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16 Best & Fun Things to Do in Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Harper Ferry is all about the history and America’s roots.

This iconic little town has its prints on the sands of time as “The best strategic point in the whole south,” according to a history book written in 1890.

Of course, after its crucial role in the American Civil War, this picturesque little town deserves all the accolades.

If you are looking for cities to visit this holiday, then you should have your eyes fixed on Harper Ferry.

Filled with attractions to take you through a whirlwind of adventure and excitement, this little town always has something new in store for tourists.

And it doesn’t matter if you are a florist, angler, sports enthusiast, indoor lover, or outdoor enthusiast, this town has diverse attractions for different hobbies.

Needless to say, all these attractions are laced with the underlying history of the Harper Ferry and America as a whole.

So are you eager to know all these beautiful places?

Put all distractions aside as this article takes you on a ride through Harper Ferry.

Fun and Best Things To Do In Harper Ferry

1. Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

Hiking is one of the ways to get in touch with nature, stretch your legs, and sometimes work on your

In Harper Ferry, the Appalachian Trail is an exciting trail that every adventurer will enjoy embarking on.

This 2,200-mile-long footpath trail stretches from Georgia all the way to Maine.

Amazingly, this trail spans 14 states and is a blend of beautiful and rugged terrain in America.

As a result, this magnificent trail has been hikers, backpackers, and nature lovers’ favorite since 1937.

Although the trails stretch along, 14 states, most hikers love to start hiking from Harper Ferry.

This is because of the stunning views, rich history, and diverse wildlife it provides.

Moreover, these trails go through the ridgeline of the Blue Ridge mountains, which overlooks the views of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

2. Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park

Harper's ferry national historical park

The Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park is an iconic attraction that stands out because of its ties with American history.

If you are a history buff, visiting this park should be on your to-do list. Even if history isn’t an interest you are passionate about, you will still find this park worth the visit.

Managed by the National Park Service, this attraction is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts and families in search of a new way to learn.

The park sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, and its scenic and stunning views are a wonder to behold.

Aside from its gorgeous outlook, this attraction played a significant role in not only the Civil War but also the abolitionist movement as well as the Industrial Revolution.

Already intrigued by this iconic park?

Then take a tour of the lower town, visit the historic homes, and check out the battlefield.

The park also features trails, kayaking, fishing, and tubing in the river.

You can also settle down for a delicious layout picnic.

Opened all year round, visitors can plan their visits around events and programs so they won’t miss anything.

In Harpers Ferry, National Historical Park, no one is left out, so come have fun on a budget.

Address: 171 Shoreline Dr, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

3. John Browns Fort

John Browns Fort

John Browns Fort

Most of the attractions in Harper Ferry played significant roles in the history of the United States, and one of these attractions is John Brown’s Fort.

Of note, this historic landmark was formerly the site of one of the most iconic events that led to the Civil War.

Built in 1848 as a part of the Harpers Ferry Armory, this fort was later renamed in honor of the abolitionists and relocated to its Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, where it remains.

To date, this attraction reminds people of the tumultuous period leading up to the Civil War.

Rich with history about the raid, visitors can explore the building grasping this information.

Not only will you have a deeper understanding of what happened, but you will be able to reflect on the struggles that shaped America.

Address:814 Shenandoah St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

4. Jefferson rock

Jefferson rock

Jefferson rock

Named after the third American president who described it as “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature”, the Jefferson Rock is truly a wonder to reckon with.

Formed three hundred million years ago, this rock sits on a cliff overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

However, this location, over the years, has become a famous tourist attraction since the 19th century.

To reach the rock, you will have to climb a set of chairs that lead up from the historic downtown area of the town.

It’s worth the climb because, at the very top of the rock, you will be welcomed with a breathtaking view of the countryside.

Enjoy the view of the rivers, the historic town of Harpers Ferry, and the surrounding mountains, especially during fall when the leaves on the trees change colors.

Remarkably, because of its gorgeous views and astonishing beauty, Jefferson Rock has been the subject of many works of art and literature over the years.

For instance, the poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about the rock titled “The Exiles,” in which he describes the beauty of the scene.

Furthermore, the rock has also been painted by artists like Frederic Edwin Church, who was famous for his landscapes.

A must-see for anyone visiting this little town, a visit to this rock will prove to be an unforgettable experience.

