Explore the most popular trail running trails in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Park opens at 9:00 a.m

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 .

Have fun

This was definitely one of those, work but worth it hikes for us. We had read the previous reviews and have to agree that this is slightly more difficult than moderate but not quite strenuous. We did the entire 6+ miles and don't regret it. We had about 3 liters of water total and some snacks for energy along the way. We found that pacing ourselves really helped and we were able to finish it.

The red trail to the outlook was definitely a lot more populated but I'd say don't leave without seeing the view of Harper's Ferry town from the overlook. We went to the top of the blue trail and while it was pretty, there wasn't much of a view. At one time there may have been but in mid June it was very overgrown and no real view.

Will definitely go back!

A great challenging short hike which has been blocked off recently after our recent Maryland torrential rains. I'm unsure if I can access the trail by going over the footbridge from Harper's Ferry but the access roads are blocked as of 6/19. I doubt the footbridge on the weekends because of tourism and/or parking. This hike is strenuous...period. If you look at the grades of slope in the different sections...it is steep. Even going down is interesting at times. There is no water or restrooms so take water. I say that because I see people/tourists going up completely unprepared/uninformed like it was a walk to the local park. I've only done the overlook...1.5 miles up and down...and easily a 1300 calorie burn with the grade. I'll do the summit when the roads open up again. I live in the immediate area.

I love this trail. The terrain is varied and there are some areas that are pretty challenging, especially when muddy. I hike with my German Shepherd and she’s able to handle this trail easily. There are some really narrow spots where I have to pull her off the trail to make room if someone is passing, but that doesn’t happen often. We generally go early in the morning and run into few other hikers. Parking is easy in the lot next to the bridge if you get there early enough, but on sunny weekends or after 10:00 or so it’s hit or miss.

I’ve been to harpers ferry before for whitewater rafting and knew I wanted to take on this hike.

Today, was finally the day and let me tell you something, it was NO joke. It was absolutely gorgeous, however; beware that the inclines are steep—as most reviewers have said.

I live in central maryland and made it to the area around 8:33am—which I would have to say was amazing timing. I only saw about two to three people on my way up the trail, however; during 10:30, when I was descending I saw larger crowds.

The trail is ranked moderate, but I’d be aware that it can be extremely difficult. During the hike you can either go to the summit-which is a 3.3 mile hike up an EXTREME incline—or go the scenic route—which is 1.3 miles and I can’t speak on the trek unfortunately because that wasn’t the route I took.

I challenged myself to the 3.3 mile hike and while it was difficult, I don’t regret any moment of it. As a previous reviewer said, there is hardly anyone up at the summit. To my knowledge, most hikers go just for the scenic route.

There were some loose rocks, which isn’t abnormal at all-especially considering the amount of rainfall the area has been experiencing recently (SO BE CAREFUL).

Once you reach the summit, it’s absolutely worth! The breeze and structures up there-mainly stone walls-from the civil war era took you back in time. Headed back down the mountain, the trails are a little narrow, but nothing to complain about because it’s not traveled by many people.

There are clear markings on the trail, so you won’t get lost. It’s literally one big circle!

I wore nikes on my trip—which was probably a mistake on my behalf! Just make sure to wear comfortable and supportive hiking boots, shoes, or athletic shoes!

I’ll be back again with my best friend and totally would recommend this to anyone!!!

25 days ago

Loved this hike. Excellent historical information on the trail— and that view, wow!

The start of the trail was an easy walk from the parking lot. We took the white, orange and then blue route the way up and saw all three overlooks. The way up is pretty steep at the beginning but definitely doable. Steady downward slope all the way back made it a bit slippery since it just rained all night.

Be advised: The parking lot has a $10 entrance fee but no one was there to collect it so our car had a ticket when we got back.

I loved this hike. I hit a snag though bc I read the review that said to take the first left, blue. The first left, at the first fork, was red/orange. I stayed on it though, and it was beautiful. So, for me, I parked on 32 as recommended, took the white (AT) to the red at the first fork. After the first fork, the red turned to orange. Then, I hit blue. Coming back, I took the blue to the white and back to the car. 5.14 miles from the car. Beautiful hike, and exhausting and only 5.14 miles! The humidity was high, and there was no breeze!

