Harper's Ferry Climbing
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After raising the first successful fledgling at Harpers Ferry in 70 years, a pair of peregrine falcons have returned once again to nest on Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
To provide the peregrine falcons adequate space for nesting, the National Park Service (NPS) will close portions of Maryland Heights from Feb. 16 to July 29, 2022. The closures include several rock outcroppings near the overlook and the following climbing areas:
Train Tunnel Wall
All trails on Maryland Heights and the Union Walls climbing area will remain open. Closed areas will be clearly marked with signs and fencing.
Peregrine falcons are a sensitive species and had not successfully hatched chicks at Maryland Heights in several decades prior to last year’s success. In spring 2021, the peregrine couple produced three hatchlings, but only one chick survived the vulnerable newborn phase and successfully fledged (developed feathers that enabled it to fly). Human interference, especially during the nesting phase, can drive off mature falcons, cause abandonment of the nest and result in the loss of eggs or death to fledglings. NPS staff asks that people respect closures to give the peregrine falcons a safe habitat to breed and nest.
For more information about peregrine falcons at the park, visit go.nps.gov/HFfalcons.
MD Heights Registration
Registration is required prior to climbing on Maryland Heights. To register for climbing on MD Heights visit the Lower Town Information Center (however not required during Covid)
Cliffs that are closed to climbing and bouldering are Jefferson Rock, and the various quarry sites and small rock outcrops along Shenandoah Street. Virginia Rock Climbing is close which is basically the Virginia Cliff.
All Parking is closed on Sandy Hook Rd by the County Department of Highways including the trail head for Maryland Heights.
The Harpers Ferry region includes cliffs in all 3 states MD, WV, and VA due to their close proximity to each other all the information is contained here under Maryland.
Here is the original historical guide to Harpers Ferry by Rob Savoye:
The Climbing ranges from multi-pitch trad, sport and top-roping areas to tons of excellent bouldering. Maryland Heights stands 200 feet tall and is the tallest cliff in central Maryland. Most of the rock in the region is a hard quartzite providing good crack systems and positive edges on the faces.
Contributing Web Sights
Harpers Ferry is located 17 miles South-West of Fredrick Maryland on interstate 340 where it crosses the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. The individual cliffs should provide specific parking information. The Mark train and Amtrack both stop at Harpers Ferry.
All of the Harpers Ferry cliffs are located on National Park Land and some of the parking areas will include a $20 entry fee, however a year pass can be purchased for $35 at the visitor center. Also the annual National Park Pass can be used as well. The National pass cost $80 and has two signature spots so it can be shared with one other person and covers entrance fees for the owner and 3 accompanying adults into all National Parks.
Classic Climbing Routes at Harper's Ferry
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