Nestled in the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers where West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland meet, Harpers Ferry is a historic town whose lower part is located within Harpers Ferry National Park. The park is almost 2,500 acres wide and it marks the site that inspired Thomas Jefferson to write, "The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature." While staying at a charming Harpers Ferry bed and breakfast, make it a point to pay the Harpers Ferry National Park a visit so you can revel at these beautiful scenic points.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
P.O. Box 65
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425
The Harpers Ferry National Park is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. It is closed during Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. A vehicle pass costs $6 per vehicle, while an individual pass for people arriving on bicycle and foot costs $4. Guided tours are available during winter, spring and fall.
The Jefferson Rock is a pile of enormous masses of Harpers shale that command a view of the Shenandoah River just before it converges with the Potomac River. The landmark in the Appalachian Trail is named after Thomas Jefferson, who stood there on the 25th of October, 1783 and found the view so spectacular, he said that, "This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic." To get there, walk along the sidewalk into town. Make a left turn on High Street. Walk up the Stone Steps on the left and follow the 0.8-mile trail to Jefferson Rock. Note that this hike is moderately strenuous.
The spot where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers meet, The Point is where you can gaze at the gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It takes an easy walk to the scenic vista and there, visitors will see 19th century bridge ruins as well. To get there from your Harpers Ferry inn, walk along the sidewalk into town. Make a right turn at John Brown's Fort. Continue walking under the railroad bridge to the railing that overlooks the two rivers.
Lying on a hill, the Harper Cemetery features a lovely bird's-eye view of the Potomac River and the Harpers Ferry water gap. This 4-acre cemetery was set aside by Robert Harper as he was hopeful about the community's prospects of growth, despite the fact that there were only three houses in the town when he died. To get there, walk along the sidewalk into town. Make a left turn on High Street. Walk up the Stone Steps on the left and follow the trail past Jefferson Rock to Harper Cemetery. Alternately, this viewpoint can be reached by hiking downhill from Lockwood House and heading right towards the woods.
Footbridge to C & O Canal
An easy 15-minute walk to the picturesque overlook, the Footbridge to C & O Canal is where visitors can appreciate a view of the Potomac River rapids, the Blue Ridge Mountains and a railroad bridge. To get there, walk along the sidewalk into town. Make a right turn at John Brown's Fort. Continue walking under the railroad bridge and up the slope. Make a left turn and follow the brick path leading to the footbridge.