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Maryland Heights Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (34) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A hike with scenic overlooks of Harpers Ferry and civil war fortifications.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

10.9

KM

Lollipop

1,463' 446 m

High

264' 81 m

Low

1,488' 454 m

Up

1,488' 453 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

The trails that traverse Maryland Heights offer hikers the opportunity to see many aspects of Harpers Ferry NHP on one go: spectacular scenery, geology, and Civil War and transportation history.

Description

From the Information Center in Lower Town turn right to merge with the Appalachian Trail at the dead end of Shenandoah Street. Cross the footbridge over the Potomac River. Turn left (upstream) on the C&O Canal Towpath. The trail stays on the towpath for 0.3 miles, and then crosses a footbridge over the canal bed to Harpers Ferry Road. Be careful! Watch for traffic. Directly across the road is the Maryland Heights Trailhead.

The first bend on this green-blazed section of the Overlook Cliff 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. You'll turn north here, and continue for 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 Overlook Cliff Trail. Turn right and backtrack to the C&O Canal Towpath.

Contacts

Shared By:

Aaron Lee

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 34 votes

#265

Overall
  4.5 from 34 votes
5 Star
59%
4 Star
35%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#265

Overall
164 Views Last Month
10,037 Since Oct 15, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
52%
15%
33%
0%

Photos

The ruins of a C&O Canal Lockhouse stand outside of Harper's Ferry.
Jan 7, 2017 near Brunswick, MD
View from the Naval Gun Battery overlook
Sep 1, 2015 near Brunswick, MD
Maryland Heights overlook
Sep 1, 2015 near Brunswick, MD
Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers
Sep 30, 2015 near Bolivar, WV
View east of Short Hill Mountain from the Parrot Gun overlook
Sep 1, 2015 near Brunswick, MD

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 75 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 6, 2021
Kelley M
Did the longer route, steep at first and then leveled out. View from the stone fort was fantastic. Early hike so not crowded. On trail by 8 am. 7.5mi — 3h 00m
May 22, 2021
Shannon Tokumaru
Hiked with Andrea! Definitely had some steep spots with a lil challenge but so fun and perfect energy! — 9h 15m
Mar 6, 2021
Michele Stamm
6.8mi — 4h 00m
Feb 27, 2021
Mallory Row
Jan 4, 2021
David H
Jun 20, 2020
Walt Hoevenaars
5.5mi — 4h 10m
Jun 6, 2020
Manoj Abey
Bridge walk was closed for renovation so we had to abandon the hike. Hard to find Parking too so plan accordingly and check before you go
May 31, 2020
Greg Lubin
Went to the overlook with Jordi and Mery. Didn't do the long loop in the forest. Great mix of nature and history. Overlook is rewarding and worth it!