One of the oldest trails in the park was tackled today and I am reverently speaking of Monongaseneka Trail. This trail was in great part built by the CCC; there are still remnants of benches found in the lower portions of Jeff’s Hollow. It is the first trail encountered as you make your way up the park entrance road; maybe you noticed a small parking area on the right along Isle Lick shortly after crossing the first bridge – the trailhead is just across the road from the lower end of the parking area.
This is a moderately difficult trail that rewards the hiker with views of the village of Seebert and the Greenbrier River as you ascend to an outstanding view on the Overlook Loop Trail. From here you have a long view of the Greenbrier River with Droop Mountain in the distance.
Make Monongaseneka Trail Part of a Long Loop
If you desire a longer hike you can continue on Monongaseneka Trail to the junction with North Boundary Trail. From here go right until you junction with Bear Pen Trail , go right again and descend down to the trailhead for Bear Pen Trail. If you have not shuttled a vehicle you will have to walk the entrance road back to your car – please don’t scoff at this as you will have beautiful Isle Lick alternating between the two sides of the road and talking to you until you get back to the Monongaseneka Trailhead. Pack a lunch for this long loop !
The trail up to and including the Overlook trail was fairly clean of obstacles, however there is a large tree down on the trail about a 1/4 mile into the hike from the trailhead.
Some of the intrepid Watoga visitors have submitted their own reasons why they feel that this particular state park is so special and why it should be regarded as such. The following comment is from John Goodwin of Athens, Ohio – his family has been coming here for over 50 years, on one occasion filling up all of the cabins for a family reunion. It is a heartfelt testimony to the love and concern people have for Watoga State Park.
Remembrances of 1st Watoga Trip
” I am reminded each time of the connection I have to Watoga and why it’s so special to me. I remember my first visit to the park many, many years ago and how pristine it was. It was my wife’s family reunion and we had our first cabin together. From the moment I first drove up the park road and seeing all the log cabins and then to be greeted at the top by a beautiful lake I fell in love with Watoga.
To this day I still love the drive knowing that at the end of that drive is a little piece of heaven. I always remember how quiet and still everything is there. A visitor can have everything from many recreational activities to being totally off the grid. I think one of my favorite things is hiking the many trails of Watoga. There are none better ! What has become more special to me about Watoga ? My children love the park as much as I do. To add to that……. my grandchildren love the park as well. If anyone mentions Watoga around our family, all heads turn and the question is asked… when are we going !
So why is this park so special ? What’s the connection? All the reasons above and many others too numerous to mention. Watoga will always be my second home. Our second home. ”
Well said ! Plan a visit to Watoga State Park to see for yourself.