"Harpers Ferry" Top 5 Page for this destination Harpers Ferry by Ewingjr98

Harpers Ferry Travel Guide: 91 reviews and 237 photos

Harper's Ferry, at the border of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, and at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, was a strategic Civil War location with lots of history. Long before the war, Harper's ferry was established as a manufacturing and transportation center, as the US Armory and Arsenal was established in 1799. In the 1830s, this town hosted the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Winchester & Potomac Railroad, and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

Before the war, John Brown's raid was a key event in the history of Harper's Ferry as his band of abolitionists attempted to seize the weapons at the armory to fight a guerrilla war in the south to free slaves. Once the war started the Federal troops destroyed the Harper's Ferry armory and weapons manufacturing machinery.

During the war, the town changed hands 8 times, leaving much of the area in ruins. One key battle in September 1862 left 12,500 Union prisoners in the hands of Stonewall Jackson, allowing his forces to join the battle at nearby Antietam and prevent an even worse defeat.

Today Harper's Ferry National Park is a popular tourist destination. It offers a unique historic village with shops and restaurants alongside historic buildings and ruins, all in a beautiful scenic location.

Parking fee for vehicles in the lower town is $6, but you can leave your car at the park headquarters outside of town and ride the bus. The first time I visited, the town lots were full, but the second time in the winter there were several spots available. The battlefields are located outside of the central, historic town and have plenty of parking.

  • Intro Updated Feb 18, 2009
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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    I enjoyed your Harpers Ferry pages. Haven't been there in so long! We used to go hiking/walking along the river some years ago


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