5. St. Peter Roman Catholic Church

St. Peter Roman Catholic Church

St. Peter Roman Catholic Church

St. Peter Roman Catholic Church is a crucial part of the religious and cultural heritage of this little town.

Founded by Father John McElroy, A Jesuit priest, in the mid-19th century, the church has undergone numerous renovations over the years.

Also a historic landmark, the church provides a place for local Catholics to worship.

Furthermore, it serves as a center for community activities and events

Its ever-welcoming doors are open to visitors who want to fellowship with the brethren.

Likewise, its impressive architecture and beautiful stained glass windows give the church an impeccable look.

You can attend mass or explore the church’s history and premises on a self-guided tour.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this attraction is a testament to the enduring faith and perseverance of the Catholic community in Harpers Ferry.

Address: 110 Church St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

6. John Brown’s Wax Museum

 John Brown's Wax Museum

John Brown’s Wax Museum

Inspired by the history of Harper Ferry, Raymond E. Gessler, a businessman, established John Brown’s Wax Museum.

Solely dedicated to the life and legacy of John Brown, who was a controversial abolitionist, this museum is filled with loads of history.

This museum houses lifelike wax figures that portray the key players in the events leading to the raid.

Wax lifelike figures of John Brown, his followers, and soldiers who were on a mission to capture them are displayed for all to see.

All these life figures amount to 30 in total, but the museum still houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia.

Go for a bit of sightseeing adventure at this fantastic museum and learn about the actual events that happened.

A significant one is the recreation of the John Brown trail.

Here, you will not only see a replica of the courtroom, but you can sit and watch the live replay of his lawyers arguing their case.

Just like an actual movie, the scene is accompanied by an audio recording that provides context and commentary.

The cell can also pique your imagination and teleport you to Brown’s final days before his execution.

For tourists who cherish cultural heritage and history, a day spent here will be well appreciated.

Address: 168 High St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

7. Harper’s Ferry Station

 Harper's Ferry Station

The Harper’s Ferry Station

Harper’s Ferry Station is an integral part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Significantly, this historic station played a role in the town’s history and heritage.

Built-in 1889 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, this station was once one of the busiest stops on the company’s main line.

Serving as the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Mountains, the station connects passengers with major cities.

Cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York benefited from this transportation system.

However, aside from its benefits to the locals, the station was a strategic location during wars as well as a site for several important battles.

Vital roles were also played as the station also served as a central supply depot and his troop movements.

After the war, the station still continues to be an essential transportation hub for the region.

Besides that, the station also served as both a museum and a visitors’ center.

Explore exhibits and displays which showcase the history and importance of the railroad.

One of the highlights of the station is the exhibit on John Brown’s raid.

This exhibit portrays the story of Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry and the events that led up to it.

Furthermore, you can take guided tours to the nearby rail bridge.

If you love trains, then you should definitely be here.

You will learn a lot and have fun while at it.

Address: Potomac St &, Shenandoah St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

8. True Treats Historic Candy

 True Treats Historic Candy

True Treats Historic Candy

Even though time travel isn’t real, True Treats Historic Candy will take you on a journey your taste buds will thank you for.

Located in Harpers Ferry, This store specializes in selling candy and treats from the past.

Still can’t believe it?

Well, this store sells candy that dates back to the 18th century.

The store was founded by Susan Benjamin, a candy historian who has spent her entire career researching the history of candy in America.

Her passion for candy history prompted her to open the store with the goal of sharing her love of candy with others.

Taste candies from a different era in American history.

From hard candies, caramels, chocolates, and many more.

Won’t it be fun to try popular candies during the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and other critical periods in American history?

Lastly, this candy store also hosts programs and workshops. Popular amongst schools and other groups, this program offers a fun and engaging way to learn about history.

Address: 144 High St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

9. River Riders Family Adventure Resort

 River Riders Family Adventure Resort

River Riders Family Adventure Resort

Premium adventure awaits you at the River Riders Family Adventure Resort.

The resort features numerous outdoor activities, the likes of white-water rafting, zip-lining, and tubing, as well as a family-friendly atmosphere.

Founded in 1979 by two outdoor lovers, Eric and Lisa Deal, this attraction has become a hot spot for outdoor activity.

Go on a white-water rafting trip and see the scenic and thrilling Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

Available at every experience level, the trips are led by expert guides who are trained in river navigation.

