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Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
id_6193641
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  In 1894, Washington, D.C. journalist Kate Field, who had a keen interest in preserving memorabilia of John Brown, spearheaded a... more »

Tips:  Make sure to bring a trail map with you. Trail maps are free and located at the Visitor Center. Bring plenty of water and snacks.

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Points of Interest

1. Visitor Center

The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Park passes may be purchased at the fee collection entrance station daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The inscription at the center reads (First Panel):
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is the story of...

Industrial Development and the... More

2. Confederate Victory

This is the trail path used to reach Murphys Farm.

The marker inscription reads:
"The Rebels were all around us and our only refuge was the open canopy of heaven."
Sgt. Charles E. Smith
32nd Ohio Infantry
September 14, 1862

Thousands of Federal soldiers huddled in ravines on Bolivar Heights to escape the Confederate shells of... More

3. Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails

These steps lead you on the trail. Use caution when crossing the road.

4. Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails

This section of the trail is well maintained and shaded by the forest.

5. Murphy Farm

This is the sign indicating the entrance towards Murphy Farm.

6. Home Becomes Battlefield

A home stands here on the farm land as a reminder of how the battlefield impacted home owners.

The nearby marker inscription reads:
The Civil War affected not only the soldiers who fought but the families whose homes and towns became battlefields. Edmund H. Chambers bought this farm in 1848 and lived here with his family until the Civil War.... More

7. The Fate of Harpers Ferry was sealed.

The cannons are pointing towards Bolivar Heights and cannons located at Bolivar Heights are pointing back towards Murphy Farm.

The nearby marker inscription reads:
After an exhausting night of dragging 20 cannon along the river and up the ravines to this site on Chambers (Murphy) Farm, General A.P. Hill and his 3,500 men sprang their trap on the ... More

8. Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails

The trail leads to a small creek. There is a trail that continues past the creek, but the trail is not maintained by Harpers Ferry National Park and it is private. This is also a great spot for pets to cool down and get wet.

9. Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails

This is a view of the Shenandoah River. This section of the trail towards the river view is wheel chair accessible.

10. Mountains, Men, and Maneuvers

This spot is good for taking a break and pictures. The view from this position is great.

The nearby marker inscription reads:
Confederate Major General “Stonewall” Jackson could not see this view. His lower vantage on Schoolhouse Ridge, 1000 yards upriver, blocked his sight of this strategic position. Yet Jackson remembered this farm from his... More

11. Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails

This view may be seen a few feet down the mountain from a small path not maintained by the park. Use caution when walking down.

12. A Moving Symbol

The nearby marker reads:
In it really began the Civil War.
Here was lighted the torch of liberty for all America…
For you this is the most hallowed shrine in this country. Henry McDonald, Storer College president

The foundations in front of you mark a temporary site of John Brown’s Fort, from 1895 to 1909. Originally located in Harpers Ferry, the... More

13. Pilgrimage

In July 1896, members of the National League of Colored Women traveled to Harpers Ferry from Washington, D.C. in a pilgrimage to John Brown' Fort located on the Murphy-Chambers Farm.

Mary Church Terrell, the League’s first president, helped lead its fight against lynchings and racial segregation. She described the organization’s mission as: ... More

14. Widelife

Along the trail, deer and other wildlife can be spotted in the woods or open fields.

15. Struggle to the Heights

The slope next to the trail gives you an idea on how difficult it was to drag a cannon down and up the slope.

The nearby marker inscription reads:
Consider dragging 2,000-pound cannon up this ravine—at night. General A.P. Hill’s Confederates faced that task during the second night of battle. The assignment was essential to “Stonewall” Jackson’s... More

16. Maryland Heights

You can see the summit of Maryland Heights from this viewpoint.