Spruce Knob, West Virginia’s Highest Point

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A trip to the Mountain State wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its highest mountain.  At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is at the top of West Virginia, and the entire Allegheny Mountain range.

Location

To visit Spruce Knob, watch for Briery Gap Road in Riverton, WV, just north of Judy Gap (where US 33 and WV 28 meet).  From Briery Gap Road, you will need to make several more turns, but there are signs pointing the way.  The road turns to gravel before you reach the top, but it is easily passable in any kind of car.

My Visit

There’s a parking area near the high point, and a short trail…

… leads to this observation tower.  You’ll have a great view in every direction from the top, but there’s a good chance it will be windy.  The view to the east is excellent…

… and you’ll get a clear view of this trip’s previous stop, the rock fins at Nelson Rocks Preserve.

In my opinion, the best view isn’t from the tower.  Take the 1/2 mile loop trail around the top of Spruce Knob, and about halfway around the circle…

… you’ll come across this meadow.  The area has an alpine feel to it.  Scattered around the grassy clearing are huge boulders, that are perfect for climbing.

Grab a spot on one of the boulders and spend a while here…

… soaking in the awesome view of the Germany Valley.

As you look around, you’ll notice something missing on the mountaintops: radio towers.  There is one lonely tower near the top of Spruce Knob, but that’s the only one I could see anywhere on the horizon.  I was certain I’d be able to make a cell phone call from atop Spruce Knob, but I couldn’t.  My phone picked up a signal (one bar on Verizon), but the call wouldn’t go through.  Imagine: no cell phone coverage at the top of the highest mountain in the state! 

Once you’re done at the top of Spruce Knob, head back the way you came.  When you get back to the main road (WV 28 & US 33), turn left, headed north.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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