Visit Harper’s Ferry for a Taste of History in a Beautiful Natural Setting

Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park is rich in history, with it’s preserved buildings including John Brown’s Fort and St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. But it’s also part of the Appalachian Trail, and sits along the confluence of two might rivers, nestled amongst mountains with sweeping views and vigorous hikes available inside and beyond the park.

To visit Harper’s Ferry, park at the Visitor’s Center and check inside for maps and information. Then take the short ride on the shuttle down to the historic town. You can walk from the shuttle drop off point along the street and see various historical stores, a boarding house, and small museums along the way to John’s Brown Fort. Brown and his small army of 21 men invaded the town and took over the federal armory, arsenal, and rifle factory, in an attempt to disrupt the violent system of slavery in our country. It was a turning point that contributed to beginning of the Civil War.

Go a bit further, and you will see The Point, where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers intersect, creating the border of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland – fun for all geography lovers! Go further still, and walk across the Potomac River on the pedestrian bridge. You may find a train rolling along by beside you. On the other side of the bridge, you can access the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park towpath.

Turning back in the opposite direction, and heading upwards along the mountain in which the historical town sits, you will see St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, the only church which survived through the Civil War. It’s a pretty building with a gorgeous view across the Potomac, and out to the Point. The road you walk to get to the church also happens to be part of the Appalachian Trail.

Continue upwards past the church, and you will come to Jefferson Rock, from which Thomas Jefferson claimed the view was, “worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” Deciding whether or not you agree is one more reason to visit Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park.

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