Harpers Ferry/Loudoun
Spectacular views of Harpers Ferry
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School House Ridge - Millville, WV

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
3.7 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
1.5 hours plus a 15 min for lunch
190 ft
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Park at the School House Ridge parking area on Millville Rd/27. 39.30778, -77.77762

Part of the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, School House Ridge was a Confederate held position during the Battle of Harpers Ferry in September of 1862. The hiking trails have multiple views to the northwest of the Harpers Ferry area, including a walk along Flowing Springs Run, past Homestead Ruins and replica Confederate cannon along the Confederate line. This is an easy walk with well maintained trails, and offers considerably more solitude than the Loudoun Heights and Maryland Heights hikes also located in the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park.

Battle of Harpers Ferry - September 12-15, 1862

As Robert E. Lee advanced into Maryland with the Army of Northern Virginia, he ordered Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson to capture the garrison at Harpers Ferry to secure a supply line back to Virginia. Jackson's troops located on School House Ridge were under the command of A.P. Hill, Lawton, and J.R. Jones. McLaws commanded on Maryland Heights, and Walker and Crutchfield on Loudoun Heights. The first day of fighting saw heavy cannon fire but not advancement by the Confederate forces on Harpers Ferry. To press the battle after a second day of fighting Jackson ordered A.P. Hill to flank Miles's Union troops to the south of their location on Bolivar Heights. That night A.P. Hill moved into position next to the Shenandoah River with 3,500 troops and 20 cannon.

After heavy bombardment on the third day by the Confederate troops Union Col. Dixon S. Miles realized the fight was hopeless and surrendered to Jackson's forces, but died of wounds from Cannon fire before the surrender took affect. Although by Civil War standards the loss of life was considerably fewer, with 44 Union troops and 39 Confederate troops killed, the battle saw the largest surrender of Union troops in one engagement with 12,000 becoming prisoners of war.

Battle of Harpers Ferry Battlefield Map (3 pages)

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Mid December
School House Ridge
School House Ridge Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 25, 2017
This is your typical battlefield hike. A walk in an open field with some Civil War fences and a couple of cannons. If you are into the battle of Harper's Ferry than I would say this is a must to visit because you can see the view Jackson had of Maryland and Loudoun Heights. Mostly the people here are friendly locals out walking their dogs in the field. The parking lot was a little farther down Millvill Rd than where my GPS said. Just keep going on Millvill Rd until you see a big "School House Ridge Park" sign.There are big red signs in the parking lot that clearly say don't try parking at the lot and trespassing across the road at the quarry. It says they will tow your car from the parking lot if they catch you trespassing. There must of been a problem with people swimming in the nearby quarry. The lot is also part of Harper's Ferry national park so technically you should pay the entrance fee for Harper's Ferry park before using the lot. I just parked and risk it with no problems, but usually the Harper's Ferry area is heavily patrolled by park rangers.

By: Pete Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Happy 4th! I decided to hike here because Ive always driven past here on my way to either Maryland or Loudoun Heights. I wasn't expecting much, but suprisingly this hike is pretty good. This is a great hike for people with knee or ankle issues. The first part of the hike is all grass. The second part is almost all supple wood chips. It's very easy on the joints. This is one of those hikes that even though you are really next to route 340 it doesn't feel like it. It's really pretty quiet and not heavily used. There are quite a few decent/good views on the hike, especially on the way out. If you're up for it, wineberries (wild raspberries) are all over the place. This hike was quite nice, and I was suprised at the amount of solitude I got when you cant even park at Maryland or Loudoun Heigts most july 4th holidays. I recommend it. It's worth your time.

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