Hike Harpers Ferry poster
A completed Hike Harpers Ferry poster

NPS Image

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation recently launched "Find Your Park," a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for the next 100 years.

In conjunction with the "Find Your Park" campaign, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park has introduced a new program, "Hike Harpers Ferry," to encourage park visitors to explore the heritage and dramatic landscapes of the park.

Beginning on April 19, 2015, ten park trails are being highlighted. From the leisurely Bolivar Heights Trail with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the more strenuous Loudoun Heights with views of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, there is something for everyone!

A free poster, ideal for framing, is available in the Park Bookshop on Shenandoah Street. Stop in and begin collecting commemorative decals for all ten park hiking trails.

Help America find a park! Share a photo of your favorite park trail and tag it #FindYourPark.

About Park Trails

For detailed information regarding the park trails at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and to download individual trail maps, please visit the Hikes page on the park's website.

Below are brief descriptions and a vista from each of the ten trails in the Hike Harpers Ferry program.

Virginia bluebells on Virginius Island
Virginia bluebells on Virginius Island

NPS Photo/Chapman

Virginius Island and Hall Island Trails

  • Easy
  • About 2 miles round-trip
  • 1 hour
  • Caution: Active Railroad Tracks
  • Highlights include: wayside exhibit; Shenandoah River; riparian forest; spring wildflowers; ruins of mills, turbines, and waterworks; site of John Hall's Rifle Works.
  • Connects to the Appalachian Trail, Camp Hill, and Shenandoah trails.
View of the Shenandoah River at the Murphy-Chambers Farm
View of the Shenandoah River at the Murphy-Chambers Farm

NPS Photo/Cook

Murphy-Chambers Farm Trail

  • Easy to moderate
  • 1-3 miles (with side trails) round-trip
  • 30 minutes - 2 hours
  • Highlights include: wayside exhibits; farm field and forest; mountain views; Shenandoah River overlook; cannons; former site of the John Brown Fort, Niagara Movement's 1906 pilgrimage, Confederate 1862 flanking maneuver, and Union earthworks.
View of the watergap from Bolivar Heights
View of the watergap from Bolivar Heights

NPS Photo/Cook

Bolivar Heights Trails

  • Easy to moderate
  • 0.3 - 2.4 miles (with side trails) round-trip
  • 15 minutes - 1 hour
  • Highlights include: Blue Ridge views; field and forest; Potomac River water gap; Shenandoah Valley; 1862 surrender site; cannons; earthworks
  • Access to Schoolhouse Ridge North, but watch for traffic when crossing Bakerton Road.
Snowy waterfall along the Shenandoah Trail
Snowy waterfall along the Shenandoah Trail

NPS Photo/Boyce

Shenandoah Trail

  • Moderate with one steep section
  • 1.6 miles one-way
  • 45 minutes
  • Highlights include: intermittent waterfalls; wetlands wildlife; river access; Savery Mill ruins; Shenandoah Canal.
  • Note: Watch for traffic.
View of the gap from Harper Cemetery
View of the gap from Harper Cemetery

NPS Photo/Hammer

Camp Hill and Appalachian Trail

  • Moderate
  • 2 miles round-trip
  • 1 hour
  • Highlights include: wayside exhibits; Jefferson Rock; Harper Cemetery; former Armory houses and Storer College campus; mountain and river views; Appalachian Trail Visitor Center.

 

Fence line and sunset at Schoolhouse Ridge North
Fence line and sunset at Schoolhouse Ridge North

NPS Photo/Cook

Schoolhouse Ridge North Trail

  • Moderate
  • 2 miles round-trip
  • 1 hour
  • Highlights include: wayside exhibits; farm fields; Confederate terrain perspective; view of the heights; cannons.
View of Lower Town from Maryland Heights overlook
View of Lower Town from Maryland Heights overlook

NPS Photo/Volunteer Shenandoah Sanchez

Maryland Heights trails

  • Difficult (steep and rocky in places)
  • Overlook Cliff trail - 4 miles round-trip, 2 hours
  • Stone Fort trail - 6 miles round-trip, 3 hours
  • Start at the Information Center
  • Highlights include: artillery locations; Stone Fort; Harpers Ferry views at overlook; Potomac and Shenandoah rivers; phyllite and quartzite rock formations
View of Harpers Ferry from Split Rock on Loudoun Heights
View of Harpers Ferry from Split Rock on Loudoun Heights

NPS Photo/Zurbuch

Appalachian and Loudoun Heights trails

  • Difficult (steep and rocky in places)
  • 7.6 miles round-trip
  • 4-5 hours
  • Start at the Information Center
  • Highlights include: Appalachian Trail; Harpers Ferry views; Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and valleys; phyllite and quartzite rock formations.