A number of remarkable features need mentioning here. The preserve offers excellent recreational options to hikers, climbers, and naturalists. The dominant features are the two massive "fins" of Tuscarora sandstone that reach hundreds of feet into the sky. More than 2 miles of hiking trails can take you up and around these fins. The Via Ferrata is the most important feature of this area as it is the only "iron way" in the United States. Steel cables, metal rungs and a hanging bridge are combined to add safety and ease to your climbing here.
Nelson Rocks Preserve is located in Eastern WV, off of Rte. 28, just 11 miles south of Seneca Rocks. The Preserve is on Nelson Gap Road, 1/4 mile south of the Rte. 33 and Rte. 28 intersections in Judy Gap.
No permits are required but there is an entry fee depending upon what your plans and equipment needs are. The Via Feratta for adults on weekdays is $35 including rental of harness and lanyard. $30 if you only need the lanyard. On the weekend the rate increases to $40 for the harness and lanyard and $35 for just the lanyard. For "kids" the rate is $30/$25 on weekdays and $35/$30 on weekends. Rates for strictly hiking and climbing--not involving the Via Feratta, is $5 at all times for all people. There are also cabins for rent on the preserve for $35 a night plus an additional $5 per person over 4 in the group.
Hours of operation are 10-12 on weekdays and 9-12 and 2-4 on weekends....Though these hours appear to fluctuate and only apply as to when you start INTO the preserve for hiking and climbing...you do not have to be down or out by these hours...
When To Climb
My personal preference would be during the early fall. Temperatures in WV during the summer can easily reach the mid 90's and is usually quite humid. Spring rains will make the rock and rails quite slick. Winter can bring sub-freezing temps and possible snow...
No camping is allowed that I am aware of. There are a number of cabins available as mentioned above.
304-567-3169 is the telephone # to inquire as to current conditions, hours, and rates
www.nelsonrocks.org would be the website for up to date info.
Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides Professional and experienced guide services and gear shop located in Seneca Rocks WV, the only guide service now working in the preserve. Siteprovides info about the guide service and shop that operates out of Seneca Rocks, WV who guide a number of areas including Seneca Rocks and the Nelson Rocks Preserve...