Explore To Do Virginia - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I love this trail. It has decent views, rugged terrain, and decent elevation gain. I highly recommend doing this hike clockwise, as AllTrails suggests. A clockwise attack is not only easier, but you save most of the views for the end which is a good pay-off. The fire road portion is boring, but you only have to endure it for about a mile right in the middle of the loop. If you are super anti-fire road walking, you can always skip it via the Meneka Peak Trail that makes the loop a little shorter by cutting through right at the ridge line (also avoiding a 500 ft elevation loss/gain right in the middle of the hike).

hiking
6 hours ago

I strongly suggest taking the red trail to THE overlook and get that iconic view of Harper’s Ferry then taking the beginning of the loop to the stone fort on that side. Having gained some elevation on the red trail, that side of the loop up is kinder. The other side (the first choice for the loop you come to off the red trail) is a real slog uphill.

It is crowded, but the view on the red trail is a great reward. There really are only 1 or 2 views off the loop, but the history and historical markers are great! The loop trail (baby blue and blue marked) wasn’t nearly so crowded the day I went.

Excellent hike! I was initially intimidated but pleasantly surprised with the level of ease I was able to do this. Straight up, straight down. The weather was lovely (low 80s) and all of the other hikers were very friendly. The overlook is completely worth the hike.

Well marked trail with rewarding rock outcrops . Great 1/2 day hike. We like to do this in early spring and late fall.

hiking
4 days ago

I avoided Harper’s Ferry parking by (being really lucky) grabbing a parking spot along Sandy Hook Rd on the Maryland side.

This trail is busy.
Even at noon in July. You will never feel alone!

Shady, well maintained trail that has some good ascents with levels in between, so you don’t feel like you’re pushing uphill the entire time. Because of the heat, and the fact that I had a dog with me, I skipped the upper loop and beelined to the overlook. Absolutely worth dealing with parking and people to get to see this iconic view of Harper’s Ferry at the confluence of the ‘Doah and the Potomac.

I will absolutely be back to this one!

Heavily traveled, iconic photo spot. Parking can be difficult. If you want an easier option, hike up the trail and down the fire road. I have done this on sunset hikes.

AMAZING HIKE!! Absolute smoker if you love hiking for time!!

Some nice views and challenging terrain at times. Walking through the woods was beautiful!

We got out by 7am to beat the crowd. Great hike but kinda did it in reverse taking the fire trail up and came back all the way on the AT. The view is worth the hike which I rate as moderate, not hard. Amazing view!

It was awesome view up there. trail was not that hard. you can finish in around 4 hours if you are doing hiking once in a month or 2.

Fun hike. some fairly steep areas but most trails are wide and easy to navigate.
Great combo of history and cardio!

trail running
12 days ago

My friend and I “ran” this trail during a visit to Harpers Ferry NHP. It was challenging on the way up, and the scenery was so worth it. I recommend the entire loop, the view at the top is stunning.

I really enjoyed this hike yesterday (a Fri.) The ascent (counter-clockwise) to the peak is a workout, but definitely doable with some breaks. You do have to deal with a very rocky trail near the top, not a scramble, but probably challenging if not in decent shape. A bonus about this area is that another 3.2 loop (Jack Albright Trail) trailhead is accessible from the Humpback Rock trailhead parking lot. And you can add on to either as the AT is connected to both. The JAT loop was a perfect 2nd hike after doing the HR loop, basically a walk in the woods. Ranger mentioned that he estimated about 6 bears were active in the vicinity. Only saw many people on the up and back to the HR summit.

Absolutely breathtaking

hiking
14 days ago

The view and trail was great! We are new to hiking and we’re able to complete the entire loop in ~3.25 hours, including stopping for pictures. I recommend parking at the visitors center ($10 per vehicle) and walking or taking the shuttle to Lower Town (5 minute ride); this helps you avoid congestion in Lower Town.

The trail to the overlook was pretty crowded (as expected), but the additional loop up to the 100 lbs battery and fort was almost empty.

