Appalachian Trail: Harpers Ferry to Gathland State Park

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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Appalachian Trail: Harpers Ferry to Gathland State Park is a 18.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 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 but must be kept on leash.

Length18.7 miElevation gain2,185 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingForestRiverViewswild-flowersFee
Description
Waypoints (0)

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $20 per vehicle or $15 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $10 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $35.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (77)
Photos (927)
Recordings (53)
Completed (503)
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Janine Wilkin
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Hiking

I never understand why more people don't hike in winter. With the leaves off of the trees, a different perspective and more expansive views await versus what some call the green tunnel in spring and summer months. We had the trail to ourselves. The Ed Garvey shelter is fantastic and we stopped here for a brunch and a bio-break at the privy. Weaverton Cliffs is gorgeous. We hiked Gathland to Harper's Ferry which made for less of an uphill climb, but the downhill is long and steep. Parked at Harper's Ferry Station ($20 if you don't have an annual park pass). We didn't stop for lunch this time, but on recent hikes, went to the Rabbit Hole which has outdoor seating with plastic tent/domes and heaters. Good food and charming.

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Ross Colvin
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Hiking

Nice trail, no seriously incline, definately only 11 miles not 18 as stated. rewarded with a glorious view over the river!

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Michael Timo
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Hiking

I did the AT trail from Gathland to Weverton Cliffs and back. Total distance was about 11 miles. It was a peaceful and a not very strenuous hike; however, there wasn’t much scenery until you get to the cliffs.

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Sahar Ortiz
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Hiking

Very beautiful the parking lote is free for today

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Tel McGaha
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HikingBlowdown
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Krissy Nico
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Hiking

Amazing zig zag trail with a VIEW

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kt2xs9p 8rdw7n
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Hiking

The stretch from Gathland State Park to Weverton Cliffs is pretty simple with some minimal rockiness. Great view of Potomac from the Weverton Cliffs though do need to get a bit toward edge of rocks to avoid tree coverage in photos. The switchback trail up/down from the cliffs is pretty neat, but also very skinny. Hiking the long, flat canal trail to Harpers Ferry does seem to go on a bit but was relieved that is mostly shaded. There are also many spots along the way where you can get down to the shore of the river. Didn't stick around much in Harpers Ferry but was nice to hike through and up the staircase.

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Sebastian Chaskel
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Hiking

Great trail. We did it one way from Waverton to Gathland and car-shuttled. I’m happy we did that instead of hiking back and forth—the trail I would say is monotonous enough that I wouldn’t want to do it twice back to back. As our guidebook put it, a lot of this trail has views “of the green tunnel variety.” If doing It again, I would actually prefer to do Gathland to Weaverton, not the other way around, because the lookout point is actually very close to the Weaverton parking lot and it’s nice to have the reward be at the end rather than beginning of the hike. In the 8-minute drive between Weaverton and Gathland there is a family-run Ice cream shop which also sells eggs, pretzels, etc. Good place to stop by after finishing the hike.

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Kaylin Anne
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Lovely day on the AT today! Day hikers like me, weekend warriors and some flip-floppers getting started NOBO from Harpers Ferry. I started at Crampton's Gap and headed south, and decided to turn around at Weverton Cliffs - I was worried that I might gas out if I went all the way into HF. Got a good 12ish miles in. Trail seems to have dried out some since the last person posted - there were only a few patches of mud in the vicinity of the Garvey shelter. Spend some time learning about local Civil War history at Gathland and visit the War Correspondents' Memorial before you head out.

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Christine Rinehart
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HikingMuddy

It’s a 10 mile hike from Harper’s Ferry to Gathland. We car shuttle or pay for a shuttle (HostelHiker people were super friendly today- ask for Aaron). We were going to hike north but ended up starting at Gathland instead and ending in HF. I’ve done it both ways. Easier hiking south, but I really hate the 3-miles of the C&O Canal and like to do that first thing in morning before HF area gets busy and it starts getting warmer. Heading north is a tougher climb up to Weverton but I still prefer that. But we had a great day today hiking south and getting lunch in the not too too crowded HF today. It was a slower hike than normal due to mud and a slower partner. Usually average 2.5 miles/hour- bit slower today.

