Appalachian Trail: Gathland State Park to Harpers Ferry

Meander through Civil War history on this 10.5-mile section hike of the Appalachian Trail.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Meander through Civil War history on this 10.5-mile section hike of the Appalachian Trail.

From the trailhead, go south along a forested ridgeline from the site of the first Maryland Civil War battle, Crampton Gap. At the 500-foot Weverton Cliffs, enjoy views of three states before switchbacking down to the foamy Potomac. Turn right (west) for the final three miles, which follow the river on the flat gravel C&O Canal Towpath to Harpers Ferry, the AT’s official midpoint and another important Civil War site.

Contact: Gathland State Park; dnr.state.md.us

-Info provided by Courtney Trusty

TO TRAILHEAD: Shuttle car: From Frederick, MD, drive west on US 340 W (toward Harper's Ferry, WV). After crossing the South Fork Shenandoah River, turn right onto Union St. In .4 mile, turn right onto Washington St. In .3 mile, turn right onto McDowell St. Follow it .2 mile to roadside parking.

Start: From shuttle car, backtrack to US 340 E and follow it to the exit for MD 67 N (toward Boonsbore). In 5.7 miles, turn right onto Gapland Rd. In 1 mile, turn left onto Arnoldstown Rd. Go 400 feet to parking on the left.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 16.8

Waypoints

HAR001

Location: 39.405991, -77.639386

Begin at the trailhead, located at the intersection of Gapland Road and the end of Arnoldstown Road.

HAR002

Location: 39.404628, -77.640236

Follow the trail as it turns east, and then south along a forested ridgeline from the site of the first Maryland Civil War battle, Crampton Gap.

HAR003

Location: 39.382856, -77.64909

Reach a pipeline, and continue straight (south).

HAR004

Location: 39.366552, -77.658861

Pass a blue-blazed trail, and look northwest for views of Elk Ridge.

HAR005

Location: 39.3601, -77.662568

Pass the spur trail to Ed Garvey Shelter on left.

HAR006

Location: 39.359822, -77.662029

The Ed Garvey Shelter is one of the AT’s nicest, with its glassed-in second story. Retrace your steps to HAR005, and then track south toward Weverton Cliffs.

HAR007

Location: 39.333331, -77.676457

Follow blue blazes to the south for views above the Weverton Cliffs.

HAR008

Location: 39.332069, -77.676564

At the 500-foot Weverton Cliffs, catch views of three states before switchbacking down to the foamy Potomac via HAR007.

HAR009

Location: 39.332795, -77.682052

Arrive at Weverton Road after losing roughly 400 feet of elevation.

HAR010

Location: 39.332913, -77.683188

Follow the AT as it turns southwest.

HAR011

Location: 39.331489, -77.685163

Road-hike through the I-340 underpass.

HAR012

Location: 39.329875, -77.682491

Reach Kepp Tryst Road and continue east.

HAR013

Location: 39.32987, -77.681528

Pass over railroad tracks, and turn south toward the Potomac River.

HAR014

Location: 39.329277, -77.681483

AT turns west to follow the flat gravel C&O Canal Towpath to Harpers Ferry, the AT’s official midpoint and another important Civil War site.

HAR015

Location: 39.325667, -77.706492

Cross US 340 on the Sandy Hook Bridge, and follow the trail west.

HAR016

Location: 39.324146, -77.726267

Cross a footbridge here.

HAR017

Location: 39.32313, -77.728872

AT turns west.

HAR018

Location: 39.323055, -77.730505

Reach a set of stone steps and continue heading east.

HAR019

Location: 39.322949, -77.730826

Keep heading east toward the Harper Cemetery.

HAR020

Location: 39.322747, -77.732905

Pass Jefferson Rock.

HAR021

Location: 39.322878, -77.7404

Turn right on the blue-blazed trail to reach your shuttle car.