0145. Where nature and history meet... (USA 072--revisit)
Harpers Ferry Travel Blog› entry 23 of 49 › view all entries
Harper's Ferry is a great spot for both history and nature enthusiasts--the little town is rich in historical events and symbolism (mainly John Brown's violent attempt to start a fight against slavery here) and it also has some stunning views of two rivers converging in the shadow of steep ravines. Memories come back of July 2006 when I came here with my wife. It was a fun experience discovering a bit of America’s history together—and despite the heat, I did manage to coax my wife to hike to the top of the hill behind the town.
Here you can park your car a couple of miles from the town and take a bus--I decide to walk it instead--just to soak in the nature a while.
I end up going on a trail heading the wrong way… But it leads to a farmhouse, and the place where the building that first housed the “Niagara Movement (an early Civil Rights movement)… Not a whole lot to see… but I do come upon the magnificent river views I’ve seen so far.
I make my way back and follow the road to Harper’s Ferry, past the remains of pre-Civil War industrial buildings. Since this town is was situated right where the railway and two major rivers meet, it was an important industrial and commercial center way back then. The town now is more like a big museum. Many of the old buildings are mini-museums that focus on different aspects of the town: John Brown himself, the Niagara Movement , Civil War battles, the wetlands etc. etc... All very nicely done I must say. You even have some reenactors in some of the stores who will pretend they’re living in pre-Civil War times and will ramble on about how business was done back in those days.
I hike to the top of the hill, where unfortunately a tree blocks a beautiful view of the valley… Up there there are a couple of houses of modern day Harper’s Ferry residents who seem quite friendly despite the fact that they live in a tourist attraction.
I’m really tempted to climb the trail to the top of the cliff on the other side of the river. I get halfway across the bridge and then decide against it. I’ve got a lot of towns I need to revisit in this area. Maybe another time.