|Last fall color of the season along the Appalachian Trail in Harpers Ferry|
|Graveyard in Harpers Ferry. Tombstones dating back to the early 1800's.|
|Jefferson Rock. The spot where Thomas Jefferson once stood in 1783 while looking up the Shenandoah River.|
|Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers merge into the Potomac.|
|My nephew Jack noticed the bridge across the Potomac is turning into a "lock bridge."|
|Overlook Cliff: View towards the town of harpers Ferry and up the Shenandoah River|
|Overlook Cliff: View up the Potomac River|
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, my brother Michael has created a tradition of hiking up Old Rag mountain in Virginia the last few years. Last year, the overwhelming crowds on Old Rag on Black Friday finally reached a point where my brother decided he needed a new place to carry the tradition. I suggested we hike to the Overlook Cliff in the Maryland Heights, across the river from Harpers Ferry. It's no Old Rag, but it's a nice hike nonetheless. So last week, on Black Friday, my brother Michael, his son Jack, and I hiked up to the Overlook Cliff.
We began the day at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters in Harpers Ferry. After visiting the headquarters, we hiked a blue side trail to reach the Appalachian Trail. We passed the old cemetery in Harpers Ferry and Jefferson Rock. The trail took us through town where we saw the building John Brown barricaded himself into. Eventually, we hiked over the bridge, over the Potomac River, and hiked north on the C&O towpath for a short ways. There we reached our trail head which brought us up into the Maryland Heights. There were plenty of fellow hikers out on the trail as well, but not overly crowded. After a good climb, we eventually made it to our destination, the Overlook Cliff. Here are the best views into Harpers Ferry and up the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers in my opinion. Michael, Jack, and I spent 45 minutes or so looking around and taking pictures. When we had our fill, we turned around and began our trek back to the ATC headquarters.
Overall, I'd say it was a 4 to 5 mile hike, difficult, but not overly so. It was a great way to spend the day after Thanksgiving. I think even though Harpers Ferry is a small historic town, it's important not to get stuck in the past. The area has a source of power and beauty to it, still palpable in the present...