10 Things to Do in Harpers Ferry That You Shouldn't Miss

October 4, 2017 Marlin Saiz

Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. It was formerly spelled Harper's Ferry with an apostrophe and that form continues to appear in some references. It is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers where the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet. It is the easternmost town in West Virginia. The town's original, lower section is on a flood plain created by the two rivers and surrounded by higher ground. Historically, Harpers Ferry is best known for John Brown's raid on the Armory in 1859 and its role in the American Civil War. The population was 286 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Harpers Ferry

1. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 +1 304-535-6298
Excellent
70%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is indeed one of the crown jewels in the National Park Service. Covering over 4,000 acres in 3 states (WV, VA and MD) at the scenic confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers and the Potomac River water gap through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Park features an amazing diversity of American History all in one place: Great figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant, "Stonewall" Jackson, JEB Stuart, Philip Sheridan, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kate Field and many others swirl around Harpers Ferry like a whirlwind! The C&O Canal National Park, Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail all converge at Harpers Ferry NHP. Twenty miles of hiking trails in the Park offer more than a one weekend getaway. Local private businesses offer whitewater rafting, tubing, fishing and many outdoor activities, along with dining and overnight accommodations. Come visit beautiful Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and be swept away by the mountains, the rivers and the history for a visit you and your family will long remember!

Reviewed By AlisonsD4 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We stopped here on a rainy Wednesday afternoon during Spring Break. It probably would have been stroller friendly if it hadn't been raining and we could have left the stroller outside in smaller exhibits. The park itself is very interesting with plenty to keep my tweens interested. You walk around and different buildings have different displays.

Many of the shops in the area were closed that day and there aren't many food options either. That was the only drawback to the date/time (or perhaps weather?) for our visit.

2. River & Trail Outfitters

604 Valley Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758-1332
Excellent
75%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 411 reviews

River & Trail Outfitters

River and Trail Outfitters of Knoxville, Maryland has been family owned and operated since 1972. River and Trail offers guided and unguided white water and mellow water rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing trips as well as biking hiking, climbing and cross-country skiing in the historic and scenic Harpers Ferry, WV area. We also sell new and used canoes, kayaks and paddling accessories located in our shop. Check out our website for details on our various trips, ranging from our Paddle N Wine Tour to our Team Building

Reviewed By vrobert132 - Madison, Wisconsin

Our experience with River & Trail Outfitters was great. The staff is so kind, welcoming, and accommodating; you could tell they truly wanted us to have the best experience as possible. We did the Shenandoah River Float, which was exactly what we were looking for. Very calm river, beautiful scenary, and just enough current to help you along the way.

The food was definitely better than we expected, and the starting point was easy to find and clearly marked. Shoutout to Wayne, Ryan, Will & Maury who helped make our experience unforgettable! Our large group of 70 people had a blast spending the day outdoors with the crew. Nothing but the most pleasurable experience!

3. Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters

799 Washington St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-6998 +1 304-535-6331
Excellent
74%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 171 reviews

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters

The main visitor center for the Appalachian Trail and one of the most famous landmarks on the entire 2,190-mile national scenic trail. It's considered the 'psychological half-way point' on the Appalachian Trail. All are welcome, from tourists to "thru-hikers" walking the entire trail. The center has exhibits, a gift shop where you can purchase maps, books, and souvenirs. A 10-foot 3D map shows the entire East Coast, with a miniature replica trail shelter built into the back side. A hiker lounge offers long-distance hikers a place to relax and recharge, with cold and hot drinks available. A collection of more than 25,000 photos of hikers taken since 1979 is one of the most unique features. Those intent on walking the entire A.T. will have their photo added to the collection, but anyone can take a photo of themselves out in front on the sign for a memorable snapshot. By visiting Harpers Ferry, you'll have already started the 14-state challenge, which encourages hikers to visit one location in each of the Trail's 14 states. If you visit lower town historic Harpers Ferry just a half mile away and walk across the footbridge over the Potomac River, you'll have already completed two states.

