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Spruce Knob, Riverton

4.5
#2 of 11 in Trails in West Virginia
Hiking Trail Nature / Park
Spruce Knob, at, is the highest point in the state of West Virginia and the summit of Spruce Mountain, the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains.OverviewThe summit of Spruce Knob has a definite alpine feel, much more so than most other mountains of the Southern Appalachians. The upper few hundred feet are covered in a dense spruce forest, a relic boreal forest environment similar to those found in northern New England and Canada. The summit is accessible both via trails and a paved Forest Service road, and is crowned with a stone lookout tower amid a mixture of boulder fields, meadows and trees. A handicap-accessible nature trail half a mile (0.8 km) long circles the topmost part of the mountain. High west winds near the summit have gnarled the spruce there like Krummholz, flagged with limbs only on their leeward (eastward) side.As is typical in the southern Appalachians, the highest point on a ridge is frequently referred to as a knob or dome. Spruce Knob is the highest point along a ridge known as the Allegheny Front. Dropping steeply to the east, it offers views of the Germany Valley and North Fork Mountain; to the west is the Allegheny Plateau. It also is the highest point in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
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  • Long drive to get to the top, but beautiful all around when you get there. The trees are taking over the views from the tower, so follow the path around to see some pretty views from all directions. N...  more »
  • First time I've been up here in about 20 years. If you come back in from the east the road is paved. You can drive back down the other side about 5 miles if you want to see the lakes. The view at the ...  more »
  • One can drive safely all the way to the top. The road is well paved though the last section is narrow. Not much to do once you get to the top except climb up an observation tower. We reached there whe...  more »