Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Harper's Ferry

Mike and I had both been to Harper's Ferry years before. And its a neat town but we were not interested in seeing the town again. What we really wanted to see was the view from Maryland Heights. We really had no idea how steep and long the hike was. Our hike was longer than it had to be because we took the bus into town instead of parking at the trailhead. But we did want to see some of the town we were just more interested in getting onto Maryland Heights so it wasn't a huge deal.

The first place you get a view from the mountain is at the Naval Battery. The guns here were designed to sweep Bolivar and Loudoun Heights. During the fighting in September 62 the guns were swung around to fire at the crest behind them but not to too much good. Some of the remains of the fortifications can be seen below as well as the view of town beyond.

The view from the top though is what we were after and although it was a tough hike it was worth it. It was a beautiful day, a few birds drifted by but each time they just missed Mike's camera. Later in the trip it became clear that birds did not like Mike's but that cows were much more willing to be photographed. As I said the view was worth it. If we had packed a lunch we might have continued on the trail to the stone fort but we did not bring a lunch and we had other sites to see in the Shenandoah Valley. I'm not sure I'd hike it again, it really is a steep hike. Part of our problem was tons of heavy camera equipment but I am glad I did it.

FYI John Brown's Fort can be clearly seen in the photo if you know what you're looking for. It is next to the left fork of the railroad just after it crosses the river. The building sits alone. The original site is marked by a 6 foot tall obelisk. It can also be seen in the photo but it a bit harder. It is just to the right of the large red brick building at the end of the street and is between the road and the railroad. These sites can be seen a bit better in the photo below this one.
And here's a photo of Maryland Heights taken from the streets of Harper's Ferry.

We also added two more trains to our list at Harper's Ferry. First we saw one crossing the river from the top of Maryland Heights. Then in town we saw a commuter train roll right past us on the street. I will have a train post in the next few days showing all the trains from the trip.

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