However please note, walking down a mountain is not as easy on you as inexperienced hikers/backpackers believe, so just keep this in mind. Also you will be in some of the highest and wildest country in the Eastern US, so will be exposed to the elements, so please come preparad for rain and wind. If you are not prepared, then do not come as the weather up there is totally unpredictable. That being said, you will find this trip one of the best and memorable you will do! The views from Spruce Mountain are as fine as there are around and Seneca Creek is a jewel of a stream from all the Waterfalls to the Old RR ties along the stream bed from 100 years ago....this is true Wilderness!

I am going to increase the number of people we are taking on this trip as it is so popular and wish for people to be able to experience such a wonderful area and trip.  Again, as usual if you have not backpacked with me before, you must contact me beforehand or you will not be allowed to go as preparation and teamwork is key to organizing a trip of this magnitude and making it great for everyone....one unprepared person can ruin a trip and I like to have everyone come away "WOWED" with the experience....that's why I do these trips!!! I will help anyone who needs it to be properly prepared as hypothermia is always a danger anytime of the year if you get wet or are not physically in shape to backpack, but you must communicate and work with me beforehand, so let's get this trip going!  I will send out information the week before the trip.  Again, if you have not backpacked with me before please email me to let me know if you are prepared, thanks and see everyone out on the trail!

 

Latest weather forecast:
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=38.74482433318061&lon=-79.52556610107422

 

Group #1 (Jim Newman):
Alan
Ali
Andrej +2
Emily O.
Frank +1
Jasper Don
Jen
Joe
Kenneth Newberry +1
Lori B
Lynette
Marie Martinko
Mark H
Maxine
Shefali Sharma
Thomas +1
Tom

 

Group #2:
Craig Ludwig
David
Earl K
Jimmy Jin
Joffrey Peters
Katrina
Larke Williams
Matt
Michelle A.
Peter Figgis
Po Chen
Randy
Rosie
Steve M

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  • Jim N.

    I am always amazed at all the fun we have on this trip...just gets bigger and better every year, thanks everyone!

    June 4, 2013

    • Lori B

      For those who inquired about the memorials at the plane crash, the detailed accident report said there was only one occupant and they were not injured. http://www.ntsb.gov/a...­

      3 · April 16, 2013

    • Mark H

      Pretty amazing they weren't seriously injured.

      April 16, 2013

  • Lori B

    I could not have picked a better hike or a better group to get back on my feet again! It was an amazing trip and I thank everyone who helped out and checked in on me and made sure I was doing ok.

    April 16, 2013

  • Lynette

    Incredible trip with incredible people! I'm ready to go again!

    1 · April 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone! I know I talked to at least half a dozen people about steepandcheap.com and they're going to have heavily discounted camping gear on sale from noon to 2 PM today (and women's gear from noon to 2 PM tomorrow) so check it out! :)

    2 · April 16, 2013

  • Michelle A.

    Awesome time in Seneca Creek and loved all the high meadows. I really liked our revised route on Sunday as the hike thru high meadows were one of the highlights of my trip! Great campfire food, company, and stories! I promised I would share my Smore Cone recipe! Ingredients: Sugar Cones, Peanut Butter, Mini Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, Bananas; AL foil (to wrap them in). Directions: 1. Chop up the bananas and get some marshmallows and chocolate chips ready. 2. Spread some peanut butter on the inside of the cone, then put in the bananas, marshmallows and chocolate chips. 3. Wrap the whole cone in aluminum foil, then put in over the hot coals for 5-10 minutes or so, turning every so often. 4. Dig in and enjoy!

    2 · April 15, 2013

  • Emerald

    Could have kept it up for at least a few more days. A wonderful experience with great people. Thanks again to those who helped carry and cook the group meal!

    2 · April 15, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    Oddly, the car next to mine at Cville was covered with TP...

    April 14, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      Okay, I thought Craig and Steve were to blame, considering I rocked both of their packs... turns out it was Emma, on the way back from a different trip.

      1 · April 15, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      (Oh, and it was my car that was TP'd)

      1 · April 15, 2013

  • Larke W.

    Just in case anyone else wants to get in touch with their furry side, here is where I got my Snow Leopard hood: https://spirithoods.com/default.aspx

    6 · April 15, 2013

  • Mark H

    Great weather and great company, could not ask for a better time !

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • Frank

    Thanks Jim for another fun weekend!

    April 15, 2013

  • Katrina

    My favorite place on the area so far! I feel like I'm in the sound of music in the meadows. Thanks guys for a great trip I can't wait to go back!

    2 · April 15, 2013

  • Craig

    This weekend "slipped" by way too quickly. Awesomw spot, cant wait to get back!!

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome!!!

    April 15, 2013

  • Kelly

    Sorry I missed this one..I had my kids, but boy did u have nice weather! I just hiked the AT on Sat. but hiked about 28 miles total in about 9 days so that is good!

    April 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey, hope everyone made it through the trouble on 66 okay!

