• Interior of the John Brown Fort

    Harpers Ferry

    National Historical Park WV,VA,MD

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  • Temporary Suspension of Reference Collection Research

    Due to the park archives and research room/library space move, new public research requests will not be filled until at least May 30th, 2014.

  • 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 5:45 p.m. More »


grasses growing in a field

Grasses growing in the field on Bolivar Heights.

NPS photo

Grasses and grass-like plants, including sedges and rushes, are a diverse and important part of plant communities. On dry, rocky ridgetops of MarylandHeights, LoudounHeights, and Short Hill, poverty grass (Danthonia spicata) and greenish sedge (Carex virescens) are the most frequent species encountered. At lower elevations on these ridges, rock muhly (Muhlenbergia sobolifera), tall brome-grass (Bromus pubescens), and Bosc’s panicgrass (Dicanthelium boscii) are commonly found. In floodplain forests, visitors will observe even more species such as nodding fescue (Festuca subverticillata) and deer-tongue grass (Dicanthelium clandestinum). While walking along the rocky, flood-scoured riverbanks of the Potomac and Shenandoah, prairie grasses such as big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), the locally uncommon prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata), and the shoreline-stabilizing Emory’s sedge (Carex emoryi) are more likely to be seen.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating Harpers Ferry National Monument on June 29, 1944.