Maryland Heights (Harper's Ferry WV)

  • October 3, 2009 · 10:00 AM

Maryland Heights/ Harper?s Ferry-- it's time to revisit this one, whil it's still warm enough for outdoor post hike dining....

NOTE: this hike overall, is fairly moderate, but with some steep sections. People with knee problems, and people with asthma have had difficulty with this hike; some have had to turn back. Please realistically judge yourself before setting off on this hike.

History combined with beauty! A view, and a little bit of elevation change. Let's hope the weather is nice enough for an outdoor post hike lunch, ice cream, and/or adult beverage in Old Town Harpers Ferry. This is a hike over well-marked trails with many interpretive signs along the way. There are some steep climbs and some rocky terrain.
The first park of the hike features a spectacular overlook of Harpers Ferry and the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. However, it doesn't come easily. The trail climbs steadily up a picturesque stream valley to a side trail leading to the overlook. The Overlook Trail descends for .5 mi, but is worth it.
The second part of the hike includes much history. The trail climbs to the ridge passing remains of fortifications built by the Union forces in 1862 after their defeat at Harpers Ferry. There are ammunition pits, breastworks, powder magazines, and gun batteries along the trail. The remains of the main fort are at the summit of Maryland Heights. A military camp was located in the level area just below the summit.
If there is time and intereste enough, we can explore the town of Harpers Ferry after. There are also a few nice resteraunts in the town as well. Details:
Distance: 5.3 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1299 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
HikeType: Loop We will meet at the Harpers' Ferry train station parking lot. The NPS charges $6/car for parking there. Parking may be limited (depending on weekend tourist crowds); additionally, the NPS charges $6/car. For these reasons carpooling is encouraged. For those coming from metro Baltimore, the park n ride at Security Blvd (I 70/ I 695 area) is a good place to meetup/leave cars. It's heading in the wrong direction for me; I'll be waiting at the HF train station Well behaved dogs are welcome on this hike (Fido cannot; obviously, enter the exhibit buildings in town proper--although my dog tried her best to do so the last time I was there!

This hike description comes from http://www.localhikes...


From DC:Go north into Maryland on I-495
Exit onto I-270 (from left lane of I-495) toward Frederick, Maryland
Continue on I-270 to Frederick
Continue west on I-70 at Frederick for about 1 mile
Take Exit #52 onto U.S. Route 340 (Charles Town and Leesburg exit)
Continue south/west on U.S. Route 340 to Harpers Ferry (22 miles)
Cross the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and continue west on U.S. Route 340
turn right onto Shenendoah St; follow this to the end (road will curve to the left); the train station will be on your right. From Baltimore: Merge onto I-70 West and continue 35 miles toward Frederick, MD.
Merge onto US-340 West via exit number 52 toward Charles Town, WV & Leesburg, VA.
Continue south/west on U.S. Route 340 to Harpers Ferry (22 miles)
Cross the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and continue west on U.S. Route 340turn right onto Shenendoah St; follow this to the end (road will curve to the left); the train station will be on your right.

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  • Dominic F.

    re: carpooling from Columiba area: I can meet at the Savage MARC station

    address: 9009 Dorsey Run Road
    Annapolis Junction, MD 20701 (Googlemaps works well for getting there)

    grey mazda6, brown dog. Cell is as above. We'd need to leave there by 830.

    October 2, 2009

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