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Thorny Mountain Fire Tower Guidelines

Thorny Mountain Fire Tower at Seneca State Forest is available to rent on a nightly basis beginning the second Friday in April through October 31. This opportunity began June 28, 2015 and is considered one of West Virginia's most unique overnight adventures.

The maximum number of occupants in the tower is four. The rental period begins at 4:00 p.m. with departure by noon the following day.  One or more nights may be reserved. Advanced reservations are required.

There is a nightly fee. See our rates page.

Rental Guidelines

  • Reservations require an advanced deposit. Advanced reservations is a requirement.
  • Rental of two or more nights requires 50% of the total amount due in advance.
  • A one night rental must be paid in full, in advance.
  • Deposits will not be returned for cancellations for one night reservation within seven days of arrival.
  • Rental of two or more nights and cancelling within seven days of arrival forfeit 50% of the total deposit plus a cancellation fee of $30.
  • Cancellation beyond seven day of arrival forfeits the cancellation fee of $30 only.
  • Personal checks, money orders, and major credit cards are accepted. Identification may be requested.

Other information regarding Fire Tower Rental and Use

  • Check-in upon arrival at the forest office for fire tower access key. One key is required to open the platform gate/cover and one for the door. It is recommended that the platform gate/cover is kept closed at all times while not using the stairs.
  • Unforeseen conditions such as weather may necessitate a change in the reservation dates or cancellation of the reservation all together.
  • All rates are subject to change without notice. Discounts are not available.
  • Maximum occupancy – 4 persons, not recommended for small children. Adults making the decision for youth occupancy will acknowledge responsibility during the sign in process.
  • One responsible person 18 years of age or older shall occupy who is answerable for the actions and safety of the fire tower cabin occupants and liable for any damages caused by them, shall be present at all times.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • The Fire Tower is a historic structure and is not represented to meet any current building safety code.  Persons engaging in this unique experience should recognize the risk and conduct themselves accordingly.  Caution must be exercised by all persons accessing the tower and the platform.    
  • There is no water or electricity at the fire tower. Drinking water must be packed-in.
  • Two cots are provided in the sleeping quarters; packing in sleeping bags is recommended.
  • An outhouse with pit toilet is at the base of the tower; not in the sleeping quarters.
  • A campfire ring and picnic table is located at the base of the tower.
  • Firewood is available and included in the rental fee.  
  • Cutting or damage vegetation at the tower or forest is prohibited.
  • Fires are permitted only in provided and designated fire ring in accordance with General Park & Forest Rules and any other outdoor fire restriction that may be in effect.
  • Alcoholic beverages and beer are prohibited within the boundaries of Seneca State Forest.
  • Camping is not permitted in the area surrounding the fire tower.
  • Weather or storms may affect your visit experience.
  • Even on moonlit nights, It is very dark when staying in the tower, bring a flashlight.
  • The top of the tower is 65 feet in height and accessible only by steps. There are 69 steps.
  • Guests are expected to leave the tower cabin neat and tidy upon departure.
  • Seneca Fire Tower rental is a pack-in/pack-out adventure. All refuse must be packed out.
  • A sign-in sheet is presented at check-in for verification of rental.
  • Reservations are by telephone.
  • The office staff at Seneca State Forest welcomes conversation and questions about staying overnight in the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower and what you might expect to experience.


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