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Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

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PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
posts: 1,663
reviews: 82
Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

We will be visiting Harpers Ferry National Historical Park for a day later this month. Please share any "not to be missed" things to do or see. Recommendations on where to eat will also be appreciated.

10 replies to this topic
Lehigh Valley...
posts: 16
reviews: 17
1. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

I realize this is a old thread but curious how your trip was. We are planning to visit Harper's Ferry in July and I have been wondering the same questions you asked.

PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
posts: 1,663
reviews: 82
2. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

Our trip to Harper's Ferry was wonderful. We ended up packing a picnic lunch which we ate at the Visitor's Center before boarding the bus that takes you to the Lower Town District. Our day was spent leisurely walking around the Lower Town District. We departed before dinner so we didn't eat anywhere in Harper's Ferry. Unfortunately, I never got any response to my initial post, so I'm not sure if there are any "hidden" treasures in Harper's Ferry. I hope you have an enjoyable visit!

Lehigh Valley...
posts: 16
reviews: 17
3. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

thanks for the quick response. We will be staying about 10 miles away from Harper's ferry in Maryland. I am planning on one day to visit Harper's ferry and do some hiking and check out the town. I was surprised there aren't any trip reports posted that I could find. From what I can tell one day in town would be adequate to see the sights.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 10,645
reviews: 36
4. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

Hf doesn't need a whole lot of planning. There are restaurants up and down main street. I have eaten in a number of places but nothing stuck out so strongly so remember but if you check menus, you will find something. You should take a walk across the bridge to other side of river. You should listen to the park service talks. Lots of great history.

PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
posts: 1,663
reviews: 82
5. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

One day is definitely adequate for Harper's Ferry. It's a relaxed atmosphere, you can roam around at your own pace and not feel rushed.

Grapevine, Texas
posts: 65
reviews: 31
6. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

Hi there. I lived not far from Harpers Ferry until I was 10. I got to go back a few years ago and spent most of the day there. Bring good walking shoes. You can take the tours and then wander off on your own too and go across the bridge and over to the C and O canal tow path and trail too. Lots of fast moving freight trains come through so if you are a rail fan that will be cool to see them go into and come out the tunnel.

We used to get to spend a lot of time there by the river and going to the ice cream stand across from the train parking and depot. My Granddad was born at lock 26 (Woods lock) on the c and o canal. It was so cool to be able to ride bikes from there up to Harpers Ferry.

Depending on how much time you have in the area look up Whites Ferry too and maybe take a detour to see it and ride across. Have fun!

Washington, DC
posts: 590
reviews: 121
7. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

We live in Washington DC and when we do Harpers Ferry (about every other year) we stay three nights, with an agenda something like this:

Day 1: Check into either KOA or hotel (we stay at Econolodge or the cottage with electricity at KOA). If we stay at KOA, there are enough activities right on the campground to keep you busy at least for one day whether you break those activities up or just spend one day doing them and hiking around the campground.

Day 2: Kayaking is only $29 and includes everything at River Trail Outfitters (park and paddle) on the Shenandoah River. It's walking distance from KOA (they even have a dedicated nature trail direct to RTO). Evening, have dinner at one of the top rated TA restaurants in Harper's Ferry. If kayaking is not your thing (it's easy even for beginners on the smooth park and paddle venue) then replace with tubing.

Day 3: Hike down through Harpers Ferry (town) and cross the bridge over the Potomac River, then up to Maryland Pass Overlook (I think that's the name). Good moderate hike (no rocks to scramble) - if you don't hike somewhat frequently, take your time going up. Coming back down is a breeze. Dinner at another top rated TA restaurant in HF.

There are lots of great activities to do on the River Trail Outfitters website.

Day

Washington, DC
posts: 590
reviews: 121
8. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

Correction: Not "Maryland Pass" - "Maryland Heights".

Lehigh Valley...
posts: 16
reviews: 17
9. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

great info thanks everyone! We will be camping at the tree house campground in Maryland (10-15 minutes from HF). We plan on spending one day exploring HP, mostly hiking. Thinking about River Trail Outfitters for tubing but waiting to see what the weather is like (possible thunderstorms).

Iowa
posts: 1,291
reviews: 327
10. Re: Not to be missed in Harpers Ferry

Make sure you spend some time walking along the canal. There's a trail that goes from the Visitor's Center to the historical park, and much of it goes alongside the old canal. I saw huge turtles, fish, and a blue heron when I walked it.

I also enjoyed looking around and taking pictures of the buildings in the historical part of town. With some of them, you can go right inside, and they're decorated like they would have been in the old days. The general store had reenactors there the day we went.

Another must do is to walk up to Jefferson's Rock. You can go further if you want too. I went up to the cemetery, which was interesting.

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