Maryland Heights

#1 of 6 trails in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
scenic overlook, civil war fortifications, moderate to strenuous climb

5.3 miles Loop 1299 feet
Dog Friendly
hiking dogs views
Hide Map
Sign up now to see this map!

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.

Tiffany Smith

11 Completed9 Reviews

Great hike. It's challenging for sure but well worth the view at the top. Take you're time and soak everything in. There are several vantage points of Hapers Ferry from the top so be sure to walk around and dont just go to the main lookout.

Dog friendly but check their paws because the stones pretty loose. Not so bad in the fall because the leaves cover the trail.

Jeff Mercier

1 Completed1 Reviews

Autumn Weyant

3 Completed1 Reviews

Jennefer Avalos

43 Completed1 Reviews

One of my favorites. Love Harpers Ferry and Bolivar town. I have come here for years and it never gets old.

Brittany N.

6 Completed4 Reviews

This hike isn't easy, but you're rewarded with beautiful views of Harpers Ferry. As someone mentioned below, Stone Fort trail is definitely a beast if you're not used to steep inclines. For me personally, it was challenging because I have never climbed anything like that before. The Civil War history was very interesting and I enjoyed taking little breaks to read up. Great trail and I can't wait to go back again.

Justin Pochvatilla

9 Completed2 Reviews

completed this hike yesterday. weather was great. trail was in great shape. not overly crowded. it's been very dry so the little bit of actual soil you have is like dust and falls right out from under you on the edges. great view. bring water and make time to take in the view, you'll welcome the break

Don Sherwood

14 Completed11 Reviews

Starts out on a very wide and steep trail. If you go to the Left the Stone Fort trail, it turns into a beast of a trail, if your not used to going up hills. Lots of stuff to see. Bring water, water and water. The Stone Fort Trail is rated as difficult, Over Look Cliff trail is Moderate. Great way to spend my 50th Birthday!

Frank DeCaire

7 Completed5 Reviews

The view from the lookout on this trail is spectacular. The climb is rough, bring lots of water in the summer. I have a whole set of photos of our (Michelle DeCaire) hike up this hill at my blog:

Micah Maly

2 Completed1 Reviews

Short, good workout, views worth it

Ryan Huffman

5 Completed4 Reviews

This trail can really test your determination and stamina going up fairly steep inclines but the view at the overlook is worth every minute of it. The trail itself is fairly short, mileage wise, but the uphills are intense and may present a challenge for inexperienced hikers. BE PREPARED. Bring lots of water and take your time. There is no need to race to the top. The scenery will still be there when you arrive.
There is a very small parking area right near the trailhead but Harper's Ferry is a popular place so don't depend on getting a spot there. You can park in town and cross the river on the railroad bridge or, we parked a little ways down the road and added 4 miles out and 4 miles back of flat hiking along the river on the canal path. Compared to the up and down hills, the flat parts were very easy, just give yourself a few extra hours to get to and from your vehicle.
We did not tack on the extra stone fort loop but look forward to checking it out in the future!