Maryland Heights

Harpers Ferry, WV
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scenic overlook, civil war fortifications, moderate to strenuous climb

History combined with beauty! This is a hike over well-marked trails with many interpretive signs along the way. There are some steep climbs and some rocky terrain.
The first park of the hike features a spectacular overlook of Harpers Ferry and the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. However, it doesn't come easily. The trail climbs steadily up a picturesque stream valley to a side trail leading to the overlook. The Overlook Trail descends for .5 mi, but is worth it! For a shorter hike (2.8), return the same way you came.
The second part of the hike includes much history. The trail climbs to the ridge passing remains of fortifications built by the Union forces in 1862 after their defeat at Harpers Ferry. There are ammunition pits, breastworks, powder magizines, and gun batteries along the trail. The remains of the main fort are at the summit of Maryland Heights. A military camp was located in the level area just below the summit.

I-495 to VA 7; west on VA 7 around Leesburg, then right onto VA 9. In about 10 mi turn right ont VA 671, then right (north) ontu US 340. Follow signs to Harpers Ferry National Park visitors center.

National Park Service 304-535-6298

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

I completed this hike today. It was rather enjoyable highly recommend it and of course Harpers Ferry is historical town it's neat to take a look at the past. It was kind of crowded today but it's nice to see so many people really active.

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2 Completed 1 Reviews

It's not that hard. My two 30 pound dogs made it the entire way, blue route and red route, and we parked on the other side of the river. Not nearly as hard as some people are saying. Nice views, cool civil war fortifications at the top

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15 Completed 15 Reviews

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4 Completed 1 Reviews

A nice trail, well marked and not very crowded, although parking was nearly full when I arrived around 11. I went up the blue trail at the fork, although I think it would've been easier to follow the red trail to the blue as it seemed less steep that way to go up, although I would've had to have come down the more steep angle. Lots of Civil War history, President Lincoln even went up a part of the trail, although it states he turned around when it became too steep. Don't do what Lincoln did, there are great views along the way, especially at the top. I brought water, protein bars, hiking shoes, and dressed appropriately. Happy hiking.

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2 Completed 1 Reviews

Awesome trail, great way to spend a morning. In regards to parking, there is no reason to have to park in harpers ferry and walk, as long as you arrive early enough. If you drive along sandy hook/ harpers ferry dr. westbound, there are 3 spaces to pull off and park just after you pass the trail head. Each pull off can fit about 10 cars. If you arrive before 10am I would think you shouldn't have an issue finding parking.

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4 Completed 3 Reviews

I agree with the other reviews... The climb may be brutal at times but definitely worth it! The only problem we had was parking in Harpers Ferry. A local shop owner told us if you want the to park in the train station you have to be there by 11. We ended parking at the national park a few miles away and took the shuttle in. It is usually a 10$ fee but we got lucky because it was national park appreciation day and got in for free. Next time we will go early though. We wanted to do the stone fort trail also but we had to be back to the shuttle by 6:45. I recommend this trail. We saw all ages and fitness levels doing this trail. It may be brutal at times but you can always stop for a breather. I recommend walking around town afterwords. And good hiking shoes!

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

Harpers Ferry is one of my favorite spots in the DC area. The hike is a challenge - I always feel a bit winded when I get to the top, even when I'm in decent shape. The decent is brutal on your knees. However, the view at the overlook is well worth the effort. Plus, the historic town is charming, with plenty of historic buildings, shops, and pubs. Tubing on the Potomac is also a blast, although sometimes crowded.

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10 Completed 8 Reviews

Most reviews describe the overlook. The real challenge is to reach the Civil War camp ruins at the top. I found the climb brutal. The only motivation is Union soldiers had to do it every week -- carrying guns, food and equipment. At the top, you have well marked camp ruins to yourself. Worth it, but brutal climb.

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Carolyn Moore

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3 Completed 2 Reviews

Hubs and I found this trail to be quite a workout for a couple of fairly fit 50 somethings. It is a very steep but mostly smooth trail. The view from the top is well worth the climb! You will want a camera, water, and snacks. Also recommended are hiking boots. I wished for my high tops because it is easy to turn an ankle in some of the rocky spots. Must say, though, we saw all ages and some younger folks in sandals. This is now a favorite trail of ours.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Wow, what an uphill cardio workout! It evens out after a climb, don't turn around! It is so worth it! The view is spectacular! A walking stick, healthy snacks, and water is essential! Lunch at Private Quinn's Pub was fun after too!

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