    3 · April 14, 2013

  • KingsleyC

    sorry to bail last min due to work. hope everyone have a good time.

    April 12, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    Remember to have your headlamps readily accessible, so you can set up camp tonight! (If you don't have a headlamp, get one immediately! So useful...)

    April 12, 2013

  • Bhaskar P.

    Damn, cannot go, some friends visiting...

    April 12, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Respond here if you want to participate in the group dinner of seasoned, smoked pork loin over the fire with mashed potatoes, vegetables and smores. This is for my group camping at Judy Springs. If you are new to the group or backpacking you are with me. If we only have a small group of people participate we do have other options as well, but I figured we would have around 20 + want to participate. Steve will post a list shortly.

    1 · April 11, 2013

    • Mandy E.

      Ok, I'm in then I'm out. Work overload! Ah, DC. Day hike only this weekend. Have a blast!!

      April 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Guys - I just wanted to point out that four people are bringing dessert food, lol. I told Jim I'd bring stuff for s'mores and then three others said they'd bring sweets, too. So, maybe one of the sweets people should bring something savory? Just a suggestion...

      April 12, 2013

  • David

    For those of us getting to the camp early this evening - we have at least 2 food options: 1. cook something around a fire (or with our stoves). 2. we can eat at some restaurant nearby (after setting up the tents, of course). Thoughts? Alternatives?? My cell phone =[masked]-2737. See you at the campsite.

    April 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      What time is your eta at the campsite David? Im roding up with Po right now and should be there by 6. Perhaps we can decide after we setup camp?

      April 12, 2013

  • Marie

    (GEAR) Putting this out now - once groups are assigned, if anyone in the group I'm in wants to coordinate on stoves/fuel/filters/whatever, please let me know! Whether it's gear I have, gear you have and prefer to use, or a combo, it's all good. Just trying to reduce weight and unnecessary redundancy. =]

    1 · April 4, 2013

    • Marie

      Yes, thank you, Lynette! Count me in. Yours is definitely lighter than mine. =] Thanks to Jim for giving me a head's up on your reply - notification hadn't kicked in through Meetup yet.

      April 12, 2013

    • Lynette

      Yay!!! We can sort everything out at the campsite tonight. :)

      April 12, 2013

  • Frank

    Hey Jim, I just noticed the split in groups and saw a +1 by my name. It's just me this weekend! See y'all tonight!

    April 12, 2013

  • Po C.

    Leaving early from NoVA on Friday, between 12 and 2pm, and I've got room for 3 more if anyone wants to carpool.

    April 8, 2013

    • David

      Po Chen, I have 2 passengers and we're leaving @ 1. So see you all there.

      April 11, 2013

    • David

      Hi Shefali, good idea - my cell =[masked]-2737. I have 2 people coming with me @ 1:00 pm. We could swing by your way on the way out (carpooling with Po Chen may also work out?). Let me know - happy to have you join us - don't want you to have to drive by yourself. Feel free to call this am to talk logistics.

      April 12, 2013

  • Ross C.

    Sorry guys, but it looks like I'm going to have to bail out on this one. Something came up Sunday that I have to take care of. Trip looks incredible and I defiantly will be jealous to the point of sin.

    April 11, 2013

  • Katrina

    Leaving around 345 from pentagon city. Can take 2

    April 11, 2013

    • KingsleyC

      just sent u an email.

      April 11, 2013

    • Katrina

      Just texted you

      April 11, 2013

  • Michelle A.

    Jim, have revised routes been determined? Just want to make sure I have copies of the right trail maps.

    April 11, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Yes and Yes. Email sent.

      April 11, 2013

  • Jim N.

    I have room for 1 if need be. I come around the west side of I-495 to I-66 from Baltimore.

    April 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have room for 3 people if anyone wants to carpool from King Street Metro (6:30ish) or Vienna Metro (7:00ish). :)

    April 11, 2013

  • David

    I am taking Friday off and plan to leave early to get to mtns sooner/avoid rush hours; can take riders (3?). Leaving from Arlington.

    1 · April 2, 2013

    • David

      Thomas, I have room for up to 3 and let's talk/e-mail to make plans. Am relatively agnostic about driving but want to leave early to avoid Friday chaos. I live near Rt 50 & Glebe in Arlington and have comfortable auto (wagon from the last century).

      April 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi guys - I don't want to hold anyone up so go ahead without me and I'll see you all late Friday night. :)

      April 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I attempted to send an email to the organizer(s)/host(s) but I don't think it worked so I'm going to post a curious question here. Is this a dog friendly trip?

    April 10, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Jen, we could have snow and your dog may have to cross Seneca Creek 4-6 times. I would assume it will be very muddy up there as well if not snow at camp, so if your dog is well behaved and you can deal with a wet muddy dog, your dog is welcome.

      April 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks so much Jim! He's a malamute who swims in the Potomac almost every day so mud and snow are both fine. However, I will have to reconsider transportation. I don't want to put my muddy dog in anyone else's clean car so perhaps I'll drive (I have a subaru wagon) and see if anyone wants to carpool with us Friday afternoon (after 3 PM, unfortunately).

