Top 10 Hiking And Trekking Spots In Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

hiking in harpers ferry
Alex
Alex 
Updated

Bordering Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry is a small town in West Virginia known for its huge role in American history. Despite the town’s size and low population density, Harpers Ferry remains to be one of those places where you get to experience the perfect blend of history, adventure, and nature. The rivers’ geographic location became an important junction point for commerce. It also became the first site for a railroad intersection in the US. When the American Civil War broke out, it’s the only railroad left from that four-year conflict with tracks linking the North and the South. Today, Harpers Ferry serves as a perfect jumping-off point for hiking and trekking around Appalachian Mountains. Read on to see our list of the top 10 hiking and trekking spots in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

1. Maryland Heights Loop

Maryland Heights Loop is located on the Maryland side of the river and is a pretty heavily trafficked area. It is a must-visit destination for hikers due to spectacular views of the rivers and mountains. With its famous looped trail, trekking here is not as challenging so there is no risk of getting lost. Dogs are allowed on the trail, however, they must be kept on a leash. While here, you can also engage in seasonal activities such as zip-lining and horseback riding.

Maryland Heights Loop

Address: Harpers Ferry Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758, United States

Website: Maryland Heights Loop

Opening hours: 9am - 10am (daily)

Price: 10 USD

2. Loudoun Heights Trail to Split Rock

Loudoun Heights Trail to Split Rock is approximately a 6-mi (10 km) stretch of trail that usually begins near Harpers Ferry. Similar to Maryland Heights Loop, this site is also heavily trafficked and busy at any time of the year due to an influx of hikers as well as travelers on historical tours. Dogs are allowed on the trails here but must be leashed. Once you get to Split Rock, expect to be rewarded with some great views of Shenandoah River along with surrounding hills and lush forests.

Loudoun Heights Trail to Split Rock

Address: Loudoun Heights Overlook, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

Website: Loudoun Heights Trail to Split Rock

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

3. Keys Gap to Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry bridge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sallicio used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Keys Gap to Harpers Ferry trail starts on the Virginia side, then goes to West Virginia, and finally concludes in West Virginia. The trail, which is about 13 mi (20 km), is rated as moderate in terms of difficulty. If you plan to trek this trail, make sure to dress in proper gear and bring some food and water. That being said, the trail is crowded every day due to people camping or hiking.

Keys Gap to Harpers Ferry

Address: Keys Gap, Blue Ridge, VA 20132, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

4. Murphy-Chambers Farm Loop Trail

The Murphy-Chambers Farm Loop Trail is a part hiking trail and part museum with tons of local history that can be discovered here. The trail is an easy hike and goes on a loop, so you will end up exactly where you started. The trail goes through fields and offers some great views of Shenandoah River. While here, you will get to see a lot of old Civil War cannons and earthworks. If you want to fill yourself up with history, check out John Brown’s Fort which is one of the most historic buildings in the area.

Murphy-Chambers Farm Loop Trail

Address: 123 Murphy Rd, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

Website: Murphy-Chambers Farm Loop Trail

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)

Price: Free

5. Harper's Ferry Appalachian Trail Loop

Harpers Ferry Trail
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mark Fickett used under CC BY 3.0

Located right near the area of Harpers Ferry, Harper’s Ferry Appalachian Trail Loop is a pretty easy loop that offers some great views of the river on the West Virginia side. The trail has a small uphill section, and it is best to go during the summer months from April to September. The trail is about 2 mi long (3 km), making it an ideal loop for people who don’t want to spend their entire day trekking.

Harper's Ferry Appalachian Trail Loop

Address: 613-699 Harpers Ferry Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758, United States

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free

6. Visitor Center to Split Rock to Lower Town Loop

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Visitor Center to Split Rock to Lower Town Loop might be strenuous but for an experienced hiker, this is the best place around for a challenging hike. Since the trail is long and has different points of elevation, the whole path should take about two to three hours to complete. If you don’t feel like trekking alone, you can take your dog but always keep it on a leash.

Visitor Center to Split Rock to Lower Town Loop

Address: 171 Shoreline Dr, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

7. Virginius Island Trail

Virginius Island Trail is an easy trail to hike that not only offers some jaw-dropping views of the natural landscape but also some interesting sites along the trail. The trail provides bird watchers and nature enthusiasts with a great opportunity to be up-close and personal with the flora and fauna. There is also a turbine, a mill, and the site of John Hall’s rifle works which is a Civil War-era relic.

Virginius Island Trail

Address: Virginius Island, West Virginia. Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, USA

Website: Virginius Island Trail

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

8. Harpers Ferry to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Harpers Ferry to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail, a fairly easy to moderate trail, is open all year long. The trail is about 3 mi (5 km) long and is a good option for people only looking for a leisure walk that won’t take up the entire day. The area is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a perfect place for observing local wildlife and admiring the resplendent beauty of the Potomac River nearby. The trail is open to those with dogs as long as they are on a leash.

Harpers Ferry to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail

Address: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425, USA

Website: Harpers Ferry to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

9. School House Ridge South Trail

This historic trail is not only great for people trekking through the fields but also offers an opportunity to learn more about the town’s rich history. Even though the trails here are not that challenging, it will still take three hours to complete so make sure to have some water, snacks, and comfy shoes with you. Once you get here, prepare to be in awe of the Civil War cannons and old ruins on site.

School House Ridge South Trail

Address: 2083 Millville Rd, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

Website: School House Ridge South Trail

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free

10. Ed Garvey Shelter Via Harper's Ferry

Ed Garvey Shelter Via Harper’s Ferry is 14 mi (22 km) long so it is not recommended for inexperienced hikers out there. Before planning a visit here, be sure to bring enough water and wear proper gear because it’s going to be an arduous trek. The trail is moderately trafficked so you won’t get to see that many hikers here.

Ed Garvey Shelter Via Harper's Ferry

Address: Appalachian Trail, Knoxville, MD 21758, United States

Website: Ed Garvey Shelter Via Harper’s Ferry

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

Hike West Virginia

Aside from hiking and trekking sites, Harpers Ferry takes pride in its scenic paths, stunning rivers, historical sites, and lush forest. During your first-time trip here, you can either go on a hike with your best buds or just feast your eyes on the refreshing views of the rivers nearby. Needless to say, West Virginia is a beautiful place to spend your time outdoors.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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