• 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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  • 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 June 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 6:45 p.m. More »

Wetlands, Marshes and Swamps


The 7-acre wetland located adjacent to Shoreline Drive.

NPS photo

Wetlands are described as areas of organic soil, with poor drainage, and emergent aquatic vegetation. Wetlands within the park are mainly located along the floodplains of the two rivers, however, an extensive wetland created by beavers is located along Flowing Springs. According to National Wetland Inventory Maps produced by the USGS, the park contains over 100 acres of wetlands. The most prominent wetland is the 7-acre wetland adjacent to Shoreline Drive. In this wetland, a few inches of water lie above the substrate, with greater duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) frequently covering the surface. This type of habitat supports many species of both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, small mammals, waterfowl and marsh birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Great blue herons (Ardea herodias), northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon), muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus), and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are just a few of the wildlife species that may be encountered while exploring this wetland area.

Did You Know?

Robert Harper was granted an exclusive ferry concession in 1861.

Robert Harper operated a ferry across the Potomac River in 1747. His heirs, the Wagers, maintained the operation until 1824 when a bridge was built across the Potomac.