• 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

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  • 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 »

Grasses

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?

The Appalachian Trail runs through Harpers Ferry. A short walk along the trail from the lower town to the C&O Canal will take you from West Virginia to Maryland in just a few minutes.