Lumberjack Tr/Seneca Creek Loop

 

Description: This is a pretty moderate 10.7 mile circuit hike using a short section of FR 112, the Lumberjack Trail, Huckleberry Trail and Seneca Creek Trail. The Lumberjack trail is a rather mundane walk in the woods with the sole purpose of getting the hiker to the heart of this backcountry area quickly. Marc Shaffer of www.trailpixie.net described it quite aptly Ö ďpedestrianĒ. The balance of the outing more than makes up for what is lacking in the Lumberjack Trail. Youíll be rewarded with expansive views from at least two High Meadows along the Huckleberry trail, even more if you care to explore the High Meadows Trail further north. Then there are all of the numerous waterfalls and chutes along Seneca Creek! If you wish to visit the main falls add an additional 1 mile onto the trip. Itís well worth it!

Warning: There are at least 5 creek crossings. Some will be over the boot tops. Be prepared.

The hike begins at a large gravel parking lost and kiosk.

 

Google Custom Directions

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Printable/Downloadable Map

Printable/Downloadable Map

View 3-D Map!

 

Trail Notes: Walk up FR 112 retracing your drive a bit. In 0.6 miles arrive at the Lumberjack Trailhead (TR 534). Turn left onto the trail following the blue blazes. Parts of the trail might be wet. Look for side trails on top of the bearms that parallel the old RR grade.

 

At 3.6 miles reach the junction with the Huckleberry Trail (TR 533). Turn left proceeding downhill on Huckleberry Trail. Look out on the left for open High Meadows with great views of the mountains surrounding the valley. Judy Spring Trail will be on the left. Continue on Huckleberry Trail. Pass the junction of High Meadows Trail on the right. There are more expansive views up there.

 

In 0.7 miles from the High Meadows Trail junction, after crossing a small stream, arrive at Seneca Creek Trail (TR 515). To visit the main falls of Seneca Creek turn right and walk downstream for less than 0.5 miles. This is a great lunch spot!

 

Retrace your steps, passing Huckleberry Trail on the left and continue south walking up Seneca Creek. Soon come to the first of 5 crossings. (Iíll not describe the rest of the crossings but they are there and unavoidable.) Pass Bear Hunter Trail on the right and Judy Spring Trail on the left. There is a bridge that crosses the Creek at the southern end of Judy Spring Camp area. Do not cross. This leads to Judy Spring Trail. Continue straight following the Creek.

 

Continue up Seneca Creek, crossing it several times. Pass Swallow Rock and Tomís Lick trail on the right. Towards the end the grade will increase a little and you will walk through an ever-encroaching Red Spruce thicket and cross a couple of small feeder streams. Soon arrive back at the cars

Printable/Downloadable Directions and Trail Notes

Critique this outing!

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Name: George                                                                                                             Hike: Lumberjack Tr/Seneca Creek Loop

Date(s): 01/20/14                                                                                                    Rating: 4

 

Critique: Did the hike in reverse as I was hiking it for the first time and being January, I didn't want to find out 7 miles in to the hike that I couldn't cross the creek! Had the whole backcountry to myself as far as I could tell :) - had to be creative on the creek crossings as there was much ice but most of it wouldn't hold me. Managed to make it across all crossings without getting wet. One item of note to the description above. The main falls of Seneca Creek are about 100 yards below the trail intersection with Huckleberry Trail, not .5 miles. Hiking down the creek below the main falls is not recommended unless you are into Class 2 fun. Many blowdowns, rhododendron, etc.. Hiked about a mile out High Meadows trail and then bushwacked uphill to intersect Lumberjack Trail and then back to car. Lumberjack Trail, even in January was quite soft in spots. Would not rush back to hike Lumberjack, but High Meadows and Seneca Creek Trails are very nice and worth the trip.

 

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Name: Paul D.                                                                                                             Hike: Lumberjack Trail/Seneca Creek Loop

Date(s): 11/15-17/13                                                                                              Rating: 4

 

Critique: Five of us geezers hiked and camped at Judy Springs for a two-nighter. Parked at Lumberjack Trailhead just after the BIG switchback o the right. Hiked in on Lumberjack. Arriving Friday around 2 at Judy Springs gave us first choice of sites. We took the big site across the bridge, being a bit more private than the field site. Firewood was scarce, as this is a very popular area to camp. We had 15-18 hikers come by throughout the weekend, some camping nearby. Others were sent downstream to the smaller, but more beautiful waterworks sites. Trail conditions were wet on all trails, an inch of snow on trails on Friday, after the couple inches they rec'd. earlier in the week. The field descent down Judy Springs trail was slippery. Highs were in the 40's, down to 32 Friday, then warming as the weekend went on, to a high of 61 on Sunday. We did have moderate rain Friday night which dampened our party to a 9 pm. lights out. The rain sound was beautiful and lulling in the tent. Clear weather on Saturday so we hiked downstream for 40 minutes to the big waterfall and back. Four stream crossings each way! that I remember, all rock-hoppable at the low water level we encountered, but were still dicey. One of us had a slamdown cuz the rocks were quite slippery. Would be impossible in high water. A leisurely pace and many wet sections plus the crossings resulted in a 2.5 hour hike, about 3 miles total, including more pic taking and a long lunch at the great flintstone furniture site, just below the big fall. Then back up to Judy Springs for night two. Clear weather sunday monring, and we left around 1030 am, hiking out on Seneca Creek Trail. Made record time with food and beer-lightened packs. Trail also quite wet and muddy. Reached FR112 and hiked five minutes back up to the cars. A great outing, no injuries, many beautiful photos taken, and camaraderie shared. I only give it a four rating instead of the five it deserves because of all the company we encountered, but that's to be expected in a place this beautiful, even in mid-November. The whole area is a gem.

 

Hiking across a meadow.

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Name: Jeff                                                                                                                  Hike: Lumberjack Trail/Seneca Creek Loop
Date: 7/16/11                                                                                                           Rating: 4

Critique: We did a loop via Seneca Creek Trail, High Meadow Trail and Lumberjack Trail. Seneca Creek Trail is the highlight as it follows an old grade along a beautiful creek with cascades and rhododendron thickets. There are a few crossings that can be very difficult in high water. Several superb campsites.

High Meadows Trail was nice, although the trail is not as well established and weedy. The meadows offer nice views and wildflowers. There was some damage from horses.

Lumberjack is an easy trail along an old grade through the woods. It is wet in spots, again with horse damage. Stinging nettle is also an issue in places.

Overall, it is a nice hike.

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Name: Teddy                                                                                                               Hike: Lumberjack Trail/Seneca Creek Loop
Date: 8/4/2007                                                                                                          Rating: 5

Critique: A wonderful trail but very deceptively difficult. Once you get into far back-country the signage can get worse and worse and some of it looks decades old. The river crossings on Seneca can be tricky to keep on the trail path and I ended up on the lumberjack trail because I could not find my way easily to the Allegheny trail from the Horton trail area (there's a low ropes-setup around there). These trails are reasonably flat (beware that the Huckleberry trail can be a fairly steep ascent) but they are very rocky and the fording of the Seneca Creek can be difficult, but the scenery is worth it.

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Name: mw                                                                                                                   Hike: Lumberjack/Seneca creek loop
Date: late July 2006                                                                                                  Rating: 5

Critique: awesome. Took my girlfriend out on this loop for her first ever overnight backpacking experience (my first time on this loop as well). Scenery on the Lumberjack trail was nice once you hit the meadows, but the Seneca Creek trail is magnificent. we camped out right above the big falls. wonderful scenery, easy hiking, nice people met along the way.

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