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Sunday, June 8, 2014

#23 - Harpers Ferry to Loudoun Heights - National Trails Day

Harpers Ferry from Loudoun Heights Overlook
Harpers Ferry is one of my favorite places. It seems there is so much to do there! It's certainly a great place for a hike, and yesterday, being a picture perfect day, everyone there seemed to be having a great time; whether in town, on the river, or on the trails.

I went there to get a good hike in, celebrate National Trails Day, and check out the Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival. I had mapped out a 10 mile hike, to the Loudoun Heights Overlook, and spent the day enjoying a great hike and the days activities.

I started my hike moving along the Shenandoah side of town, exploring Virginius Island.

Harpers Ferry - toward Virginius Island

Along the Shenandoah
Harpers Ferry from the South
From there, it was to the Appalachian Trail - which would lead me to Loudoun Heights. I headed south on the AT, which runs along the span of the bridge that crosses the Shenandoah River.

AT Bridge Crossing

AT Bridge Crossing
Once across the river, the trail starts off innocently enough. However, with its incline and distance the trail is rated as difficult - and I found this to be true.

Appalachian Trail South

Appalachian Trail South
Appalachian Trail South

Up, up you go as you work your way to the Loudoun Heights trail head. The scenery is beautiful; the trees shading you from direct sun.

At about the two mile mark, you veer off the AT onto Loudoun Heights trail. I really enjoyed this portion of the hike, as the incline subsided, the trail became more narrow, and there was beautiful scenery all along the way.

Loudoun Heights Trail to Overlook
Loudoun Heights Trail to Overlook

Loudoun Heights Trail to Overlook
Loudoun Heights Trail to Overlook
After a couple of hours hiking, I arrived at the Overlook. What a spectacular view! A perfect place to sit for awhile, watching people on the river go by, trains going in each direction, the confluence of the two rivers, with the town sitting snugly in between.

First Look
It's wonderful, the things you see in a day at Harpers Ferry. The wildlife, rock formations, people out enjoying themselves, the rivers, the Appalachian Trail, and C&O Canal. Perfect for a day hike - and more if you've got the gear.


The day's hike over, the touring of town done, I made my way over to the Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival for a cold beer, a camp chair, and some music. The end to a perfect day.


Keep hiking, friends!


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