Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Appalachian Trail: Crampton Gap to Harpers Ferry

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(144)
South Mountain State Park

Appalachian Trail: Crampton Gap to Harpers Ferry is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Burkittsville, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 9.3 mi Elevation gain 741 ft Route type Point to Point

Dog friendly

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Rock climbing

Snowshoeing

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (17)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

This hike begins in Gathland State Park. The hike out to Weverton is along smooth, flat trails. Prior to the tough switchback descent you will do well to take the side trail (blue blazed) down to Weverton Cliffs. The views both east and west along the Potomac are awesome. To the west you can just make out the Episcopal Church steeple in Haper's Ferry. The descent is steep and rocky but this is followed by several miles of flat, wide, smooth towpath hiking to Harper's Ferry, thus completing the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail.

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (www.patc.net) 703-242-0693

Wear sturdy shoes since the trail is rocky in some places. While this hike is fantastic all year 'round, hiking it in the winter allows for clearer views from the vistas. Each season has it's own reward and the views along the trail in the fall with the trees in their full glory is nothing short of magnificent but the views from the vistas will be partially obstructed while there are still leaves on the trees. There are many well marked historical ruins and structures along the trail and history buffs will especially enjoy this hike. Be sure to being plenty of hydration on this hike as it is rather long.

This hike is intended to begin at Ed Garvey Memorial Shelter. However, you can begin near US 340. Just take MD67 North from 340 and turn right on Weverton Road. On the right is the parking area for the AT. But don't simply start from here towards Harper's Ferry. It is a tough climb but you will miss out on an awesome view if you don't first climb north-east up to Weverton Cliffs.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (144)
Photos (530)
Recordings (131)
Completed (427)
Mike Baum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 08 2020
Running

Good run two miles out two back. Not too rocky.

View Mike's Recording
Rebecca Faeder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 16 2020
Hiking

6/16/20-Well, I missed a crucial point on this hike....it was a point to point hike, not out and back I parked at Gathland Park and hiked to Harpers Ferry. I glanced at my mileage and thought, geez, my gps is off again. I was expecting a 5 mile hike to HF. When I got to the C & O Canal, I realized it was point to point. Luckily, my husband could drive and pick me up. He took me to my car in Gathland park. So, my gps was correct at 10.2. I’d say the hike was on the easy side of moderate. There was a steep decline as you approached 340 and the C & O, but nothing my ASICS couldn’t manage. Another day I’ll do HF to Gathland Park....that’ll be a workout!

Lili Quevedo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 15 2020
BackpackingClosedRocky

This was a pretty solid trail. The Gathland Park part of it was very rocky, and it got a little technical on the decline. The shelter along the way is spacious and has a second floor. The spring for water is about a mile hike one way from the shelter, so be prepared for that. The C&O canal walk was easy. As of Feb 2020, the bridge to Harper’s Ferry is closed, so you will need to drive or call a shuttle.

Chris Helman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 25 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Great trail. Hiked on Christmas Day. Rocky and muddy. Sure it’s better in the summer. Great views along the way.

View Chris's Recording
Gary Manko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 19 2019
Hiking

Perfect

View Gary's Recording
Allison Gunn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 13 2019
HikingRocky

This trail was delightful! we started at the head at Gathland State Park and worked our way to Harpers Ferry. It's probably more like 10.5 miles if you include Weaverton Cliff which would really be your only overlook if there's foliage still up. This is a very gentle, easy part of the AT with the exception of the switch backs a you're coming into Harpers Ferry/Sandy Hook. It was a beautiful day today (and a long weekend), so we saw lots of day hikers as well as full on AT hikers. Everyone was friendly and helpful. I highly recommend this for folks wanting to dip their toes into the AT experience.

Tim B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Sep 01 2018

Planned on doing this hike slow and over two days. Left truck at lot at Gathland and hikes to the cliffs. Stopped at the Garvey shelter to recon the area and continued on. On way back from cliffs set up camp and relaxed at Garvey and met some fellow hikers. We were getting weather warning alerts so I decided to head back towards the truck. One nice thing about an out and back was having the truck there just in case. The trail was ok. Would be better during fall and after leaves come off the trees. Not a lot of view. Trail had some moderate sections. So far impressed with the cond of the shelters. Lots of pride.

Corina Gartland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 08 2018
Backpacking

The uphill hike towards the beginning was very hard but worth it! Make sure to check out the Weaverton Cliffs on the way. Ed Garvy shelter is a decent size but there’s not much room to tent. but the Cranston shelter offers a lot of room to tent or hammock and little room in the shelter.

Brad Urbas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 24 2017

So far one of my favorite hikes! The hike starts in the park with a gradual ascent onto the ridge of the mountain. After hiking in a few miles you will see one of the AT trail shelters, there is a spring about 3/4 of a mile down a steep descent to its location from the shelter if you need water. Continuing on the main trail you will eventually descend down some steep switchbacks that eventually hit the easy stride of the C&O canal towpath right into the historic town of Harpers Ferry. A great way to spend most of your afternoon on the legendary AT.

RaeBeth Boss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 04 2017

this was an amazing hike. I loved the rock formations and the view we had was incredible and so peaceful. It was...breathtaking.

