Parking on the VA/WV Appalachian Trail

Section 1 - Harpers Ferry to Keys Gap Displayed from North to South

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  Potomac Appalachian Trail Club President @ Pine Grove Furnace State Park to Rockfish Gap, VA

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Harpers Ferry (Visitor Center)
  Poor            Great

As you approach Harpers Ferry on US 340, follow signs to the entrance of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The park entrance is on the south side of the only stoplight in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry. Parking is available for up to two weeks at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Visitor Center. You must register your vehicle with rangers at the visitors center or entrance station and pay a one-time $6.00 entrance fee. Gates are sometimes locked at night. For more information, call (304) 535-6298. Shuttle buses run every 15-20 minutes between the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Cavalier Heights visitors center and the lower town historic district. The A.T. is not marked prominently through the historic district, so a map is helpful. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a detailed map on their website (go to "About ATC," then "Visitors Center"). Contact ATC at (304) 535-6331 for information about day-hike parking in Harpers Ferry.
lpotteiger @
The attached map shows the Visitor Center and the accompanying parking. 06/13/08 1
dlcul @
Parking at the Harpers Ferry visitors center. The center closes at 5 P.M. You have to get there before then to pay the $6 fee and get a parking pass. 07/30/08 many
andreamartin161 @
Harpers Ferry (Historical Area)
  Poor            Great

Even though parking is problematic in the historical section of Harpers Ferry, it is a good access point. The marker on the attached map is at the corner of Sheandoah and High Streets. From there the southbound trail to Section 1 goes up High Street, turns left on Church Street and at the point where that curves right, goes straight ahead and climbs some stairs. The southbound trail to MD Section 7 goes east and crosses the Potomac River on the Goodloe Byron Memorial Bridge. 07/28/11 Very limited at best 1
dlcul @
Jct. US 340 and Shenandoah St.
  Poor            Great

From US 340, turn onto Shenandoah St. at west end of bridge over Shenandoah River. There is a parking lot on the south side of Shenandoah Street just east of the intersection. Overnight parking inadvisable. The northbound AT crosses the US 340 bridge over the Shenandoah River, crosses Shenandoah St. and then ascends the hill across from the parking lot. If one wants to reach the northern terminus of this section, follow the AT 1 mile northbound to or walk east along Shenandoah St (probably a bit shorter). See satellite view of attached map. The parking lot is clearly visible in the center. 5/6/06 12 1
dlcul @
The small parking lot at the end of the bridge on Route 340 is no longer free. It is now a fee area meaning they request you leave an envelope with $4.00 per vehicle + extra for each hiker. 4/24/06 20
appalachiantrail @
Chestnut Hill Rd (WV 32)
  Poor            Great

From the intersection of Shenandoah St. and US 340 in Harper's Ferry, go east on the latter, crossing the bridge over the Shenandoah River. In 0.8 miles take a sharp right onto Chestnut Hill Road (WV 32) and go another 0.7 miles to the trail crossing. There is a pedestrian crosswalk here. The road although paved is narrow with no shoulder. Thre is no place to park in the immediate vicinity so this should be consider a drop-off point only.

Alternatively one can drive 1 mile west from the intersection of US 340 & VA 671 to Chestnut Hill Road and leftt.
The green arrow on the attached map marks the trail crossing Rotate the street view to the northwest to see the northbound trail to Harpers Ferry. Rotate the street view to the southeast to see the southbound trail to Keys Gap. 01/11/10 None 1
dlcul @
Orange-Blazed Trail
  Poor            Great

See information on Loudon Heights Trail (Mile 2.4) This orange-blazed side trail lead 0.6 miles from the Loudon Heights Trail 1.6 miles from US 340 and goes 0,6 miles to meet the AT. Thre the northbound AT goes right, the southbound goes left. Coordinates at this point are 39/3136 , -77.7375 01/11/10
dlcul @
Loudon Heights Trail
  Poor            Great

The trailhead for the Loudon Heights Trail, an old route of the AT, is 0.1 miles east of the intersection of US 340 and VA 671 just to the west of the Sandy Hook Bridge over the Potomac. The green arrow and rotating man mark the parking area. Rotate he street view to see this large parking lot. The current (17th) edition of the AT Guide to MD/ N. VA says that parking is available here. The last time I was there, prominent signs warned people that parking in that lot is private. I don't know what the current situation is. There are some parking area in the vicinity on the other (Potomac River) side of the highway. I have never hiked this trail, but have seen the trailheads at either end. Given its length (2.2 miles), this blue-blazed SIDE TRAIL is more of an alternate than an access trail. It starts from the southwest end of the parking area and climbs to the ridge to meet the AT. Here the northbound AT goes right and starts to descend. The southbound trail continues straight ahead. Coordinates at the AT intersection are 39.3107 -77.7370. 01/11/10 Zero to ample--See Directions 1
dlcul @
The lower end of the Loudoun Heights Trail, between the parking area on Route 340 and South to the first overlook, which is known as Split Rock, has recently been officially CLOSED by the National Park Service. That section of the Loudoun Heights Trail has been blocked at both ends and all blue blazes removed. You can still access the Loudoun Heights Trail from the AT or the Orange blazed trail, but the Loudoun Heights Trail now officially ends at Split Rock.
Just an interesting tidbit of AT history.... The Loudoun Heights Trail WAS the official AT route from 1948 until 1984, when the trail was re-routed through Harpers Ferry. From 1948 to 1984, Harpers Ferry was an off-trail sidetrip. 04/03/12
Trailbum @
Keys Gap - WV 9
  Poor            Great

PATC has a gravel parking lot on the north side of Rt.#9, just past state line. 3/14/2006 12
wahoohanger @
The parking lot is on the north side of the Route 9 approximately 6 miles east of Charlestown and about 3 miles west of the intersection with VA 671. It is probably a quarter mile east of the intersection of Route 9 and West Virginia Route 32. 4/6/06
dlcul @
N39.15.699 W077.45.736 The street view on the map shows the parking area. 10/12/07 1
at @
Two unattended vehicles were broken into at the Route 9 Keys Gap trailhead on 2/16/08; another such incident occurred there within the past month. 02/19/08
jluthy @
2/28/12 car broken into during daylight 04/03/12
jluthy @

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Page last updated: 9/19/2016 3:21:47 PM