The fire tower at Seneca State Forest is known as The Thorny Mountain Fire Tower. It was constructed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide better coverage of the Greenbrier River Valley. It is a steel tower standing at 53 feet with a 14'x14' living quarters. It is a unique tower for West Virginia.
The Thorny Mountain Fire Tower is patterned after western types that utilize the living quarters and catwalk on the platform. At 3445' feet above sea level, the Thorny Mountain tower is one of the highest standing towers in West Virginia today. There are 69 steps from the base up to the overnight quarters. It is located at latitude: 38.31306 : and longitude: 79.94611.
The view from the tower is spectacular. The 360 degree views are now possible due to clearing of mature trees that over the years blocked the view and created conditions that deteriorated the tower. Sunlight is also the current lighting source for the cabin interior instead of combustible type lighting. Combustibles of any type are not permitted in the tower cabin. The steps from the ground to the cabin were replaced with treated oak in the same size as the original wooden steps. The decking at the cabin was replaced with treated pine to lighten the weight of the structure. The cabin floor and structures inside the cabin are original – a tribute to the craftsmanship of the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps that constructed the tower in the mid-1930s.
The Thorny Mountain Fire Tower is reservable in advance for overnight stays. Click the rates tab and scroll to the bottom of the rates page for rental costs and use guidelines.