October 2023 – Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, Germany Valley
Beth and I love to explore West Virginia and enjoy the wonderful colors October brings to the state. Our favorite areas are mostly within Tucker, Grant, and Pendleton Counties. Within that area are Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Dolly Sods, Germany Valley, Smoke Hole, and countless miles of narrow backroads meandering through century-old farms.
The past two weekends, we have made 200- and 350-mile loops and visited many of these sites in search of fall colors. Join us!
Blackwater Falls is one of the most recognizable landmarks in West Virginia. A walkway with lots of steps leads down to the base of the falls.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a new photo of the two of us.
High above the falls is an observation deck that we will visit shortly.
From the observation deck near the park’s lodge, we enjoyed the view of the falls and the changing colors.
Just above the falls, the Blackwater River quietly flows past these colorful trees. The falls are just around the corner in the distance.
On our next trip, we stopped at St. George, near Parsons. Peaceful setting with the old barn and cows grazing in the distance.
Just past Parsons, we turned onto Rt 72 past Hendricks. This narrow road meanders past old farms for 15 miles over to the Canaan Valley/Dolly Sods area.
One of many old farms along Rt 72.
Entrance to someone’s farm along Rt 72.
Old barn along Rt 72.
Seneca Rocks, like Blackwater Falls, is one of the most-recognizable landmarks in West Virginia. It is a “razorback” formation, meaning that even though t is over 900 feet tall, it is only 10-20 feet thick at the top when viewed from the side. When standing on the top, you can look down a 900-foot drop in the front and a 600-foot drop in the rear. It is a popular rock climbing site, and I bet we will see some today.
We did not have time to climb to the top of Seneca Rocks today. This footbridge across the South Branch Potomac River leads to a steep trail that zig-zags up the mountain and rewards your efforts with a fantastic view. Maybe next time.
Sure enough – There are some rock climbers who took the more direct route to the top.
Not all the beauty is in the fall colors or tall rocks – These dainty little flowers were out in their full beauty rather late in the year.
Our next stop today was about 15 miles south of Seneca Rocks at Judy Gap, where the road follows a passageway between large rock formations. Note the rocks high on the peak in the background.
Following Rt 33 up the mountain from Judy Gap a few miles, we come to one of my favorite overlook in the entire state – Germany Valley. Spruce Knob (highest point in WV) is off to the left in the distance, and Seneca Rocks is straight ahead about 15 miles.
Near the Germany Valley overlook is Solomon’s Chapel. Very picturesque setting.
Whenever I am in Germany Valley, I have to stop by and check in with my old friend – this early ’50s DeSoto “rusting in peace” in the woods.
These cows have an amazing view of Germany Valley and Spruce Knob while they graze the hillsides.
Enjoying more scenery in Germany Valley. Love these backroads!!
Here’s a better view of the hillside barn in the last photo.
Nice view of a Germany Valley farm.
I liked the contrast of this bare tree with the colors in the background.
As we came around the corner on this backroad, we met this group of cows eating along the roadside while one of them stood guard for traffic. We had a 5-minute discussion about who has the right of way, and eventually she decided to allow us to pass.
The road eventually comes out on the lower section of Germany Valley.
Some roadside thistles with Germany Valley in the background.
Nearing Riverton and the main highway.
Approaching Riverton – Great view of fall colors and amazing rock formations. I love exploring these backroads! The road drops about as fast as the rocky ridge ahead. Hold on tight!
We made a short detour onto the road to Reed’s Creek Fish Hatchery near Franklin. There are several old farms along this road.
One of many old farms along the road to Reed’s Creek Fish Hatchery.
Interesting old building on Reed’s Creek Road. Probably an old gas station.
Reed’s Creek area house. Has potential. Handyman special.
Our last stop on this sightseeing loop is our family cemetery near my grandparents’ old farm near Petersburg. My grandparents and great-grandparents are buried here.
We hope you enjoyed joining us on this loop around this small part of scenic West Virginia. Thanks for joining us!
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