Cave Hole

A family spot about 150 feet long. The best part is where the North Fork South Branch Potomac River bumps up against some of the bedrock and makes a deep hole. The rest of the water stretches more than 100 feet downstream in a placid basin. There’s a large gravel beach deeply shaded with sycamore and several rock perches on the other side of the river at the bottom of the crag. The namesake cave is bored into the rock over there. Difficult to find, but fun to look for.

Above is Seneca Rocks, one of the most recognizable features in West Virginia. It’s a formation of very hard Tuscarora sandstone that was uplifted and eroded over 400 million years until it looks like a pale dorsal fin rising 900 feet above the North Fork South Branch Potomac River. It appears incongruous among the moderately sloped, mixed forests of eastern West Virginia, but several similar formations dot the landscape, they’re little known and less visited because they’re on private land.

Seneca Rocks has been a Mecca for eastern rock climbers for decades. The Monongahela National Forest recently built a plush visitor’s center to accommodate sightseers. There’s so much parking around it, so many signs that say Seneca Rocks, that the swimming hole a little difficult to find.

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