I think one of the more interesting things about Harper's Ferry is the Stone Fort trail across the River. But I must admit, it is a rather difficult trail, but very interesting. You can see a lot of the gun placements and the fort itself is still in rather good condition considering, but overgrown with a lot of trees.
I felt like a champ when I got to the point and saw the NPS plaque that said "this is the furtherst Lincoln got in his inspection", then I took two steps more and said I was better than Lincoln. Then I took about a 30 minute break before I could continue up the mountain. But it is an impressive view of the valleys below.
If you can't make it all the way up to the fort, you can make it to the overlook and get a beautiful birds eye view of Harper's Ferry and point of the Rivers from above.
If you do the Stone Fort trail, I think it is around 9 or 10 miles round trip.
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Holt <que182001@...>
Sent: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 22:54:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] My first visit
You can spend a whole blooming day at Harper's Ferry. You would jolly well have to in order to see it all. The Park Service owns the town now. I spent a day there back in the summer of 1991. You can visit Pig Alley and learn how it got its name. You can see the place where John Brown's body was returned to his wife by the C&O track. You can visit the factory sites, the forges, a small military hospital, and the arsenal and the fire house where John Brown took a sword in the chest before being captured. You can also and see all the other sites prominent in the awful gunfight there betwixt old John Brown's band of ultraviolent radicals and the townspeople. You can see a demonstration of the Hall breech-loading rifle that was privately manufactured there.
Besides being proment politically and industrially during and in the time leading up to War Between The States, Harper's Ferry was an important manufacturing and transportation center before and during the war. During the war it changed hands eight times and was badly damaged by artillery. After the war it fell into more hard times due to the change of American industry to steam power and a disasterous series of fires and floods.
I rather suspect that what I experienced that summer might be available in more limited measure in the off-season for tourists.