I have hiked this the West Virginia – Appalachian Trail – Maryland Heights Hike a few times, and always enjoy it. Sometimes though as I am doing it, I feel like – OMG are you crazy why are you doing this! There is very little warm up for this one. It is immediately STRAIGHT up. I have found if I walk a bit on the flat C&O Canal Towpath right by the trailhead – it helps. Parking is also scarce near the trailhead, it is there – but not really a parking lot. Maybe seven cars can park?
From NPS: Difficult (steep and rocky in places), 4.5 or 6.5 miles round trip, 3 to 4 hours. Wayside exhibits.
The Maryland Heights Trail offers hikers the opportunity to see many aspects of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park on one walk: spectacular scenery, geology, Civil War and transportation history. The first bend on this green-blazed trail offers a nice view of the Potomac. Go straight at the first intersection to a see the 1862 Naval Battery, then return to the green-blazed trail and turn right. At the next two intersections stay straight on the red-blazed Overlook Cliff Trail. About 0.3 miles turn right for a narrow, rocky descent 0.5 miles to the cliffs overlooking Harpers Ferry. Backtrack to the first intersection with the blue-blazed Stone Fort Trail. Hike one mile uphill past Civil War artillery batteries and through boulders to the Civil War Stone Fort. The trail curves out of the Stone Fort past breastworks and descends steeply over one mile back to the green-blazed trail. Turn right and backtrack to the C&O Canal Towpath.
Several people have joined me on this hike.
I am always taking pictures of my surroundings. Here are a few of my faves from the various times I have hiked on the trail.
To see various hikes available in the Harpers Ferry area click here.
To see the National Park Service information on Maryland Heights click here.