News Release

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park announces annual closures to protect peregrine falcons

Two young falcons sit on the top of a bridge.
Two of three peregrine falcons that fledged from Maryland Heights in 2023 perch on a bridge superstructure.

NPS/Volunteer Midge Flinn Yost

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: February 6, 2024

Contact: Kristen Maxfield, 304-535-4050

Staff and volunteers at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park are looking forward to another peregrine falcon nesting season on the bluffs of Maryland Heights. Peregrine falcons have successfully nested on the bluffs since 2021, and staff have seen a pair of adults nearby recently.

To provide the peregrines with the conditions they need to raise chicks, the park will again close portions of Maryland Heights from February 15 through July 31, 2024. UPDATE: This year's peregrine chick has developed soon enough to safely remove the closure early. All areas on Maryland Heights closed due to the peregrine nesting are OPEN as of 6/27/24. This will not impact the Maryland Heights Trail but will affect climbing areas, including the following:

  • The Gully

  • Sign Wall

  • ABC Ramps

  • Train Tunnel Wall

  • Confederate Walls

Peregrine falcons are a sensitive species and had not successfully hatched chicks at Maryland Heights in nearly 70 years prior to success 2021. In 2022, three of the four fledglings survived the vulnerable newborn phase and successfully fledged (developed feathers that enabled it to fly). In 2023, all three fledglings successfully took their first flights. Human interference, especially during the nesting phase, can drive off mature falcons, cause abandonment of the nest and result in the loss of eggs or death to fledglings. NPS staff asks that people respect closures to give the peregrine falcons a safe habitat to breed and nest.  

To find out more about peregrine falcons, visit the park’s peregrine falcon page, which includes a link to a video about peregrines at Harpers Ferry NHP.

The peregrine falcon management program at Harpers Ferry NHP is a cooperative effort that includes the NPS, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a team of dedicated park volunteers. 

Last updated: June 27, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


304 535-6029

Contact Us