Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park is one of the finest examples of a preserved/restored civil war era town. The visitor center is on top of a bluff overlooking the town which sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. You park by the visitor center and after getting some park information hop aboard the free shuttle down to the town.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

Once in the town stop at the armorer’s house for a short orientation film and some exhibits. You can also work on your junior ranger activities.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

These few acres of land due to its strategic importance was witness to steady flow of historical events. One of the nation’s first armory was located here and was active from the early 1800s to the start of the civil war.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

The railroad came through town in 1836.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

One of the seminal events of the civil war was John Brown’s raid on the armory in 1859. The original site of John Brown’s “Fort” is now under a railroad embankment but the original building is about 150 feet away.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

Many other historic buildings are available for exploration.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

Hiking opportunities abound in the park whether you want a pleasant stroll along the canal,

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

or if you are a serious hiker there are three major national trails going through Harper’s Ferry; The Appalachian Trail, The Potomac Heritage Trail and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

If you have a junior ranger with you finish your trip with some role playing and a junior ranger badge.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

One of the best historical parks in the NPS system.