Showing posts with label Harpers Ferry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harpers Ferry. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Visit Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

I have many favorite places to visit in the mid-Atlantic, but Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is a special place. I wish I could visit every weekend.  Frankly, I wouldn't mind living in the area.  But so far, I've only taken day trips to the beautiful little town. 

Photographic print by Jeffrey D. Walters
Personally, I go to Harpers Ferry in order to enjoy the scenery and to climb the hill to the Maryland Heights overlook.  Or I spend the day walking around the town among the old buildings.  Occasionally, I stop before I get to the town, and sit at the river's edge and watch the flotilla of humans, enjoying the river in innertubes, kayaks, and canoes. I love the look and feel of this little water community; tucked in at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Where the states of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland meet. 

Recommending Harpers Ferry as a place to visit is easy for me since I think everyone can find something they like while there. People who like historical towns, architecture, outdoor recreation, civil war and black history will especially enjoy their visit.  

Hilltop Church Harpers Ferry by Greg Dale
A bit of trivia, Harpers Ferry was originally spelled with an apostrophe (Harper's Ferry) and continues to be found this way in literature. However, It is now correct to spell it without an apostrophe. I don't know what caused the change but I do know that I tend to revert to the apostrophe version frequently.  I am trying to break that habit.  But you will likely see it spelled both ways. 

Outdoor recreation 
Tour the area by raft, zipline, horseback, or bicycle.  There are several different adventures and outfitters to choose from
Indoor recreation (a.k.a shopping)
There is no mall or superstore type of shopping located in this town. Not that I have seen. But there are many little shops offering beautiful items for sale. Shop-a-holics can find great gifts or treats for themselves. 

Appalachian Trail  (AT)
Harpers Ferry is considered the "psychological halfway point" by the AT thru-hikers. Because of the close proximity to the AT trail, Harpers Ferry is also an excellent place for day hikes on the AT

Maryland Heights Trails
The Harper's Ferry National Historical Park is a highly recommended walking park and offers 20 miles of trails. There are riverside paths, battlefield trails, and my favorite Maryland Heights trail.  Maryland Heights is across the Potomac river from town and up that giant hill.  It is miles long and a steep and difficult (for me anyway) trail. But it is well worth the effort when you are able to see the town from the overlook area.  The first photograph in this article shows the breathtaking sight from that area. 

Civil War and Black History 
Abolitionist John Brown Wax Museum Photo by Joel Sartore
I can't even being to share the importance of this town to both civil war history and black history, and history in general.  The John Brown raid precipitated the civil war in Harpers Ferry.  Three civil war battles occurred here. Harpers Ferry was the site for the first academic college for freed slaves (Storer College) as well as the site for the US of the Niagara Movement (which later became the NAACP).  I was aware of the civil war history in the area but only became adequately aware of the importance in shaping history for freed slaves when I accidentally parked in a parking lot between the Storer college buildings in order to get my bearings.  I was there that day to hike, I will return to look more closely at these buildings and the self-guided tour.

Maybe you can begin to understand why Harpers Ferry is one of my favorite places to be.  This is just the smallest peek at what this town has to offer.  

Replica of John Brown's Fort by mamaGeek cc by 3.0
If you go, I have two important bits of advice. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring water. Parking in this area is limited because of the layout of the town.  Tourists have several parking lots to use but the closest fills up early.  I have seen days where there is no parking in the park or at the train station. There are shuttles from the more distance parking lots. Also, if you plan to walk or hike, pack plenty of water.  I always walk farther than I meant to.  Being thirsty is not safe or comfortable when you hike. 

If you ever have the chance to visit Harpers Ferry, I hope you take it.  It is a wonderful place to experience.

Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.  

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Poe, The Raven, and Walking with Ghosts

As the mornings turn chill and breezy in the mid-Atlantic, I find myself thinking that it won't be long until the leaves on the trees change color.  Dying and rattling like miniature bones in the trees, before being dropped to the ground to crunch under our feet.
The Raven

In addition to noting the change of season, I have spent some time reading wonderful blogs and articles about costumes for the fast-approaching All Hallows' Eve. While I have really never been one to dress up for Halloween, I do love the focus on ghosts, spirits, and things that frighten.  I'm not sure why. But I like curling up with a good, scary book and listening for things that go bump in the night.  This year I have thought about ordering a few new decorations.  During that search for decorations, I have run across more than one Raven themed item.

I am referring to the bird that Poe made frightening in his writings.  As I pondered Edgar Allan Poe and his ominous bird I realized how many opportunities for ghostly travel destinations there are in this region.  There are far too many to list in one article, so I will only share a few.

I will begin with the Baltimore Edgar Allan Poe house. Instead of telling you about it, I will show you this three minute tour of the area and the house:

Yes, Poe lived in many places throughout the mid-Atlantic and north east regions.  But he lived in this row house for a bit and eventually passed away while in Baltimore.  He is buried locally.  The Baltimore Poe House has had difficulty remaining open due to funding, location of the home (in a difficult section of town and off the tourist path). It is currently open to the public on weekends. Thank you mnolanporter for this video glimpse of the home and the surrounding area.  After watching the video late last night, I read Poe's short story Berenice. That short and morbid story put me in the mood for more scary stories.  

Are you in the ghostly mood yet?  Do you enjoy ghost walk tours?  I am and I do.  Here are three highly recommended places to walk with ghosts:

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is a small town with many reasons to visit; history, architecture, and a stopping spot for the hikers of the Appalachian Trail.  I love visiting for the day.  When I stay for a longer period of time, I will take the highly recommended Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry.

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is another  popular West Virginia haunted spot to visit. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum appears to be a bucket list item for folks who are interested in old architecture, Civil War history, mental health history, and ghosts and the paranormal. I'd love to see the building on the outside, but I'm not sure that I'm brave enough to see the inside in person.

Ghettysburg, Pennsylvania.  It is impossible to know where to begin when talking about the plethora of civil war history, old architecture, monuments, and ghost tours when talking about Ghettysburg. Instead, I'll just leave you with a list of the large variety of area ghost tours

Whether you are in the mid-Atlantic or elsewhere, I hope you are able to celebrate the season, however you celebrate, in spooktacular fashion. 

Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Most Recent Reviews on Review This Reviews

Search for Reviews by Subject, Author or Title

The Review This Reviews Contributors

SylvestermouseSylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMbgPhotoMbgPhotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaThe Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieLou16Lou16Sam MonacoSam MonacoTracey BoyerTracey BoyerRenaissance WomanRenaissance WomanBarbRadBarbRadBev OwensBev OwensBuckHawkBuckHawkDecorating for EventsDecorating for EventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G


Review This Reviews is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten

“As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and or Etsy (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement