Seneca Rocks, situated in West Virginia, USA, was bought by the Federal government in 1969, and is known as one of the best landmarks in the country. They are a unique tourist attraction and are particularly popular among rock climbers.
These rocks are an imposing formation that rises above the North Fork River to almost 900 feet. These quartzite rocks are about 250 feet thick and are situated on the exposed crags or ridges. About 440 million years ago, fine grains of sand were laid down here in a large sheet by the ocean which made up these rocks with geologic activity lasting several years. As the ocean was destroyed over the years, the rock that lay below was raised and folded. After millions of years of erosion, the rocks were exposed and remains of the folds in their formations became obvious and are known to us as the Seneca Rocks.
The first human visitors to this natural formation were the Native Americans during the Archaic Period who camped at the estuary of the Seneca Creek. In 1746, the first European settlers arrived here when West Virginia was thickly forested.
The rocks attracted all kinds of people to them, chiefly rock climbers. In 1935, Paul Brandt and Florence Perry were the first to climb these rocks for which there is documented evidence. Till the 1940s, most climbers here were from Pittsburgh and Washington DC, but in 1943-44, the U.S. Army trained its mountain troops here for fighting in the Apennines.