View of Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights.
View of Harpers Ferry with Maryland Heights in the background before the war. Circa 1860.
Backstory and Context
Maryland Heights historical hike is located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The hike takes approximately three and a half hours to do. The final outlook raises all the way up to 1600 feet elevation. Much of the path is uphill and it is a rather strenuous hike. The endpoint for the uphill path is a beautiful outlook which allows you to see all of the area and the Potomac River. Along the way, you pass through tons of Civil War history.
The beginning point for the Maryland Heights hiking past begins across the street from the historical Harpers Ferry area. Once you begin the uphill hike, you will immediately be emerged in Civil War history. You begin to pass by Union side forts that were a safe area for the Union soldiers to camp. The ruins of these forts allow you to see just where history stood. There are also several trenches and gunpowder magazines from the Union soldiers during the war.
Along the way up Maryland Heights you also have the privilege of seeing the main fort for the Union Soldiers. These ruins date back to 1863. There are stairs and a stone wall that are still intact. This wall allowed for Union soldiers to be protected from northern attacks. This fort and its history is located on the Stone Fort Trail.
Maryland Heights allowed for the Union soldiers to be able to have the high ground during the war. From this point, they could see all the area around them and they were not subject to the enemy’s surprise. During historic battles at this time, holding the high ground was one of the most beneficial things you could do to win the fight.