Furthermore, you can go zip-lining, tubing, kayaking, and rock climbing, among other things.

The resort also has an adventure park that includes a ropes course, a giant swing, and a climbing wall, among other attractions.

For those who prefer to take it easy, the resort offers a range of relaxing activities as well.

You can take a leisurely hike on one of the nearby trails or enjoy a picnic on the scenic grounds.

Designed to be inclusive and welcoming to visitors of all ages, the attraction has plenty of activities and amenities for children and families. Accommodations are also provided for visitors who choose to stay overnight or spend a weekend.

So anytime you are thinking of having a getaway, think of this attraction.

Address: 408 Alstadts Hill Rd, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

10. Ghost tour of Harper’s ferry

 Ghost tour of Harper's ferry

Ghost tour of Harper’s ferry

Harper’s Ferry is a town steeped in history, with a rich past that includes the Civil War and the abolitionist movement.

But with that history comes a darker side.

Tales of ghosts and hauntings have been a part of the town’s lore for many years.

If you are interested in the paranormal, a ghost tour of Harper’s Ferry is a must-do activity.

Although there are several companies that offer ghost tours in the town, the most popular is the Ghost Tour of Harpers Ferry.

Led by experienced and knowledgeable guides, the tour will take you on a spooky ride through the town’s dark past.

Beginning at nightfall, when the streets are quiet, the town is shrouded in darkness. Visitors are given lanterns to carry, adding to the eerie ambiance of the experience.

As visitors walk through the town, the guide tells stories of ghosts and hauntings that have been reported in the area. Many of these stories are based on historical events and people, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the tour.

One of the most famous haunted locations in the town is St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church.

It is believed that the ghost of a Confederate soldier hunts the church.

Another popular stop on the ghost tour is the old Harper House, which served as a hospital during the Civil War.

You will hear stories of the ghostly apparitions that have been seen in the house, as well as the strange sounds and feelings reported by those who have visited the house.

Nevertheless, the Ghost Tour of Harper’s Ferry is not for the faint of heart but for those who are brave enough to take the journey.

Address: St. Peter’s Church, 100 Church St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

11. The Gilded Flea

The Gilded Flea

The Gilded Flea

Specializing in antique and vintage items, The Gilded Flea is all you need to travel back in time.

The Gilded Flea is a unique and fascinating establishment that is worth a visit.

This quirky shop offers a range of exciting and unusual finds.

Located in the heart of historic Harper’s Ferry, the attraction sits in a building that dates back to the early 1800s.

Its owner, John Krum, carefully curated a collection of items that spans a wide range of eras and styles. From vintage clothing to antique furniture, there is something for everyone at this eclectic shop.

Furthermore, The shop’s collection is unique, with items you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Scan through its antique medical equipment to vintage typewriters and discover each piece’s story and charm.

Of course, with such a diverse collection, there are bound to be a few oddities.

One of the Gilded Flea’s most famous items is a taxidermied two-headed calf, which has become something of a local legend.

But even if you’re not in the market for a two-headed calf, there are plenty of other treasures to discover at this fascinating shop.

Address: 970 Washington St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

Passing through Charleston? Why not check out our ultimate list of things to do in Charleston?

12. Maryland Heights

 Maryland Heights

The Maryland Heights

Maryland Heights is a prominent summit in Harpers Ferry.

Notably, this mountain offers stunning panoramic views of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Not only that, the area has been the site of significant historical events, including battles during the American Civil War.

However, It now serves as a popular recreational destination for hikers, bikers, and history buffs alike.

Visitors can explore the historic Civil War fortifications, which include the remains of Union forts and trenches on the slopes.

In addition, there are interpretive signs and displays that provide information about the significance of the area’s military history.

Maryland Heights also features a variety of outdoor activities for visitors.

For one, the area has over 25 miles of hiking trails that wind through the mountain’s dense forests and scenic overlooks.

These trails vary in difficulty, with some offering steep climbs and challenging terrain while others are more accessible to families and novice hikers.

Mountain biking is also a popular activity in Maryland Heights.

With a network of well-maintained trails that offer both technical challenges and scenic views, this attraction is host to several annual mountain biking events, including the famous “Mountain Mama” race.

For those interested in water activities, the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers offer a range of options.