Overall, a great hike with worthwhile views/resting points. We will be back.

We decided to kick of the 4th of July with a booty burner hike! It was already 85 degrees when we woke up. We sweated our ass off and got a good hike in. It was around 100 degrees by 11 am. We took the dog and ended up only doing 2.3 miles because he was struggling in the heat and we didn’t want to push him. We passed a dog that was extremely stressed and over heated on the way up. Park service came to assist the owner in getting the dog down the trail to get help. It was hard to see the dog in that condition. I’ve thought about the dog all day and pray he made it. Bring PLENTY of water to hydrate for everyone!!! Great hike. Looking forward to finishing the entire loop another time.

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HOLD SPOTS FOR PEOPLE AT THE PARKING LOT. A woman was backing out of the space and he went and stood in it. I tried to back in. He wouldn't move. I said "Dude move." He said "No, I'm holding this spot." I waited for 5 minutes while he stood there.

Traffic backed up, so I said "I'm goong to take care of this right now", and drove to Harpers Ferry, where I'm waiting on a park ranger to come so we can address this now.

Update: The ranger is meeting me at the spot.

You were a jerk to the wrong person.

hiking
16 days ago

We started out around 8am. As others have mentioned, parking near the trailhead is difficult--we got the last open parking spot. It was the 4th of July, however, so I don't know if it's busy at 8am on a normal weekday.

The trail isn't kidding around. You will go up. And up. And then up a little faster. The incline will push you, but the trail is great and a good route to push yourself in a few hours. If you've got weak ankles or creaky knees, be prepared for some challenges. The decline is steep and very rocky. I'm a big fan of poles--I needed them on the way up, and mom needed them on the way down.

The summit was nice, but the trees hinder your view out. No complaint, nature doesn't bend to the whims of those visiting it. After the summit we went down to the viewpoint. It takes you down quite a bit, and since you need to retrace your steps to continue on your way, you'll be hiking up quite a bit after taking in the view. The view is great, but get ready to find your second wind--you'll need it to get back up to the trail leading you back to the river and ultimately, your car.

We had a great time and we'd definitely recommend.

Oh, bring water. We went through almost 5L between the two of us.

very beautiful hike down to the waterfall and along the creek.

The view is a nice reward for the trek.

Nice little hike with my brothers during a family reunion in Salem in June 2015. Great weather and view in addition to a little geocaching.

This hike is great when no ones around. It's too bad that almost never happens anymore.

The view was worth the strenuous hike!

Agree with previous comments that this is not a hard trail. Maybe moderate. Went with my dogs and it was great!

hiking
24 days ago

Love this little Historic Town! After a good hike, you can catch a bite in one of the restaurants. There's so much to see and do! Not to mention how saturated in history this town is! It's a must hike & see!

Incredible view at the top. Parking lot fills up quickly. Make sure to bring water, theres not any along the trail.

Fantastic hike and awesome view! Quite heavily trafficked (crowded) on a Friday. Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club member staffed the parking lot with trail info and water.

hiking
1 month ago

Tough uphill hike with amazing view of Harpers Ferry at the overlook.

Park opens at 9:00 a.m
Fee$10

Trail from parkinglot starts by mulch pile in back. 2 miles to actual trailhead. You can take a bus from parkinglot to trailhead.
So weather was 92 with 70% humidity. I started my 'Map My Hike' from the parking lot, so in total from parjing lot to summit 10.45 miles with am Elevation of about 1300 ft; parking lot is about 500 ft so elevation gain of about 800 ft. Grade was gradual at about 25% , normal.
Without the humidity it is moderate hike no watering holes or streams so bring a hydration pack.
Trails are primarily old fire road that they covered up to look like beaten paths. Throughout the trails are single tracks with thick brush. Quite rocky in some parts .
Time minus pictures should take you about 3 hours , I recommend you start at 9:00 , whem park opens ...$10 .


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