Explore the PHT
Point of Rocks
See Hike 11.
This is a quintessential railroad town. Stop at the restored depot or visit the Brunswick Railroad Museum and canal visitor center on Potomac Street. Book Crossing, a block from the depot, serves coffee and sells magazines, as well as books on local history. Beans in the Belfry, a couple blocks up Potomac Street, is a funky cafe in a former church building; it serves up organic coffees, wraps and sandwiches. King’s Pizza bakes a fine spinach pie.
This is your chance to take a hike on this world famous trail. To the north, just over a mile away is Weverton Cliffs. The views from here are well worth the climb. To follow the trail turn right (north) just beyond Lock 31 and follow the white blazes. At Harpers Ferry, the AT crosses the bridge into town, crosses the Shenandoah River and ascends to Loudoun Heights in Virginia.
This historic town has been restored by the National Park Service. Exhibits interpret 19th century life in a manufacturing town, abolitionists John Brown’s raid on the federal armory, and Civil War history. The famous "Bloody Stone Steps," which reportedly ran with blood during an 1862 battle, climb a short distance to Jefferson Rock. Near this spot the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote that the view here was "worth a voyage across the Atlantic."
The town features antique shops, B&Bs, restaurants and, a block up Washington Street, an outfitter. Harpers Ferry is served by both MARC and Amtrak. In addition to the C&O Canal, the town features two other canals: the Shenandoah Navigation on Virginius Island and the Armory Canal along the Potomac upstream from the train station. Both date to the early 1800s and feature interesting ruins. Maryland Heights features numerous Civil War trenches and structures which can be seen from a trail that circles above the town. Harpers Ferry also is the home of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC).