Location & History of the Lower Town of Harpers Ferry
The Lower Town of Harpers Ferry, which is located 7/10ths of a mile from the Angler's Inn is at the Confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park was established in the 1950's to preserve and save the historic landmarks at Harpers Ferry from the damage of flooding that can occur from the rivers.
The Lower Town is located down a large hill from the Angler's Inn. Thousands of people traverse and enjoy this walk through the residential area of Harpers Ferry into the Lower Town. The National Park also provides a shuttle from the Cavalier Heights Visitor's Center located 1.5 miles from the Angler's Inn. Parking for 1000 cars is available there and the shuttle will take you to the Lower Town and back to the parking lot until the park closes in the early evening. There is limited parking in the Lower Town at the Train Station and along Potomac Street.
Numerous historic buildings and museums are located in the Lower Town for you to explore and learn about the history of Harpers Ferry, before, during and after the Civil War. Guided Walking Tours are often available and many extensive events are held throughout the year based around the history of Harpers Ferry. The National Park's Events Calendar has the most updated information regarding these events.
The Lower Town is also home to a number of exciting shops, cafes and restaurants. You will pass these shops and eateries if you are walking down the hill to the park. They are easily accessed from the National Park if you have taken the shuttle from Cavalier Heights. A listing of the shops and restaurants as well as activities for the year are listed at this Harpers Ferry Main Street Website.
The scenery at Harpers Ferry is unique and stunning and there are hikes for everyone, accessed from the Lower Town.
Maryland Heights is a somewhat strenuous hike to the cliff across the Potomac River. This is the place to take that amazing photo (at the right) showing the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers converging at the point called Harpers Ferry.
Virginius Island is a flat walk over packed sandy areas along the Shenandoah River. The area once held a massive industrial center and reconstruction of some water passage systems may be viewed.
Thomas Jefferson's wrote home about the beautiful view of the rivers from what is now Jefferson's Rock. The walk up from the Lower Town to the rock will take you past Robert Harpers House and St. Peter's Church. Behind Jefferson Rock is access to the Appalachian Trail and also the Harpers Ferry Cemetery where Robert Harper and family members have been laid to rest.
The C&O Canal Towpath is located across the walking bridge over the Potomac River. This is a wonderful riverside flat walk and an excellent place for jogging as well.
View from Maryland Heights - Click to Enlarge
Biking the C&O Canal
The C&O Canal Towpath which runs from Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland passes right by Harpers Ferry, WV. The towpath is packed sandy dirt and gravel and is generally well maintained. It is wonderful for biking for a few hours or for a more involved biking adventure. Many people bike from one end of the canal to the other over several days. Mountain Bikes are recommended for the surface you will encounter.
You are welcome to bring your own bikes to the Angler's Inn. We have a patio area that is perfect for storing bikes and preparing for your biking adventure.
For a planned trip from one end of the canal to the other try Mountainside Bike Tours. From Sunday through Thursday, we are pleased to provide one night stays at the Angler's Inn. Typically for Friday and Saturday nights, a two night stay is requested.
If you are planning a one day trip from Washington to Harpers Ferry, please plan a full day on the trail. It is a 70 mile trip and requires 8-12 hours for completion.
The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers provide an excellent venue for many types of water sports.
Rafting, Canoeing, Kayaking and Tubing are available through Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, River Riders or River and Trail Outfitters. Although they are conveniently located within 2 miles of our inn, mention to River Riders that you are staying with us. They can often arrange to pick you up prior to your trip and bring you back to the Angler's Inn afterward. Many of the trips available will take you past the confluence of the two rivers where you can see the shot of Harpers Ferry shown to the right.
Of course Fishing is our favorite, and we would be pleased to help you set up a Guided Fishing Trip through the Angler's Inn.
From the Rivers at Harpers Ferry - Click to Enlarge
Take the afternoon and explore a few picturesque Virginia Vineyards and enjoy a taste of the vineyard. The Northern Virginia Region hosts 24 wineries, most of them clustered a stone's throw from the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry.
Or, if a bit of pampering is in order, visit one of our local Day Spas for a massage, pedicure, or full makeover. We recommend advance notice so the salons can be prepared for your visit. Both are handily located within a mile of our B&B