View From The Heights

Myersville, Maryland

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Hike southbound on Maryland’s Blue Ridge, past Civil War relics, to a sublime, cliff-top view of one of the most historic towns in the United States: Harpers Ferry. A strategic point of great importance during the Civil War, this town is now a hub of outdoor recreation and one of the few through which the Appalachian Trail (AT) passes directly. Taking advantage of Maryland’s long and relatively flat ridges, you’ll walk almost 25 moderate miles to enter Harpers Ferry—the “psychological halfway point” of the AT—much as a southbound thru-hiker would. Excellent overlooks abound on this route, including vistas from White Rocks, Weverton Cliffs, and Maryland Heights. This trip will also take you through countryside that served as a backdrop to some of the most important events of the Civil War; Harpers Ferry was taken eight times during the war and was the site of John Brown’s famous raid—a bloody attempt to spark a slave revolt. You’ll find a wealth of ruins and monuments on the trail to pique your curiosity and spark your imagination.
AMC's Best Backpacking in the Mid-Atlantic

DESCRIPTION FROM:

AMC's Best Backpacking in the Mid-Atlantic

by Michael R. Martin (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

Hike southbound on Maryland’s Blue Ridge, past Civil War relics, to a sublime, cliff-top view of one of the most historic towns in the United States: Harpers Ferry. A strategic point of great importance during the Civil War, this town is now a hub of outdoor recreation and one of the few through which the Appalachian Trail (AT) passes directly.

Taking advantage of Maryland’s long and relatively flat ridges, you’ll walk almost 25 moderate miles to enter Harpers Ferry—the “psychological halfway point” of the AT—much as a southbound thru-hiker would. Excellent overlooks abound on this route, including vistas from White Rocks, Weverton Cliffs, and Maryland Heights. This trip will also take you through countryside that served as a backdrop to some of the most important events of the Civil War; Harpers Ferry was taken eight times during the war and was the site of John Brown’s famous raid—a bloody attempt to spark a slave revolt. You’ll find a wealth of ruins and monuments on the trail to pique your curiosity and spark your imagination.

© 2014 Michael R. Martin/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Myersville
Distance: 24.7 miles one-way
Elevation Gain: 4,206 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Duration: 2-3 days
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 304-535-6331, info@appalachiantrail.org; PATC, 703-242-0315; or the South Mountain Recreation Area, 301-791-4656
Local Maps: USGS Quads: Harpers Ferry, Keedlesville, Middletown, and Myersville
Driving Directions: Directions to View From The Heights

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Apr 2018