• 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 »

Ferns

Woolly lip fern

Woolly lip fern (Cheilanthes tomentosa) growing on rocks near Bull Falls.

NPS photo

Almost anywhere you visit in the park will have various fern species to observe since they occupy a wide variety of habitats. On the rock ledges and crevices of outcrops, woolly lip fern (Cheilanthes tomentosa), the locally rare lobed spleenwort (Asplenium pinnatifidum), and the common polypody (Polypodium virginianum) are likely to be found. But on the steep, rocky, and partially shaded slopes of Short Hill, Maryland Heights, and LoudounHeights, marginal shield fern (Dryopteris mariginalis) and Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) are more common. The floodplains and moist, shaded, low slopes surrounding the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers support even more fern species, including intermediate shield fern (Dryopteris intermedia), New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), and fragile fern (Cystopteris protrusa).

Did You Know?

Intake arches channeled water to power industry on Virginius Island.

Virginius Island was a thriving 19th-century industrial town along the Shenandoah River. By 1859, there were about three dozen buildings there.