Harpers Ferry is a tourist attraction rich in Civil War history and outdoor activities. From museums with relics more than a century old to peaks that look across the hillsides of bordering states, this well-preserved town gives tourists plenty to see and do. Leave your car at the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry National Historical Park visitors center and take the shuttle to this hub for multiple attractions.
As a surviving armory from the Civil War, John Brown’s Fort is a rarity worth seeing. Named after the famous raid by John Brown, the building travelled to Chicago and back, making it rich in history and a great place to start your Harpers Ferry trip.
Storer College was revolutionary for its time, in that it offered an education to former slaves and educated both genders. Walk among the remaining buildings of the former college and learn of the struggles and basic operations of a school that took bold steps over the course of 88 years, from 1867 to 1955.
Once industrial sites, Virginius and Hall’s Islands are abandoned and overrun by West Virginia flora and fauna. Take a stroll from Lower Town for a sight as eerie as it is beautiful.
The Point is one of the most popular attractions at Harpers Ferry. The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers converge below it, exposing the faces of three states: Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Whether for sight-seeing or to satisfy your interest in history, you’ll surely find yourself on a shuttle to the Point.
Many hikes in this region lead to stunning overlooks, and the view from the far end of the Loudon Heights Trail makes the 7.5-mile-round-trip well worth the hike. Stand atop one of the highest elevations the Harpers Ferry region has to offer and view the rocky waters of the Shenandoah River and the colorful valleys surrounding it.
photographed by Nikki Bowman Mills