Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Published: May 15th 2012
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Harpers FerryHarpers FerryHarpers Ferry

Checking out the Civil War Museum
I had no idea that West Virginia could be reached in under 3 hours from PA. In my quest to visit all 50 states I figured it would make an easy and interesting day trip and of course I could cross another off my list. With a little light persuading I got my boyfriend and cousin to come along for a road trip on a beautiful Sunday. The scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains was gorgeous and it took even less time to reach our destination than expected.

Driving into Harpers Ferry was like driving back in time. All of the old buildings had been preserved and restored and the quaint little town was surrounded only by the natural landscape. There were no distractions and very little to no modern entities. It was sometimes easy to forget that it was not still the 1800s. Many of the buildings had been turned into unique shops, art galleries, and small scale museums. My favorite was a historic candy store. Thanks to my sweet tooth I have frequented numerous candy stores before in all different locations and I have never stumbled upon a store quite like this. Not only was the store organized in chronological order but the owner was extremely passionate about her job. Buying candy turned into a history lesson and because of this I probably ended up buying more candy than I would have. I ended up leaving very happy with a stock of boiled sugar, maple sugar candy, and my favorites, candied rose petals and violet petals! (http://www.coolconfectionaries.com/)

Another great benefit of Harpers Ferry is its significance to the Appalachian Trail. It is said to be the "psychological halfway point". It could be the physical halfway point as well....but I am bad when it comes to maps. If you have ever hiked the Appalachian Trail you know it it can be very trying. I only had the pleasure of hiking it for 3 days and I came out emotionally and physically trained. It must be wonderful for hikers who have made it there all the way from Georgia or from Maine. To be trudging through the woods all that time with barely any food or companionship and to come out of it right into such a lovely little town must be so rewarding. The trail literally goes right into Harpers Ferry and we decided to follow it for a bit back up into the woods and to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. I had seen it in a documentary I had watched on the trail and I wanted to go see it for myself. This is another reason why Harpers Ferry is such a godsend for hikers. The conservancy is open for hikers and visitors and offers a lounge for hikers to relax, use the computer or the phone and mail post cards. They offer a fridge stocked with water, soda and juice that is available for a donation which goes right to the conservancy. They take any hiker's picture who wants it and adds it their collection of picture books featuring all of the people who have come through. The conservancy also has a small area educating the public about the trail, a small gift shop to help fund it and it even has pictures and letters from hikers who had wanted to let them know that they made it to the very end. Upon leaving the conservancy and heading back through the adjacent neighborhood to Harpers Ferry we saw a home with a big basket out front labeled Hikers. We took a peak and saw that the home owners had left out a basket full of snacks for the hikers to take. It was so nice to see that the neighboring community was supportive towards the trail and the hikers and wanted to make them feel welcomed on their long journey.(http://www.appalachiantrail.org/)

Overall Harpers Ferry is a total tourist attraction. I however, LOVE THAT! Some people hate that and Harpers Ferry might not be for them. It is a great day trip from BucksMont counties in PA and cost very little. If your car is good on gas and you don't mind paying $10 for parking, all the museums and certainly the App. Trail are free. If you are into history, you probably don't want to overlook this destination!

Additional photos below
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The ConservancyThe Conservancy
The Conservancy

Everyone gets their picture taken right here!

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