Great hike. The view is spectacular!!

A great trail for a peaceful walk with the dog.

This is one tough hike. But well worth it. The views at the top of the mountain is beautiful. It overlooks the town of harpers ferry. I hike it at least once a month. A must do

1 month ago

I thought I was in shape until I walked this "moderate" trail. How wrong I was! This is one of the most strenuous trails I have done in months. The overlook at the top was beautiful & well worth the photos I was able to get... but I would have prepared more for the walk if I had known just how difficult it was going to be. Take lots of water.

This trail is NOT moderate. It is strenuous, but worth every step. stunning vista view is your reward for a challenging climb.

We hiked this March 24, 2018, after a small blizzard in the area. It was absolutely magical! There was almost a foot of snow. Beware... this trail gets icy FAST. We had poles and microspikes, and used them most of the hike. The people without spikes looked pretty miserable. This is a steep trail, but offers great views at the end!

solid hike with my two dogs.prefer the hike to md heights

Did a 2 night camping trip starting from Harper’s Ferry visitor center, which allows you to park for 3 days for $10. This adds about 0.50 miles one way to your journey.

At key’s gap you can get food and water at a gas station 0.3 miles down the highway that intersects the trail.

Hiked past Keys Gap as far south as “trail to blackburn trail center”, which is about 3.5 miles past the David Lessner Memorial Shelter and has an ok view. From there I doubled back. Several camp sites along the way, deer sighting, flowering trees and butterflies.

On my way back, about 1 mile before reaching Harper’s ferry, I took the blue blaze trail at the junction to get some nice views of the river. This will add a couple more miles to your trip. It’s worth it because this section of the AT is all woods and doesn’t have great views.

Great hiking!

1 month ago

I went in the afternoon on a Thursday. Parking is difficult near the trailhead, but I waited about five minutes and somebody finished s joke and moved their car. This is a great work out, which is why it’s one of my favorite local hikes. But the mileage is confusing. Is it 2+ miles to the Overlook the most direct way? Not sure. But I completed it in about an hour and a half -spent half an hour admiring the amazing view of the “toy” town of Harpers Ferry at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers! Especially lovely in the spring when the redbuds have blossomed and trees are turning that vivid Spring Green!

1 month ago

great hike

2 months ago

Easy/moderate. Pretty good views but can be SUPER crowded on weekends. Parking is a bitch. But the trail itself isn’t too bad. Will be back there again

Wonderful hike! My daughter and I completed the 4.3 loop and found it challenging but enjoyable. It is quite steep but if you enjoy the beauty of the woods with occaisional glimpses of the river you will like this hike.

2 months ago

First 30 to 40 minutes steep climb to the Civil War era Union fort is strenuous. But once you reach there its all flat and down hill to the overlook. Great workout, great views and interesting history.
I was able to park at trail head due to coming here early on a weekday. Did not see anyone at top .. which was awesome!

2 months ago

We found this walking/ hiking trail tiring and exhausting but it’s worth it once we reached the cliff .. beautiful views of Harpers Ferry town and surrounding rivers..

2 months ago

I would rate this trail as hard, not moderate, because it is steep the entire way up and it doesn’t level out much at any place, but the view at the end is totally worth it! Not a trail for the faint of heart. Also, I would recommend bringing extra water bottles!

Great work out!

GREAT climb. challenging for first hike of the year...but so glad we did it. Harper's ferry appears like a model train set from that high up. We both said Wow!

Very well established trail. Great vista with beautiful view of Harpers Ferry. More crowded than I would have liked.

My ankles are a bit sore, and I have a blister or two, but this hike was awesome! It kicked my butt but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The orange path was pretty rough, kinda steep. A lot of dogs on the path which surprised me. I don’t think my doggo could handle it, but they seemed just fine!

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