Smoke Hole Canyon is a hidden gem that offers a breathtaking hiking experience in the heart of the Monongahela National Forest. With its rugged terrain, cascading waterfalls, and stunning vistas, this trail is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, Smoke Hole Canyon has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes this hike so special and why it should be on your bucket list.
Need to know
Some of the the highlights of this trail are:
- Smoke Hole Canyon is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, bobcats, and bald eagles.
- The canyon offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, with opportunities for panoramic vistas from various overlooks.
- The area is known for its unique rock formations, including towering cliffs and natural arches.
- Smoke Hole Canyon is also home to a variety of plant life, including rare species such as the Virginia spiraea and the Allegheny monkeyflower.
- The canyon is a popular destination for fishing, with the South Branch of the Potomac River offering opportunities to catch trout, bass, and other species.
- Visitors can explore the canyon on foot via hiking trails, or by water via kayaking or canoeing on the river.
- The area has a rich history, with evidence of Native American settlements and early European settlers still visible today.
- Smoke Hole Canyon is a designated wilderness area, offering a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the region in a pristine, untouched setting.
Smoke Hole Canyon is a great place to take kids, to explore.
With its unique rock formations, waterfalls, and river, the canyon is a fun and educational experience for children. Definitely one of the best places to visit with kids in the Monongahela Forest.
There are also plenty of other activities on the water for older kids
Camping in Smoke Hole Canyon is a great option for those who love the outdoors. The best time to go camping in this area is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warm and sunny. The canyon offers a variety of campsites, from primitive to full hook-up, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking. The weather in Smoke Hole Canyon can be unpredictable, so it’s important to come prepared with warm clothing and rain gear, as well as plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent. Overall, camping in Smoke Hole Canyon is a great way to experience the beauty of West Virginia’s wilderness.
- Smoke Hole Resort: Smoke Hole Resort offers a variety of camping options, including RV sites, tent sites, and cabins. The resort is located right on the banks of the South Branch of the Potomac River and offers access to fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
- Seneca Shadows Campground: Seneca Shadows Campground is a popular option for campers looking to explore the nearby Seneca Rocks and Smoke Hole Canyon. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as cabins and yurts.
- Harman’s North Fork Cottages and Campground: Harman’s North Fork Cottages and Campground is located near Smoke Hole Canyon and offers a variety of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, and cabins. The campground also has access to hiking trails and fishing in nearby rivers and streams.
- Yokum’s Vacationland: Yokum’s Vacationland is a family-owned and operated campground located in Seneca Rocks, just a short drive from Smoke Hole Canyon. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as cabins and cottages, and has access to hiking trails, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
In addition to hiking, there are many other ways to discover this beautiful wildness. If you are planning a trip to Smoke Hole Canyon be sure to consider some of the following:
In addition to hiking, there are many other ways to discover this beautiful wildness. If you are planning a trip to Smoke Hole Canyon, be sure to consider some of the following:
- Rock climbing
- Bird watching
- Wildlife viewing
- Horseback riding
- ATV/UTV riding
- Mountain biking
- Zip lining
- Whitewater rafting
- Snowshoeing (in winter)
Smoke Hole Canyon FAQs
Are dogs allowed? Yes, but are required to be kept on a leash in the area.
Is the trail well signed? Yep.