Places To Go

Within the 3,745 acres of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, there are many places to explore, learn, and enjoy. This page describes areas of the park, links to more information, and features an interactive map of Lower Town.

 
Visitor Center in winter
Visitor Center in winter, NPS Photo/Cook

Visitor Center

We recommend you begin your visit at the Visitor Center (located at 171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425) to pick up brochures and trail maps and to talk to the rangers about the daily program offerings. From this location you board the park shuttle bus, which will take you to the Lower Town area of the park. In the summer season, the bus also makes a stop at the Bolivar Heights Battlefield area of the park.

 
view of Shenandoah Street in the Fall season from the second floor of the John Brown Museum
View of Shenandoah Street in the fall season from the second floor of the John Brown Museum, NPS Photo/Hammer

Lower Town

Lower Town is the most visited area of the park. Historic buildings along Shenandoah, High, and Potomac streets house park museums, exhibits, the park information center, and bookshop. Some of the popular places to visit in Lower Town are John Brown's Fort and The Point.

 
an artillery piece on the fall landscape; in the distance is a gap in the mountains
View from Bolivar Heights in the fall, NPS Photo/Volunteer B. Marman

Bolivar Heights

Bolivar Heights is one of the most important Civil War battlefields in West Virginia -- it was the site of the largest surrender of United States troops during the Civil War. Today, from this location, you can walk beside trenches, take a hike in the woods, or enjoy an incredible vista where you can see most of the park areas from one vantage point. Drive to this location on your own, or during the summer take the park shuttle bus.

 
landscape showing flowering trees, an artillery piece, and a brick church; a sunset is in the distance
Springtime on Camp Hill, NPS Photo/Hammer

Camp Hill

Camp Hill is an area of the park that encompasses armory, Civil War, and civil rights stories. Visitors can drive there directly or hike to the area from Lower Town along the Appalachian Trail. If taking the hike, stop by Jefferson Rock to take in the scenery before exploring the former Storer College campus or visiting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

 
view of Harpers Ferry from Loudoun Heights in May; railroad bridges, the town, the rivers, and canal towpath are all visible in photo
Late spring view from Loudoun Heights, NPS Photo/Volunteer H. Mills

Loudoun Heights

Almost equal to Maryland Heights in elevation and always less crowded, Loudoun Heights offers a bit more solitude and an overlook that is as good as or better than its northern cousin. Loudoun Heights also rewards its visitors with glimpses of the remnants of Civil War campsites and fortifications. The Appalachian Trail south is the only way to the top of the ridge. Then the park's blue-blazed trail leads to the Split Rock overlook and an awesome payoff for all of your effort.

 
view of Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights; at sunset, in the late summer
Sunset view from Maryland Heights, NPS Photo/Volunteer D. Taggart

Maryland Heights

The majority of hikers ascend Maryland Heights in search of a good view or a healthy workout. This mountain offers both hikes and scenic overlooks which will not disappoint. If history is your thing, Maryland Heights has remnants of extensive Civil War campsites and fortifications and its elevation made it hugely important during the war. To access this area, walk from Lower Town across the footbridge over the Potomac River to the C&O Canal towpath then take a left and walk along the path until there is signage for the Maryland Heights trail.

 
close up of grain growing on the farm, the farmhouse and mountains barely peek over the grasses
Grain growing on Murphy-Chambers Farm, NPS Photo/M. Boyce

Murphy-Chambers Farm

The Murphy-Chambers Farm offers hiking, history, and spectacular vistas. Walk down a farm lane and through fields and wooded ravines to see views of the Shenandoah River and the surrounding mountains, as well as Civil War cannons, earthworks, and the footprint of the John Brown Fort. Access this park area by driving or by hiking from the Harpers Ferry NHP Visitor Center.

 
a row of five cannons sit in a field pointed toward a distant tree-covered ridge; large hay bails and worm fence are in between the cannons and the ridge
Cannons on Schoolhouse Ridge North, NPS Photo/Volunteer D. Taggart

Schoolhouse Ridge North

For the Civil War buff who wants to gain "Stonewall" Jackson's perspective of the challenge in attacking Harpers Ferry, this ridge is a must see. The defensive prowess of opposing Union forces on Bolivar Heights simply cannot be appreciated without taking in the sweeping view from the cannons pointed east. Drive to this location on your own or add it to your Bolivar Heights hike. Take note: most of this trail is in full sun.

 
field with farm lane and worm fence during a sunset
Schoolhouse Ridge South at sunset, NPS Photo/A. Cook

Schoolhouse Ridge South

A nice variety of field and forest, ridge top and stream valley, rewards hikers to this area. The bench at the overlook on the southern end of the trail is one of the few places in the park with a view of South Mountain. To access this location, you must drive to its small parking lot off of Millville Road. Don't be alarmed if you hear the sound of gunfire in this area. The indoor firing range of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is nearby.

 
snow covered landscape, showing sycamore trees along a historic canal and a wooden bridge spanning the canal
Bridge to Virginius Island in winter, NPS Photo/Volunteer H. Mills

Virginius and Hall's Islands

Explore Virginius and Hall's Islands to discover how nature has reclaimed a place that was once full of factories and mills, canals and homes. Count how many birds, reptiles, and amphibians you see in this park area. Learn what the ruins used to be while strolling along the banks of the Shenandoah River. Walk to this location from Lower Town or from the Harpers Ferry NHP Visitor Center.

 
Interactive Map of Lower Town

The map below gives you the opportunity to explore Lower Town prior to your visit to Harpers Ferry. Find information about each of the park's buildings, see photos from vista locations, and much more. If you have any questions about the map, please contact us.
 

Last updated: May 10, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Phone:

(304) 535-6029

Contact Us