This a beautiful hike, but don't let the C&O Canal tow path walk lull you into thinking it's going to be easy. Look at the elevation profile and you'll see that after the nice walk on the C&O the remaining 1.5 miles to Weaverton Cliff is a steep climb with multiple switch backs. The payoff is the beautiful view from Weaverton Cliff and walk in Harpers Ferry.
Starting in Harpers Ferry WV you cross the scenic footbridge over the Potomac River and walk along the C&O Canal tow path, get the heart pumping up to Weaverton Cliff, then down and walk back to Harpers Ferry. You'll probably find yourself more tired than you expect as the total distance is just over 9.0 miles.
Another option is to park in Maryland at the Park & Ride off
Weaverton Rd (map point). This cuts out the C&O Canal tow path walk and just does the Weaverton Cliff out/back portion of 2.0 miles.
For this 9.0 mile version, park at the Harpers Ferry Train Station and walk down to the pedestrian footbridge that crosses The Potomac River. Cross the river, descend the footbridge, and start following the the C&O Canal tow path/Appalachian Trail (A.T.) downstream.
After crossing the train tracks there is another parking area just before the A.T. crosses Keep Tryst Rd. The A.T. then starts its ascent and in 0.3 miles passes beneath US340. Israel Creek will be on your left for 0.1 miles at which point you reach the Park and Ride on Weaverton Rd.
Turn right for the short 0.1 mile walk down to Weaverton Cliff. At Weaverton Cliff you have a beautiful 180 degree views of the Potomac River, with the Harpers Ferry area just visible at the very western point.
To return, just retrace your steps.
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Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the CO Canal/Weaverton Cliff hike:
Reviews For The CO Canal/Weaverton Cliff Hike (5 Most Recent)
Great hike! I started pre-dawn in the Harper's Ferry train station parking lot. I spent a good twenty minutes looking for the foot bridge as this was my first visit to downtown historic Harper's Ferry. From the parking lot go back down the street to find the trail! Enjoyed the hike along the C&O towpath along the Potomac. The tail is good and there is much to see. The hike up to Weverton Cliff was exhilarating, much like climbing a pile of rocks. I spent a half hour enjoying the view and the birdlife. The hike back to the truck was equally enjoyable. Back at the parking lot a park ranger gave me an envelope reminding me there is a $10 parking fee which I gladly paid.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 01, 2012
Wonderful hike along the river & (eventually) up Weverton Cliff. Suggest you make revisions to your instructions, which now say "In 1.2 miles the tow path passes underneath US 340." (Recommend adding "This is the high bridge with cars on it which crosses the Potomac River.") "Continue for another 1.5 miles where the A.T. will turn left off the tow path and cross an active set of train tracks." (Recommend adding "If you see an old red brick structure on your left, probably the old lock master's building, you have gone too far down the tow path. Return to where you can see train tracks with the first parking area shown on the map close by. After leaving the parking area, if you miss the marker for the A.T.and continue up that road instead, you will come to the very busy US 340. Do not attempt to cross this dangerous highway. Instead look west (towards the cars coming at you) for the small highway bridge US 340 uses to cross Israel Creek, about 80 yards away. Facing the traffic, walk carefully along the side of the highway to that bridge, immediately adjacent to which you'll discover a short trail that leads you back down to the A.T."
Someone had defaced the signs that would have otherwise pointed us properly in the right direction for turning left off the tow path to go across those tracks to the Weverton Cliff trail. So we ended up walking another 1 - 1 1/2 miles further east on the tow path, after someone had told us "the parking lot" was that direction! It's Weverton, BTW, not Weaverton Cliff.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 01, 2012
Weaverton Cliff is a good hike. It's worth the gas driving to Harpers Ferry. The C & O Canal's path surface is very hard on my feet. However, the trail up the cliff was refreshingly soft. I found the view spectacular. I agree, camping is a 1. There just isn't any place to camp. As for streams, sure, there is one if you want to go down and then hike back up again. As for solitude, I'm not a hiking purist so a little company on the trail is welcome. Sure, I'd go again.
Date of Hike: Sunday, June 26, 2011
I just got back from this hike and its a very pleasnt place to visit. Its a pretty easy hike and the hill at the end isnt that tough. The views at the top are more than worth it. Also what I really liked about it is when you get back you can explore Harpers Ferry and take in a bit of a Civil war lesson. We went into a pub and some of the stores there and everyone was really friendly. If you are concerned about running into people this place probably isnt for you. Along the tow path we were constantly being passed by bikers but if you just pay attention its not a problem. Overall I had an awesome expierence!