2022 Harper’s Ferry

Harper's Ferry as seen from Maryland Heights where the Shenandoah River (from top left), flows into the Potomac (right to left).
Harper’s Ferry as seen from Maryland Heights where the Shenandoah River (from top left), flows into the Potomac (right to left).

Jess and I got away for a long weekend of visiting Harper’s Ferry and celebrating our two year wedding anniversary. Harper’s Ferry was the site of an armory and where two rivers converge. It was the site of Civil War battles and just across the Potomac was a canal. It’s also directly on the Appalachian Trail with a lot of hiking right from town into the three states that all converge there – WV(where Harper’s Ferry is), MD across the Potomac River and VA across the Shenandoah River.

Panoramic view of Stone Tower Winery.
Panoramic view of Stone Tower Winery.

On the way up we visited a couple of wineries including Stone Tower Winery and 868 Estate Winery. By evening we made our way to Harper’s Ferry and checked into our AirBnb just a couple blocks outside of the main downtown area. We went for a walk around town and found The Rabbit Hole for dinner.

Harper’s Ferry has very little parking in the town. There a little bit at the train station, but most people park just outside of town and take the shuttles in. Those shuttles don’t start running until 9am, so we found it advantageous to get out of our AirBnb just before then each morning to get breakfast or see things before anything was crowded.

The next morning we ventured by car to the Country Cafe for a diner-style tasty breakfast. We returned to town and by mid-morning we set about hiking up Maryland Heights – a out and back trail about 5 miles round trip and took us around 2.5 hours. It started by crossing the river and then taking us up a hill that overlooked the town and the confluence of the rivers there. Thankfully we went early before it got too hot and before more people were on the trails.

In the evening we wanted to go out to a nice dinner, but some of the places we had looked at were closed or not good choices for us for various reasons. We had a place picked out in Frederick MD – about 30 minutes away only to find it closed for a private event. So we explored the area and found a tapas place that could seat us after a short wait. It ended up being fantastic.

Saturday we started our day exploring Harper’s Ferry the town and seeing all of the historical buildings and museums. We also checked out the shops and had lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the river. The town certainly has an interesting history and it was neat to see how it evolved over the couple hundred years since it was settled and as it was utilized for different purposes. Once we had seen all there was to see, we went for a short hike along the Shenandoah River that took us up to Jefferson Rock and then we came down through Virginius Island. That was 2.1 miles and took us just about an hour.

Jon and Jess at Jefferson Rock
Jon and Jess at Jefferson Rock

We got some time to enjoy the front porch on the AirBnb and then had dinner at Isabella’s pizza – knowing they had a gluten free option that was pretty good. Our final stop for the evening – was a ghost tour of Harper’s Ferry that started at the church just down the street from our AirBnb. Being just a week before Halloween there was a very large crowd making it a little hard to move through town and hear anything other than just the spiels at each of the stops.

Jon and Jess at Stony Man Hike
Jon and Jess at Stony Man Hike

On Sunday we hit the gift shop in town and then got on the road to drive down Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. We weren’t the only ones with this idea and by the time we arrived around noon it took us nearly 45 minutes of waiting in a line of cars to get through the gate. Once we were in traffic moved and we were able to mostly stop where we wanted. We picked one hike to the top of Stony Man which went about 1.72 miles and just under an hour. It was a nice view, though crowded. We finished the 3/4 of skyline drive we haven’t previously driven before turning for home.

PICTURES

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