People come once to discover Harpers Ferry, and keep coming to relax at Lily Garden Bed & Breakfast and enjoy refreshing hikes and river activities. And who can blame them with so many exciting things to do so close by, you’re sure to find something you’ll like.
Below you’ll find more information on hiking trails, discovering Loudoun County wineries, tubing on the Shenandoah River, biking along the Potomac River, picnicking in the meadows, antiquing, visiting civil war museums, and more. Not sure which one you’d like? Ask us for suggestions on all the best things to do!
Historic Sites & Trails
- Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Visiting Harpers Ferry is like traveling back in time. Plus there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy from stepping into US history by visiting one or more of the numerous museums or by watching authentically costumed guides demonstrate what life was like in the early days of the village to just strolling through by the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Harpers Ferry National Park is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail. Costumed guided tours are available daily during the summer months and weekends only during Spring and Autumn.
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
At over 2,180 miles long, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail covers a vast territory across several states from Maine to Georgia. The Trail enters West Virginia right here in Harpers Ferry. Follow the trail out of town and you’ll find amazing views of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. The National Park Service, National Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy as well as several states share management of the trail. No matter how long of a hike you plan to take, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.
- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
The C&O Canal was once the lifeblood of the area and connected Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, MD during the canal era and for roughly 100 years was the method items like lumber, coal, and farm products traveled down the Potomac to be sold at markets. Today, visitors can experience what it was like to travel on the canal by taking a boat ride on replica boats in either Great Falls or Williamsport.
- John Brown’s Fort
Harpers Ferry is home to the historic building known as John Brown’s Fort was not meant to be a fort at all. It was built as a firehouse and guard house for the United States Armory in 1848. The building got its name from abolitionist, John Brown who barricaded himself in the building as part of an unsuccessful raid in October of 1859 known as the Harper’s Ferry Insurrection. It was also used during the Civil War and was even sold in 1891 and moved to Chicago, but then returned and rebuilt in 1895 on what was then Murphy’s Farm. But the moving didn’t stop there and the building was moved two more times, including to where it stands now, 150 feet east where it was first built.
- 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry is also home to the site of the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry, the battle where the North eventually had to surrender to the Confederate Army. In fact, the area is home to several famous Civil War sites that history buffs of all ages won’t want to miss.
- Jefferson Rock
Located on the Appalachian Trail between Lower Town and Camp Hill in Harpers Ferry
National Historic Park, Jefferson Rick got its name from none other than Thomas Jefferson who took in the view from the rock formation on October 25, 1783. Originally the stone could rock back and forth on its natural foundation quite easily but over the years became unstable from weather and tourists. The 4 stone pillars you see now were put there sometime in the mid-19th century. Today visitors aren’t allowed to climb, stand or walk on Jefferson Rock because it’s extremely unstable.
- Maryland Heights
If you’re looking for a day hike with views of Harpers Ferry and plenty of Civil War sites, then you definitely don’t want to miss a walk on the Maryland Heights. If you’re here during the warmer part of the year, the hike can be crowded as it’s incredibly popular.
- Blue Ridge Parkway
“Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River…” if you’ve ever wanted to travel down the real country roads, made famous in the song, then nows your chance. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long and no drive along all or part of the Parkway is every the same. The leisurely drive will allow you to see the varied landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. Make sure you plan your drive and make sure to ask us or check the National Park Service website for any closures.
Hiking & Family-Friendly Fun
- Yankauer Nature Preserve
Open from dawn to dusk and managed by the Potomac Valley Audobon Society, the Yankauer Nature Preserve is full of walking trails that are well maintained and easy to hike. The landscape is slowly returning to its natural state from farmland and is always changing. It’s 104 acres are home to a variety of vegetation and of course, birds, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise! Bikes and pets aren’t allowed, but the preserve is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- River Riders Adventures
If you and your family need a break from museums and historic buildings and battlefields, then a day spent at River Riders Adventures is just the thing. They have all kinds of activities and guided tour options for you to choose from including Ziplining, and aerial adventure park, white water rafting, flat and white water tubing, as well as canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Reservations are recommended for all activities and we’re happy to help you.
- Elk Mountain Trails
If you’re looking to experience the beauty and history of Harpers Ferry on horseback, then you’re in luck. Elk Mountain Trails offers trail ride tours through the Blue Ridge Mountains or along the Potomac River. If you’ve always wanted to try a tour on horseback, then this is the one to take.
Besides so many amazing activities in the areas, we’re also a great getaway from your busy life in Washington, D.C. or a quiet respite when you’re in D.C. on business and need a break since we’re a quick ride from Washington Union Station on the MARC Brunswick commuter train or Amtrak.