The 9.8-mile stretch of Appalachian Trail leading from Crampton Gap to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is one of the most popular and rewarding AT day hikes in this region, with good reason. It features a secluded forest ridgetop, an exhilarating vista pitching straight down into the Potomac River, and the historic Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal Towpath. Crossing the Potomac from Maryland into West Virginia, the hiker passes from the Northern states into the Southern, from the Union into the Confederacy, from one culture and climate into another. Hike the trail from north to south and the walking is fairly easy with minimal climbing. Natural history features: South Mountain; Weverton Cliffs; Potomac River. Social history features: George Alfred Townsend's Gathland Estate; Crampton Gap Civil War battlefield; Glenn R. Caveney plaque; C&O Canal; Goodloe Byron plaque and footbridge; Harpers Ferry.
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