Friday, June 15, 2012

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park - June 9, 2012

Last Saturday (National Outdoors Day!) we decided to check out Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia. Our location here in Frederick puts us just minutes away from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia so we have lots of options!  The Appalachian Trail runs through here too!

The girl at the gate recommended the Lower Town Trail - a trail that takes you to the old town they have in the park -for us. Since Jason wears Redmond in a backpack and I'm pregnant, we like trails that aren't too intense. The trail was pretty easy, there was one section that had semi-steep stone steps, but as long as we took our time it was fine.

After we got down all of the steps the trail crossed the main road through the park. We were very bummed out to see that the rest of the trail just ran along side the road, not through the woods and it ran parallel with train tracks. But, we didn't want to turn around, so we decided to follow it anyways. Thankfully there weren't too many cars that drove past and no trains (that would have scared the bejezus out of Oliver and maybe Redmond).

The path wasn't too bad, we saw a few interesting things along the way. We saw the remains of what used to be the Shenandoah Pulp Factory:

And we made a pit stop at the Virginius Island, which used to be a thriving industrial town in the nineteenth century, to let both Redmond and Oliver run free for a bit.  It also provided some beautiful scenery.

 There was a small, flat path that was perfect for Redmond, he gladly led the way!

Then we headed into 'town' to check that out. We couldn't explore too much because dogs aren't allowed in any of the buildings :(

We decided to walk through the town back to the car instead of going back the way we came.  Jason said it would be a short cut....I should know better by now :)  It was a loooong walk back, a lot of it being uphill, but it was worth it.  Both Redmond and Oliver (well, Jason and I too) were pooped.  Fortunately for Redmond, he had the luxury of taking a little nap.

We even saw some street signs - West Virginia is just a little behind the times it seems ;)

Finally, we hit the last leg of our "short cut" (which, by the way, Jason is famous for) - crossing 4 lanes of busy traffic!

Approximately 2 hours and 4 miles later, it was time to sit and eat lunch!  The view was amazing.

And, no morning of hiking is complete without a cookie!

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