• Sun beginning to set at Harpers Ferry, as seen from Maryland Heights. Photo by NPS Volunteer Buddy Secor.

    Harpers Ferry

    National Historical Park WV,VA,MD

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Change in Park Hours

    The park is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last shuttle bus departing Lower Town at 6:45 p.m. More »

  • Murphy Farm Closure Sept 2-4, 2014

    The Murphy Farm will be closed to public access Sept. 2-4, 2014 to allow application of fertilizer to the hayfields. For further information please click on the "More" link or contact the park’s Resource Management Specialist at 304-535-6038. More »

Amphibians

red-backed salamander

Red-backed salamanders are our most common salamanders. Most are easy to recognize with their black bodies and the bright red stripe down the middle of their back, but some have no red stripe. It grows to about 5 inches long.

By simply overturning a rock in a streambed, one may discover various amphibian species while visiting the park. Amphibians have both an aquatic larval stage and a terrestrial adult stage. For this reason they are considered effective indicators of pollution and water quality. Amphibians breed after significant spring rainfall events and females lay eggs in ponds, streams, and springs throughout the park. Depending on the species, metamorphosis can take from days to weeks to be completed.

The park is home to 8 frog and toad species and 6 species of salamanders. Some of the species found here include the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), the dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus), the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens), and the spring peeper (Hyla crucifer). An ongoing amphibian inventory is being performed within the park throughout the year 2002. Results will be made available to the public upon its completion.

Did You Know?

Photo of the National League of Colored Women at the John Brown Fort.

On July 14, 1896, during their first National Convention, the National League of Colored Women visited the John Brown Fort. They were the first group known to make such a pilgrimage to this site.