Reviewed By Kelli D - Winchester, Virginia

I love this place! It's small, but it's rich with stories from the past and provides visitors with a window into our fascination with the trail in the present. You may meet a few thru-hikers during your visit, since it is the midway point for the Appalachian Trail. You'll also be able to take a look at an enlarged map of the trail and a book of portraits of previous thru-hikers. Each of the portraits are dated. A friend and I once took turns looking for a thru-hiker who passed by on our birthdays. There's a lot of great items available there too. Look here before buying your Harpers Ferry souvenir!

4. Elk Mountain Trails

921 Hoffmaster Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758-1216 +1 301-834-8882
Excellent
64%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
11%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 26 reviews

Elk Mountain Trails

Reviewed By Dave S - Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania

We had a great time at Elk Mountain Trails.
We are all novice riders and the staff made us feel comfortable and safe.
Savannah was our guide and she was knowledgable and friendly. The horses are beautiful and well groomed. We enjoyed meeting Mr. Soldier, the local farm cat as well.
They offer lots of ride options.
Our only regret was that they don't offer tours during the week, only Friday through Sunday, or we would have gone back for another ride.

5. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Harpers Ferry Center, 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 +1 304-535-6331
Excellent
84%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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5 based on 83 reviews

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Very long hiking trail spanning over 2,100 miles and 14 states.

Reviewed By podrozniczka60 - New Jersey

We walked many sections of Appalachian Trail in several states and majority of areas -if not all - are truly beautiful. In Harpers Ferry the Appalachian trail visits the town and for the long distance hikers it is a customary stop for rest, supplies and gear repairs. While visiting the town you will certainly see a lot of great little stores catering to hikers. The sections of Appalachian Trail near the Harpers Ferry are gorgeous and worth exploring even if only for a day trip. The views of Shenandoah and Potomac rivers from many points are breathtaking.

6. The Point

Shenandoah Street and Potemac Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
Excellent
73%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 47 reviews

The Point

Reviewed By Brittany_11_10 - Los Angeles, California

Great place to view the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, especially in mid-October when the leaves are starting to change colors. Kind of a "must-see/do" if you're in Harpers Ferry.

7. St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

110 Church St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 +1 304-725-5558
Excellent
50%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
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Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

Reviewed By Ena314 - Statesboro, Georgia

Very beautiful old church, great stop on the way to the Thomas Jefferson rock when you are in the Harpers Ferry National Park, where you can enjoy both: a natural beauty and historic attractions. Excellent combination, very rare in the world.
It some kind remind me Le Mount Saint Michel in France. You have to put some efforts to get there but the view is awesome.

8. Jefferson Rock

Shenandoah Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 60 reviews

Jefferson Rock

Reviewed By Ena314 - Statesboro, Georgia

Just a short trip from Washington,DC or Gettysburg, PA or Frederick, MD.
Jefferson Rock is a rock formation on the Appalachian Trail in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. It consists of several large masses of shale rock, piled one upon the other, that overlook the Shenandoah River just prior to its confluence with the Potomac River. The name of this landmark derives from Thomas Jefferson, who stood there on October 25, 1783. He found the view from the rock impressive and wrote in Notes on the State of Virginia that "this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic".
It is definitely worth for you to see it. One of the best view in the US.

9. Armory Canal Trail

Potomac Street Extended, Harpers Ferry, WV +1 304-535-6029
Excellent
61%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
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Poor
2%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 40 reviews

Armory Canal Trail

Reviewed By PfeiffersOnTheGo - Curtice, Ohio

This trail is best discovered first as part of a Ranger Guided Tour with Harpers Ferry National Historic Site. The tour doesn't go the entire trail but it provides LOTS of information on the ruins and historical changes of business and industry that the area has experienced. None of this can be seen by just visiting the town.

10. John Brown's Fort

Shenandoah Street and Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
Excellent
41%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
29%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4 based on 67 reviews

John Brown's Fort

Reviewed By ipbchlvr - Whitehall, Pennsylvania

we were there in the evening so it was not open. we walked around it and read the plaque. it is not in the original location. worth a stop just to check in out for a few minutes

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