News Release

Seasonal closures to protect peregrine falcons in effect at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

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Date: February 24, 2021
Contact: Chelsea Sullivan, 202-297-2659

Peregrine falcon on a rock ledge with leafless trees behind it.
Peregrine falcon at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

NPS Photo

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — A pair of the fastest birds in the world are once again eyeing Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park as their nesting site. 

Peregrine falcons have historically nested in the cliffs of Maryland Heights in the spring. To provide the peregrine falcons adequate space for nesting, the National Park Service (NPS) will close portions of Maryland Heights from Feb. 25 to July 31, 2021. The closure includes several rock outcroppings near the overlook and the following climbing areas: 

  • The Gully

  • Sign Wall

  • ABC Ramps

  • Train Tunnel Wall

  • Confederate Walls

All trails on Maryland Heights and the Union Walls climbing area will remain open. Closed areas will be clearly marked with signs and fencing. 

Peregrine falcons are a sensitive species and have not successfully hatched chicks at Maryland Heights since 1950. 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. 

For more information about peregrine falcons at the park, visit


Last updated: February 24, 2021

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Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


304 535-6029

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