Barnum Rail-Trail
April 21, 2016
Susquehanna Warrior Trail
April 22, 2016

Spruce Knob/Whispering Spruce Trail Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

Set in the north central highlands of West Virginia, Monongahela National Forest was established in 1920 and encompasses the highest ridges of this region with the highest point standing at 4,863 feet. This is Spruce Knob. Here you will find the best rock climbing experience as you enjoy outdoors in America and great views of the environment around and this is at Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA).

Being the first National Recreation Area (NRA) to be designated in the USDA Forest Service this particular area remains a unique one. At Spruce Knob which is the highest point there is a stone and steel observation tower that acts as a vantage point from where one can have a 360 degree view of the beautiful landscape below.

From this point you will be able to view the forested ridges as far as the vanishing point, grassy openings and pastures as well as the one-sided red spruce that has been deformed by strong westerly winds that beat on them constantly. When you are done admiring the beautiful landscape from Spruce Knob, you can go down the Whispering Spruce Trail that encircles the tower.

The gentle graveled terrain of this trail had some interpretive signs that described geology and animal life and the vegetation of the surrounding environment but as at now, you might not find any of these along the trail. The Whispering Spruce Trail will then lead you to where there are boulders on various spots across the grassy field.

These boulders are popular resting areas for vultures that have grown weary of soaring the heights for a while. Once you visit the place, if you are looking for that perfect spot where you can take photos, the vantage point offers the best avenue for this. From this point you can also access the forest where red spruce, huckleberry, beech, blueberry, maple, cherry and birch tower from the ground, providing a trailside treat to all summer hikers.

The mountain laurel, azaleas and rhododendron can also be traced and they beautify the rather rocky knob when they bloom between May and July. Basically, this trail is fit for hikers and rock climbers find a wonderful spot to engage in this activity at the cliffs. So if you are an enthusiast in any of these activities, Spruce Knob and Whispering Spruce Trail form the perfect spot.

You might not find many activities to engage in here as is the case with other trails elsewhere but this does not make this trail is lesser in any way. This is because the scenery before you from the highest peak is a wonder to behold and good enough to give you reason to pay the place a visit again. Just the same way other trails are unique in their own way, whispering Spruce Trail and Spruce Knob are unique environments with a lot to be admired.

Adventure lovers and those who would love to explore new territories will be delighted to explore what this trail has to offer as they discover the gem hidden in it.

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