Loretta McGee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 22 2017
Hiking

Best hikes on a weekday!!

Petra Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Dec 08 2016

Ed Garvey shelter can be very crowded. Steep 0.5 mile descend to get to water source

B L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 29 2016
Hiking

Started this hike in Harpers Ferry, parked one car at a church parking lot near the ATC building, the other at Gathland State Park. It took us 4 hrs to complete this one-way 10-mile hike. The highlight of this hike was definitely Weverton Cliff. The 5.5-mile trail beyond Weverton Cliff was mostly flat along the ridge line. Highly recommended.

Joshua Sizemore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Sep 03 2016
Hiking

Crowded but still a great hike

Larry Reeder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 21 2016
Backpacking

Nice starting point for day hike. We started here for our A.T. across Maryland trip. If you do not pay attention you may miss the turnoff for the A.T. The A.T. in this area has many access point so day hikers are common. I can borderline on crowded. See the details on my SPOT adventures sites. https://www.findmespot.com/spotadventures/index.php/view_adventure?tripid=340616

skylar spangler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 08 2016
Hiking

My favorite hike to do in the area. Weverton Cliff is amazing.

Jonathan Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 27 2016
Walking

Ok trail flat between railroad tracks and a river.

Travis Wiles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 14 2016
Hiking

great view

Tom Reed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Feb 22 2016
Hiking

Parked at a small parking lot off of Reno Monument Road and hiked 5 miles south. Would have went farther but the trail was still covered in snow. One good overlook along the route.

Tim Smadealee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2015
Hiking

For the region this was a good hike. Living in the DC area now it's tough to get out and truly experience wilderness and this was a breath of fresh air. Not a whole lot of views, but it nice to see some Appalachian Trail through hikers.

Phil Cole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Nov 17 2014
Hiking

Walking into Harpers Ferry NoBo or SoBo is always a treat. The 1/8 mile descent detour off the A.T. to Weverton Cliffs is an absolute must! The last 2.5 miles before Harpers Ferry are along the historic C&O canal towpath and the beautiful Potomac River.

Paige Rasmussen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 06 2014
Camping

There are three shelters here, and actually four, not two, good places to park along this section of the Appalachian Trail. Two are at Gathland State Park, which is about 4/5 the way up the trail segment. The other two can easily be found at appalachiantrail.rohland.org. Hiking in from Gathland is easiest as the terrain in both directions is an easy incline up the ridges. Hiking in from the South end should be rated 'moderate' or 'difficult' due to the steep and rocky incline/decline. We parked at the south side of the park as well as at Gathland for a nice ~8 mile hike one way, and slept at the Ed Garvey shelter, which has a privy and a couple of lean-tos.

Tom Massing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Sep 27 2012
Hiking

Great veiw. Agree with the previous reviewer that you sould eat at the overlook. Several good spots.

Lisa Holliday
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 03 2012
Hiking

Another cool variation on this hike is to leave a car at the parking lot on Weverton road, just below the hill climb to weverton cliffs, then drive further north on 67 into maryland to gathland state park. Head south on the AT. And a few miles up is ed garvey. Then tool on down to your other car. Or for a nice extra long day, go on to harpers ferry - the 3 miles along the C&O canal on the way to HF give your dogs a much needed break.

Dogo Argentine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 05 2012
Hiking

Wonderful 7.4 mi hike from South Mtn Inn (Alt 40) to Gathland State Park on 12/30/11. The Inn has ample designated hiker parking. Thumbs up! Rocky Run Shelter is a 2mi/1hr level hike. Shelter is very cool and worth peeking at. Proceeded up the long 1.5mi ascent to Lambs Knoll. I'm not in great shape but made it there slow but sure (in 1:15hr). The views start up here. A short jaunt down brings you to White Rocks. Magnificent!! Overlooking the Middletown Valley. What a treat! The next couple miles is along the top of the ridge with splendid views and vistas. Winter hiking affords the better views b/c of lack of leaves. The views end as you walk along a spacious path with an easy gradual descent all the way to Gathland. The last 1/4 mi is steep and my knees felt it. The 7.4mi took us 3:45hr. (We dropped a car at Gathland in the a.m. so we wouldn't have to RT) I look forward to going again. Of note, I think the SoBo is easier than the NoBo. NoBo from Gathland would be that steady 3.5 mi ascent to Lambs Knoll and that might be more challenging than my SoBo was. Great dog hike. No rocky challenges or dangers. Kids, maybe. Might be too long for them.

Steve Covington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Nov 22 2011
Hiking

Started actually in Harper's Ferry and headed N to Pennsylvania.. Really liked HF area. A lot of historic interests. Hike out to Ed Garvey, as mentioned, is not exactly flat and easy.. Beyond Ed Garvey makes for a decently easy hike... Been doing the trail in sections for years and really enjoyed this part.. Was on in June.. Very hot that week. Had 7 days to get to Penn, and took my time and still managed to arrive in 4.. State of Maryland has some beautiful sections of trail.. Highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get a taste of the AT to see if it's for them..

Ayla Kayhan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking
View Ayla's Recording
Rebecca Bieber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking
View Rebecca's Recording
Showing results 1 - 28 of 144