Appalachian Trail to Loudon Heights Trail Loop

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425

Appalachian Trail to Loudon Heights Trail Loop

Appalachian Trail to Loudon Heights Trail Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This hike passes through three states and the town of Harpers Ferry, providing river hiking, ridge crest hiking, and great views. The Appalachian Trail extends from Georgia to Maine. This section of the trail passes through the picturesque small town of Harpers Ferry, the scene of many historic events. The town itself is at the confluence of two major rivers, the Shenandoah and the Potomac.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park attempts to preserve and interpret the local history of the town, particularly during the time of the Civil War. Within the park is the Redoubt Trail, a short, wheelchair-accessible interpretive trail to the cannon redoubt that was utilized in the defense of Harpers Ferry. Special attractions: In Harpers Ferry, one can browse the little shops and “rehydrate” for the remainder of the hike."

Appalachian Trail to Loudon Heights Trail Loop Reviews

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This is a fun trail with great views of Harpers Ferry. Finding the Loudoun Heights trail was tricky. After you pass the gas station there is a small paved area. Look for the small sign a few feet after that.
I must have missed a turn somewhere along this trail. I followed the guide and when I made it back to the Loudoun Heights/AT junction my GPS (and my legs) told me I had gone 13.7 miles. The guidebook and the marker on the trail said I had 4 miles remaining to the Keys Gap trailhead and sure enough my GPS read 17.8 miles when I got there. I did take the side trip to the ATC HQ but that was only about a mile extra. I didn't go off into Harpers Ferry, ATC was the only distraction from the trail. This stretch of the AT is very rocky so wear boots with good support and traction. Large 1-2 foot diameter rocks cover the entire trail for long stretches and look as if they have been dumped from a wheelbarrow in a crude effort to pave the trail. The view from Loudoun Heights was incredible and made the whole hike worthwhile, even if it is 5.5 miles longer than listed. There is a full hike report on my blog at
This was a pleasant loop hike which I intended to start at the Loudon Heights trailhead on route 340 and loop around using the AT northbound with a return to the trailhead. I had to find another access point to the AT in Maryland and hike in the reverse direction because the Loudon Heights trailhead is unmarked and overgrown without blazing for several hundred feet from Route 340. It is located at the far right corner of the parking area .1 mile west of the Exxon Gas Station.
Enjoyed the hike overall. One important note: the difficult to find trailhead for Loudon Heights is .6 miles past the end of the bridge across the river. It is .3 miles past Harpers Ferry Rd.
Hiked just the loop around Harpers Ferry, not the AT connection to Keyes Gap, on a bright and sunny Christmas Day. For an East coast hike we found it very varied an interesting, except for the flat, straight part along the canal tow path. There were interesting views of the rivers, the town, and other hills for much of the hike, which although only moderate, did have lots of ups and downs. We'd definitely recommend and will repeat the hike, in the winter of course, with no leaves on the trees to block the views, and comfortable hiking temperatures.
Wonderful trail, varied hiking conditions from easy to moderately difficult. Directions to trail should note that if traveling from the east, take US 340 towards Harpers Ferry, turn left onto CR 32 and follow it to WV 9. Keyes Gap trailhead is less than 1/2 mile east of CR 32 on WV9. On the trail itself, after crossing the bridge on US 340 you walk along the highway for .2 to .3 mile before taking a left up the hill to follow the Loudoun Heights trail loop. The left here is easy to miss if you are not looking for it. Read the entire trail description before starting out. A fun trail with an opportunity to refresh along the way in Harpers Ferry. Dave & Fran Olney Maryland
This is an excellent day hike with scenic views of Harpers Ferry. Best day hike in Harpers Ferry. Well marked trail that passes through a civil war fort and beautiful views.

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Trail Information

Harpers Ferry
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Local Contacts
USGS Harpers Ferry
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018