Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

The AT crosses the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, WV, the little town with lots of history. For example, it was in Harpers Ferry in 1859 that the abolitionist/insurrectionist John Brown staged a raid on the federal arsenal with the goal of starting a slave uprising. Robert E. Lee (leading a group of Marines!) defeated and captured Brown and brought him to justice; of course this was back when Lee was still working for the U.S. Army. Lee would later pass through Harpers Ferry a time or two as a Confederate general during the Civil War.  

Crossing the bridge into Maryland sort of represents the halfway point of the thru-hiker's journey on the AT; it's not quite halfway by mile markers (it's just over a thousand miles from Springer Mountain), but it's close.

Harpers Ferry is also home to the headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the volunteer organization that, in partnership with local AT clubs, manages and maintains the trail. Please check out their website and their online store, and consider donating to help them preserve the AT.


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