From the rolling mountains of the Blue Ridge surrounding the historic town to the rushing waters of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers bordering it, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park has many natural resources to enjoy, along with its rich cultural resources.
When visiting the park, hike up to Jefferson Rock and enjoy the view of the water gap where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet, or take a trip up to the Maryland Heights overlook to get an amazing view of Harpers Ferry. While hiking, one will probably notice that the majority of the park is forested. Actually, 70% of the land in the park is covered with eastern deciduous forest, consisting of species such as chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), red maple (Acer rubrum), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and pawpaw (Asimina triloba). Also take time to observe some of the over 170 bird species and more than 30 mammal species in the park. These species include such beauties as the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), the white-tailed deer (Odocoeilus virginianus), and the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans).
During the summer of 2001 the Peregrine Falcon Restoration Project began at the park. Since that time, 12 peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) chicks have been released on MarylandHeights. As of 1999, this species was removed from the federal endangered species list after making a comeback in the coastal areas of the East. Now efforts are being made to restore this incredible raptor to its historic nesting sites in the Appalachian mountains.