Harper’s Ferry…an Unexpected Trip

Not long after the rains of hurricane Florence started, one of my sisters living near Wilmington Beach had to evaluate with the family. Having family in New York State, they traveled up for a stay of patience, waiting to hear the ‘ok’ to come home and check for damages of their home and business.

Once allowed home, they left the two younger ones behind for another week. My sister Julie made a plan to meet me in Charles Town, West Virginia with the kiddos. I drove south from Upstate New York, and she drove up from North Carolina.

After we arrived and settled in a B & B, we drive about seven miles to Harper’s Ferry. I knew a bit of Civil War history about that town, but there was much more history than I knew. Before the drive I didn’t have time to read about it, so we mostly enjoyed the time walking around town. Also I broke my own rule and didn’t bring my camera, so my photos are from my iPhone.

The first thing I found out was that Harper’s Ferry is a National Historical Park, and I left my National Parks book back home. I was unprepared for this trip, but at least I had water and healthy snacks in the car.

Harper’s Ferry is midpoint of the Appalachian Trail.

If you have read my blog before, you might remember that Julie and I had gone to Fontana Dam to see the Total Eclipse. There we walked uphill on part of the Appalachian Trail but it was hot and humid and we didn’t last long.

So much for the A.T.


River overflowing.

Railroad Bridge/foot bridge at confluence of Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
The footbridge.

Railroad Tunnel at Harper’s Ferry, at confluence of rivers.
On the Appalachian Trail.

After crossing the river on the footbridge, we walked a short way on the A.T. knowing it was a long way back to the car, and we didn’t know how long the kiddos would hold out. So once again, Julie and I traveled a short way on the A.T.

As you could see, it was late in the day and by the time we came to the church it was getting darker. We had hiked downhill and I wondered how the kiddos would do hiking back. According to my phone we hiked a total of about four miles. They did very well and only complained the last 1/4 mile that they were hungry.

In the cemetery they spotted a few deer, so they were momentarily distracted.

The well worn steps to St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church.
The shell of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Jefferson’s Rock

This rock was high on the hill overlooking the confluence of the rivers. You wouldn’t want to miss this view. The railroad bridge to the tunnel could be seen from there, and the mountains on the other side.

Many famous people were included on the Harper’s Ferry website, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Meriwether Lewis, and John Brown’s raid in 1859.

It was a town I could easily get to within a day, stay overnight a day or two and check out the town carefully. There are plenty of hiking trails to whet your appetite. I hope to put this on my travel list for another day in the future.

At least we enjoyed the town and were successful in getting the kiddos back to their parents!


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