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Brandon Mandon
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Backpacking

Lovely hike. Started in Harpers ferry and headed north on the AT, stopping at the Ed Garvey shelter a few miles north of weaverton cliffs. Ended up camping there due to rain but the shelter was very nice and there is a spring available to refill water, though it is a steep half mile down the mountain to get to it I recommend filling up there as there aren't any other options for water on the Ridgeline that I saw.

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Michael Flavin
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Hiking

The hike through Harper's Ferry was well worth the drive from Ohio. After exploring the town I headed downstream to take in the views from Weverton Cliffs. The view upstream with West Virginia on your left and Maryland on your right with the Potomac River below and the town of Harper's Ferry in the distance is a beautiful view.

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Elizabeth Sarber
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Awesome view!!

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Jared Pase
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love it

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Sheila Sickler
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loved it

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Loretta McGee
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Hiking

Nice trail, good views of Potomac River. Garvey Shelter is nice. Good hike with a dog. Not overcrowded!

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Isaac Pope
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Backpacking

Ripped through this shit bout 5 years ago. Lovely and burly terrain and steep hills to climb to boot. Stepped on a Copperhead along the way out..

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Krystal Willcox
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Hiking

Nice uphill climb from Harpers Ferry to Weverton Cliffs with a gorgeous view. Nice gradual hike for last 5 miles to State Park

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Dan Franzen
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Hiking

Full disclosure - I did not hike the entire 18.8 miles. I began in Weverton and walked south for about 90 minutes and then headed back. (Still, 10,000 steps!) The trail is essentially a wide bike path covered in gravel. It's not a difficult walk. So, to make it difficult, I went off the path. After a good half-hour on the trail proper, I took a hard right and headed toward the river and then followed a less-maintained path along the river in the direction of Harper's Ferry. This, too, was not too difficult, and there's much more to see (and good pictures of the river, too). After an hour or so, I walked back to the gravel trail and then looked for a way to get to the railroad tracks, which run parallel to the trail. Talk about Americana! There was a freight train sitting there, so I walked alongside it. Oh, but then a train came in the opposite direction, and I thought of Stand By Me, so I moved off to the side. After the train passed and I came to the end of the idle train, it was just me, the sky, and the woods. And the tracks. Anyway, I did see birds and squirrels and a few monarch butterflies, and lemme tell you, it was cool. So the downside to this hike is that the trail is kind of dull - although it is flat and eminently walkable.

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Jonah Carter
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Hiking

very beautiful and the view at Weverton Cliffs was amazing...the perfect hike if you have 5-6 hours to spare.

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Alfredo Hogfat
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Hiking

Done as part of the MD AT hike. Nice area, far less rocky than the northern sections.

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Dan Wayland
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Hiking

Good view. Good parking.

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Alan Bourne
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Hiking

I could not go all the way on this trail. Partly because I had done a couple shorter trails in the morning and maybe it was too tough for me.

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Sahar Amiri
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Hiking

was a nice little hike to go to with friends! Not my favorite trail but it was still nice to do.

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Jim Neff
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Bird watching

I've hiked this trail many times the views n wildlife are amazing. You can see Harpers Ferry where the Potomac n Shenandoah rivers meet. A whole weekend is not enough to explore it all so plan well and don't be rushed

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John Hayward
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Hiking

I did this with my 17 YO son in early September. Was a warm day and with the afternoon came thundershowers. Nice hike from Gathland State Park to Weverton Clifs had lunch, enjoyed the views from there, then hiked back. There are some moderate changes in elevation that you need to be in pretty good shape to navigate. Also there are sections of the trail that are very rocky so where appropriate footwear. The views from Weverton are incredible but if you are there on a nice day expect the cliffs to be fairly crowded. In the last few years I have been to the cliffs 3 times and each time there was a fairly large group on the cliffs (church group, scouts, etc.) Generally I sit, have lunch, let them leave then enjoy some peace and quiet and excellent views. If the distance from Gathland to Weverton is too far for you there is a parking lot at the base of the mountain. Tough high up to the cliffs --mostly switchbacks and can be very steep.. but well worth it

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Emily Hagedorn
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Hiking
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Autumn Smith
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Hiking
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Alaina Alter
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Hiking
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Brian Pieslak
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