Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, WV

September 15, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

harpersferry Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, WV

(credit: Thinkstock)

Harpers Ferry is more than a sweeping paradise of rolling mountains, wildflowers and streams. It is also a place of museums, farms, historical sites, guided tours and trails and other points of interest. The best part, however, is that it’s only a tank of gas away. Explore everything historical Harper’s Ferry has to offer on a quick day trip you’ll never forget.

Getting There

Make your way out of the city and toward I-495 north. Keep left to take the I-270 Spur north. Stay on I-270 north for about 30 miles then take exit 32 toward I-70 west to Hagerstown. Travel I-70 west for about two miles then take exit 52 toward US-15/US-340 west. Stay on US-340 west for 18 miles then turn left on Chestnut Hill Road. Harpers Ferry National Park will be on the left. The entire trip is about 66 miles and should take about an hour and a half, depending on the flow of traffic. For a little fun along the way ride white water rapids at River Riders, play poker at Charles Town Races and Slots or hear ghostly tales courtesy of Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry.

What To Do

River Riders’ Harpers Ferry Canopy Tour
408 Alstadts Hill Road
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(304) 535-2663

Price: $99 per person

See Harpers Ferry from a totally different viewpoint: a tree. Harper Ferry Canopy Tours features seven awesome zip lines that span up to 800 feet in length. The three-hour tour includes 15 adventurous elements, including tandem ladder climbs, a Burma bridge, 13 tree houses and a 25-foot rappel from the final platform. Harpers Ferry Canopy Tour is the only zip lining company in the region. Guests are encouraged to wear close-toe shoes and comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes. Bring a small, inexpensive camera to catch some truly terrific memories.

Related: Road Trip Rules – Prep For a Safe and Fun Road Trip

Westwind Potters
144 High St.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(304) 535-2511

If you love handcrafted works of art, then head on over to Westwind Potters. What originally started as a simple pottery studio has now turned into a nationally known retailer of a wide variety of arts and crafts including pottery, basket, utensils, candles, figurines, paintings, holiday ornaments and stained glass, among other items. Each item is handcrafted and features the art and handiwork of more than 50 artists from 28 states. Gift registry and shipping are available.

O’ Be Joyfull Historical Tours and Entertainment
175 High St.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(732) 801-0381

Price: $15 per person/$10 children 8 to 12

The world’s first successful steamboat was built in Harpers Ferry. Learn how this invention, and others, helped revolutionize the manufacturing process around the world through an interactive walking tour by O’ Be Joyfull. The 2.5-hour tour also tells the tale of Harper Ferry’s first settlement and founding, its industrial development and role in the Civil War. O’ Be Joyfull also offers historical character portrayals, Civil War music, songs and sing-a-longs, story telling as well as a Christmas customs and traditions show.

Related: Fun For The Road – Car Games For Your Next Road Trip

John Brown Wax Museum
168 High St.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(304) 535-6342

Price: $7 adults/$6 seniors age 60 and older/$5 children age 6 to 12; free children younger than 6

The John Brown Wax Museum tells the tale of John Brown, a slave abolitionist, and his historical raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. The museum provides more than 80 life-size wax figures that depict key moments throughout Brown’s life, starting from his childhood to planning the raid to his final moments at the gallows. The self-guided tour includes voiceovers, music and animated effects.


The Town’s Inn
179 High St.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(304) 535-1860

Relax and refuel after a day of flying through the trees at the Town’s Inn. This cozy tavern features four unique dining areas including a front and back patio, pub and an elegant dining room. Enjoy Civil War-era cuisine such as biscuits and gravy, hot and cold sandwiches, and grilled steak. The Town’s Inn also features seasonal specials including sangria, spiced cider and wine as well as bottle beer. Reservations are recommended for parties of 8 or more.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

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