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

1 day 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!

Being so used to the Maryland overlook , the Loudon was so much easier , but does have its peaks where it poses some difficulty. At times, the trail is a little narrow! It wasn't much an issue for me because I was hiking alone, but if the trail ever gets busy --which I'm not sure it has equal amount of foot traffic as the Maryland trail. All views are so worth it! The hike as a whole took me roughly 4 hours, with a few moments where I stopped to get some water and help other hikers find their way! The few streams that do pass through the trail didn't pose any difficulty , however; I'm sure during Rainer months it could be a little more difficult in some portions! Overall, such an amazing hike and I plan on bringing my bestfriend back with me!

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

trail running
9 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.

11 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.

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.

13 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.

A bit harder than moderate if it’s a hot day. We had a few dogs with us and they struggled. Bring plenty of water as there’s no creeks on the trail for the dogs. Pay the parking fee or you will get hit with a fine. The parking lot gets very busy so getting there before 830 on a busy day is a must. 4.25/5. Worthwhile trail, it’s a shame the highway is there.

The view is a nice reward for the trek.

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

The view was worth the strenuous hike!

21 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!

The hike is shaded and a little steep. It turned out to be an awesome hike in the woods with plenty of wildlife and a spectacular view of Harpers Ferry at the very end.

This is a vigorous 6.4 mile hike - if going all the way to Split Rock, taking the AT up and traversing the southerly Loudoun Heights trail in one direction and the northerly trail in the other direction. The Split Rock viewpoint is a very worthy destination and rest spot to enjoy an iconic view of Harpers Ferry, the confluence of the Shenandoah River and the Upper Potomac River, and Maryland Heights to the north. The elevation gain is a modest 1,516 ft. It took us about three hours of hiking time. The sounds of traffic on Rt 340 below are a bit distracting for portions of the trail, but on this post-rain day, the more mellifluous sounds of the roaring, swollen rivers was a nice counterbalance. Don't forget to pay the $10 parking fee (self-pay) in the National Historical Park lot; the rangers are active here.

30 days ago

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

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!!!

1 month 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.

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.

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. I started the hike at Gathland State Park (free parking) and hiking south.

Great hike. The view is spectacular!!

A great trail for a peaceful walk with the dog.

A little muddy after days of heavy rain, but still an easy & pleasant hike with the dog.

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