      April 11, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Latest weather report here:
    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=38.74482433318061&lon=-79.52556610107422
    Please note there is a 90% chance of showers during the day Friday
    and Friday night a low of 32 with a 30%-40% chance of snow/sleet continuing into Saturday with a high of 49. Saturday night it will clear off with a low of 30. Sunday is Sunny and a high of 59. Make sure you have at least a 15 to 20 degree sleeping bag to stay warm. Buddying up in tents increases the comfort range of your sleeping bag about 10 degrees.

    Also bring gaiters if you have them as there was at least a foot of snow at our campsites on Sunday, most of which should have melted this week, which means it will be muddy and the streams will be high so be prepared for stream crossings. The shorter group will have at most 2 stream crossings and we may or may not have to take our boots off. The longer group will definitely have to take their boots off for at least 3 stream crossings.

    April 11, 2013

  • Lori B

    I was thinking about heading out a little early on Friday from the Frederick area. Was anyone intetested in carpooling?

    April 8, 2013

    • Alan

      Meet...not leave.

      April 10, 2013

    • Lori B

      We can plan to meet in Winchester at 430. Is anyone else intetested?

      April 10, 2013

  • Kelly B.

    To wait listers I'm changing my RSVP to "not going"- have at it! You'll have a blast.

    April 10, 2013

  • Nazzarena

    If the doctor clears me to go on Friday morning

    April 9, 2013

  • Frank

    I am leaving Fredericksburg, VA around 5PM on Friday if anyone wants to carpool from this area. Please let me know!

    April 8, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    I'm coming from Gaithersburg and can pick up folks along the western bit of the Red line down as far as NIH. I'm happy to pick up more to carpool in Cville.

    April 8, 2013

  • Marie

    I'd love to catch a ride with someone since I'm driving for the McAfee Knob the weekend prior. I work in DC and can meet downtown or at a Metro stop (probably no earlier than 5:30). Does anyone have an open spot?

    April 2, 2013

    • Tom

      That works, or I could meet you (others?) in DC. We'll have a lot of commuter traffic to get out to centerville.

      April 7, 2013

    • Marie

      DC would be great; will email

      April 7, 2013

  • Mandy E.

    Can drive from Petworth neighborhood in DC and take up to 3 more people with equipment. Email me: [masked]. I can also leave earlier, if it makes sense (like 3PM on Friday).

    April 3, 2013

  • Olga

    Is anybody driving from Baltimore and interested in carpooling?

    April 2, 2013

    • Larke W.

      Hey Ali - can I meet up with you after dinner in Rockville at the metro? I don't get out of work until ~6pm and could make it to RV by 630pm.

      April 2, 2013

    • Ali

      Sounds good, if you can email me your contact info I'll give you mine as well.

      April 2, 2013

  • Blaine

    Sounds like a great trip but I just got a new puppy (he found me in the woods) and I cant leave him alone for a full weekend.

    1 · April 2, 2013

  • Michelle A.

    I think, per Jim's event info, he was going to post information on the various trip routes we are breaking into. I think its 3 different groups? It might be worth doing carpools based on those groups too since it is unlikely that we will come out of the woods at the same time. That's saying we make it out of the woods....jk ;0

    1 · April 2, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Michelle we are all car camping together on Friday night, so I can more easily coordinate everything on Saturday. I am running another trip this weekend, so will get to it early next week, sending out an email to group participants.

      April 2, 2013

    • Jim N.

      And yes, we will come out all together.....don't worry I have the plan.

      April 2, 2013

  • Larke W.

    I will be coming from the DC metro area and interested in carpooling as well. I can meet at any metro station that is convenient.

    April 2, 2013

  • Jag

    This would be my first backpacking trip of 2013! I am excited !

    1 · April 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Geez guys!! Just got notice my husband's competition will in fact take place after all ... It was up in the air due to military funding. He's been training so hard for this & I absolutely have to support him for the weekend this trip falls on. It breaks my heart I can't make this 1 :/

    March 28, 2013

    • Jim N.

      I will miss you guys Carla, but tell your husband I know he will do a great job!

      March 28, 2013

  • Giuliana

    A definitly must on your "bucket list"!! Went last summer and had a awesome time with the group!!

    March 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My sister is having a medical procedure & I need to help her out. I'm sorry I cannot make this trip! Bummed. But hope to catch another one soon!

    March 26, 2013

  • Kelly

    I don't want to bail but going on the other trip with this group the weekend before. I thought I could do both but couldn't.

    March 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    would like to bring one friend if possible?

    March 19, 2013

  • Kelly

    I so badly need to carpool ...I would have to meet in Front Royal off of 66 or somewhere on 81. I work in Culpeper and I'm thinking about getting out of work at 11:30 if I have to. I have a small SUV and can take others with gear. I know it is early just think about it lol

    March 18, 2013

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