Many trips often ask you to make a choice: explore the great outdoors, or spend time touring the city. Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park says why not both? This historic park combines the historic reenactment town charm with beautiful park views. Whether you want to spend a day in a museum setting, hiking, or learning about the colonial era of our nation, Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park has a little something for everyone.
History is alive in Harper’s Ferry, with educational experiences all around you. Whether you stop into a shop and see how things were made in the colonial days, or see the local military regiment, head to the John Brown Sesquicentennial. Even where Harper’s Ferry rivers sit on are historic; the Shenandoah and the Potomac, where George Washington himself crossed during the Revolutionary War, and these rivers had prominent roles during the Civil War as well. Harper’s Ferry is one part colonial town, and one part nature walk, making for a fun and educational trip each time.
Much of the town is assisted by great reenactment actors, from the John Brown Sesquicentennial unit, to those found in the historic shops. And if you want to get a real sense for how life was back in the day, separate tickets are available to learn how to make pies, blacksmith, sew, and more, just as they did in the colonial era. These workshops are separate tickets, and the costs range from $25 to $200.
Harper’s Ferry has plenty of hiking trails to enjoy. You’ll find over 4,000 acres and more than 20 miles of trails taking you through a section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail system, giving you picturesque views of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Included in your hike are Civil War battlefields, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and more. With a mix of historical significance and beautiful views, it’s hard to beat these trails.
There are so many things to see and explore that you’ll probably need to make several trips to Harper’s Ferry. There are several museums throughout the area, as well as shops, such as Harpers Ferry Historical Association’s Bookshop. Harper’s Ferry sits on over 200 years of American history, offering much to discover.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of options, you can always take a paid guided tour. These tours cost $75 and last about two and a half hours. You are led through the area by an expert, learning a whole lot more than you would on your own.
Harper’s Ferry hosts Living History Event Weekends during certain times of the year. For instance, you’ll find an industrial history lesson in late March during Women’s History Month, history about the 12th Regiment during the War of 1812, and even learn about Civil War medicine in July.
No matter when you visit Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park, you’re going to have a great time hiking, learning, and being in the midst of American history. From Civil War sites to colonial lessons, scenic views and more, there is something for everyone to fall in love with.