• 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

Soils

Common soil associations found within the park include the Berks-Weikert, whose shaly silt loams are very conducive to erosion and located in patches throughout the town itself. From the Potomac River northwest of Harpers Ferry to Bloomery Road, the Benevola-Frankstown-Braddock Association can be found. The Benevola series is clay, whereas the Frankstown series is shaly silt loam, and the Braddock series is gravelly loam. Most of the Benevola-Frankstown-Braddock Association is underlain by limestone and quarried by steel corporations for use as blast furnace flux. The Braddock-Landes-Ashton Association lies along the banks of the ShenandoahRiver, where its Landes series, which is a fine sandy loam, is subject to occasional flooding.

On the foothills below the
Blue Ridge Mountains, the Dekalb-Laidig Association is found running from the Virginia state line to the Potomac River north of BolivarHeights. This soil is well-drained, containing stones throughout. Slopes in this Association are steep, restricting intense land uses. Adjacent to the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Weikert-Berks Association, with shaly silt loams that are severely eroded as a result of streams dissecting the Association on their way to the ShenandoahRiver. Occupying the footslopes, the side, and the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Edgemont-Laidig-Steep Rockland Association. Soils in this Association are a shaly silt loam underlain by shattered shale and fine-grained sandstone. The only local alluvium in the park is the Huntington silt loam of the Duffield-Frankstown-Huntington Alluvium Association. Generally this Association is suited to dairy and general farming, and orchards, but can also be used for residential development.

Did You Know?