You can kayak, canoe, and tube in these rivers. Moreover, the rivers are easily accessible from Maryland Heights, with several launch points located within a short distance of the mountain’s trails.

Address: 171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

13. Maggie Malice Wine Caves

Maggie malice wine caves

The Maggie malice wine caves

Maggie Malick Wine Caves is a family-owned winery sitting on the scenic hills of Harpers Ferry.

Famous for its award-winning wines, they are produced using traditional European winemaking techniques and aged in underground wine caves.

Visitors will definitely enjoy tours of the winery, where they can taste delicious wines and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Founded in 2009 by Maggie Malick, a passionate winemaker, the winery has quickly gained quite a reputation.

One thing that sets this winery apart from others is its use of an underground wine cave. The caves maintain a constant temperature and humidity.

Learn about the history and method of underground winemaking through guided tours.

These tours provide a unique insight into the winemaking process and allow visitors to see firsthand how the wine is aged and stored.

Of course, no visit to Maggie Malick Wine Caves is complete without tasting some of their delicious wines.

The winery produces a range of red, white, and dessert wines. Plus, the tasting room offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Moreover, with a friendly staff,  you are in safe hands to guide you through the wine selection.

This attraction also hosts a range of events throughout the year. You can vibe to live music, enjoy food and wine pairings, and also participate in sensational celebrations.

Likewise, the winery’s beautiful outdoor patio and scenic surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day out with friends and family.

So get ready to bask in this attraction’s unique features when you visit Harpers Ferry.

Address: 12138 Harpers Ferry Rd, Purcellville, VA 20132, United States

14. Benetton Cliffs

 Benetton Cliffs

Benetton Cliffs

If a calm and scenic stay in nature’s bliss excites you, then you should visit Benetton Cliffs.

This attraction is a picturesque rock formation that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Likewise, it is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

As part of the larger Appalachian Mountain, an area known as Maryland Heights Trails.

The trail offers a challenging yet rewarding hike, with a steep ascent leading to the top of the cliffs.

Once at the top, hikers can take in breathtaking views of the Potomac River and surrounding mountains.

How rewarding is that?

Aside from hiking, the cliffs also feature rock climbing. Offering a range of climbing opportunities for all skill levels, you will only need a permit to partake in this adventure.

However, beyond its outdoor recreational opportunities, the Cliffs also hold historical significance.

Of note, it was once a lookout point for Civil War soldiers. But presently, the remains of the signal tower sit at the top of the cliff for everyone to see.

15. Bolivar Heights Battlefield

 BolivarHeights Battlefield

Bolivar Heights Battlefield

As a glorified attraction that played a significant role in the American Civil War, Bolivar Heights is now a national park filled with history.

Visitors find this attraction captivating, and they are known to explore its site and learn more about the historical events that changed America.

This attraction has many features, such as interpretive markers and exhibits. You can also indulge in walking guided tours that will expose you to key areas in the attraction.

During the tour, you will see the terrain, scenic views of the countryside, and the tower.

Lastly, there are also opportunities for you to birdwatch, hike, and enjoy nature’s bliss.

Address: Whitman Ave, Bolivar, WV 25425, United States

16. Sam Michael’s Park

 Sam Michael's Park

The Sam Michael’s Park

Sam Michael offers a lot of outdoor opportunities, and if you love being in a spacious environment, then you should pay this attraction a visit.

Named after a famous figure who contributed to the education and preservation of historic landmarks in the area, this attraction shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Engage in hiking, catch fish, and have a buffet on the lush grass.

You can also explore the beauty of the area through its trails and enjoy the stunning views of the countryside.

Furthermore, you can take rafting trips on the nearby Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, go on zipline tours, and indulge in rock climbing.

If you are a botanist, florist, or lover of nature, then you will be glad to know that this attraction is home to a variety of plant and animal species. You can navigate your way through the interpretive signs.

Lastly, you can enjoy an educative lecture on nature and plants, so you can always come back after a blissful day here.

Address: 235 Sam Michael’s Lane, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, United States

Happer Ferry Is Calling You

Alas! Harper Ferry will surely give you a good time and a chance to indulge in your favorite hobbies. A little small town to kick back and relax, explore popular spots, and learn about history, Harper Ferry is a full vacation package.

Don’t you want to create new memories in this small little town?

Start planning that vacation in this picturesque town full of untold promises.


Happy Holidays!