If you have ever found yourself driving along to Maryland on Route 340 then you have driven along the outskirts of Harpers Ferry. The picturesque town sits along the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and is well acclimated for river life offering tubing, kayaking, rafting, hiking, and biking opportunities in and around the water. Once you have had your fill of the chilly water, you can head up to the town and get a bite to eat at one of many locally owned and operated restaurants. See the city site for more info.
The welcome center offers shuttle rides down to the Lower Town area where the heart of the town's tourism lies. For $20 you have a 3 day parking pass in a huge lot with bus access to and from Harpers Ferry. The $20 is per car so load as many in as you can fit!
The Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (EPTA) offers bus routes to Harpers Ferry. The main hub of the buses is in Martinsburg. The EPTA also offers Demand Response trips. These trips are for riders that cannot make it to the designated bus stops. These rides can be scheduled on weekdays or weekends with advance notice and are done within the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe.
Maryland Heights Walking Trail
Just over the walking bridge into Maryland is the Maryland Heights Trail. This trail leads to the top of the mountain over looking the Shenandoah River. This hiking trail has parking on the Maryland side, but there isn't a lot and it fills up quickly! This trail would be rated moderate difficulty.
National Historical Park
Get your fill of history in the National Historical Park in Lower Town Harpers Ferry. The Park offers tons of placards with information about churches, roads, and other buildings are scattered throughout the area for viewing. There are trails for light walking along the river. The park is pet friendly and welcomes our furry friends.
Ties to Warm Battles, and Movements
Harpers Ferry has deep ties to John Brown and his riad on the town to seize the national armory that was once there. U.S. Marines under the command of Robert E. Lee caught and sentenced Brown to death. He was hanged at the court house in Charles Town. Placards, replicas, and refurbished buildings line the Lower Town with its history.
The town is bustling year round with tourism and locals alike. Harpers Ferry (lower portion) and the town Bolivar (the upper portion) and technically two separate places, but locals use Harpers Ferry when referring to both upper and lower town areas. Bolivar holds a school, doctors office, residential areas, a cemetery, a welcome center, and a historic battleground. There is a very high walkability score for the area.
Driving down to the Lower Town in Harpers Ferry is just bustling. Away from the touristy area, though, is a much slower pace even though it is so close. There is a very prominent divide between the Lower Town and the residential areas tucked away behind the tourist shops.
Harpers Ferry offers a variety of homes including townhomes, detached, mobile homes, cabin styled, historical, and more recently built abodes. You can find sprawling subdivisions of homes around the town and on the nearby mountain. Home size varies greatly as well. Both smaller and larger homes can be found around the town with the mountain homes having the most vast variety in size, age, and quality.
River access! There are many places you can launch a boat or join a group for water activities. River Riders is a large water sport outfitter in the area that buses loads of people down to the river. Check out their site for more details on what activities they offer! It's not only water related!
The town is probably one of the busiest tourist areas of the Eastern Panhandle. Harpers Ferry's resides on a very slanted hill. Aside from the touristy parts down lower, the rest of the town is comprised of slimmer roadways back to homes and most of which are on hills. Parking is scarce in the town. You can sometimes find a spot at the train station or along the street prior to getting to the Lower Town area.