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Appalachian Trail MD - Ed Garvey to Harpers Ferry

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Incredible cliff views of the Potomac, steep switchback descent, river stroll
Near:Brunswick, MD
Distance:6.3 miles
Elevation Gain:422 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Point to Point

Summary: This is part 4 of 4 hikes that could be done as individual day hikes or strung together for a 4 day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail to complete the state of Maryland.

This hike begins near Weverton at Ed Garvey Memorial Shelter, one of the finest shelters along the AT. If you've spent the night you will wake to a southern view of an awesome sunrise, giving warmth to the start of a new day. The hike out to Weverton is along smooth, flat trails.

Prior to the tough switchback descent you will do well to take the side trail (blue blazed) down to Weverton Cliffs. The views both east and west along the Potomac are awesome. To the west you can just make out the Episcopal Church steeple in Haper's Ferry.

The descent is steep and rocky but this is followed by several miles of flat, wide, smooth towpath hiking to Harper's Ferry, thus completing the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail.

Trailhead: This hike is intended to begin at Ed Garvey Memorial Shelter. However, you can begin near US 340. Just take MD67 North from 340 and turn right on Weverton Road. On the right is the parking area for the AT. But don't simply start from here towards Harper's Ferry. It is a tough climb but you will miss out on an awesome view if you don't first climb north-east up to Weverton Cliffs. (Lat:39.33493 Lon:-77.67531)
Trail Guides for Appalachian Trail MD - Ed Garvey to Harpers Ferry:
Appalachian Trail Guide to Maryland and Northern Virginia
by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (Potomac Appalachian Trail Club)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club ( 703-242-0693
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brian Talbert, who has posted  20 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 2   Submit your own review
Reviewed by baltimore on 5/7/2011
hiked this one from gathland state park to harpers ferry. 10.5 miles. gathland to weverton very rocky trail. cliffs were great. weverton to harpers ferry pretty easy but by then our legs and feet were shot..overall great time.

Reviewed by Harry on 1/21/2011
I did the MD section from Washington Monument to Harpers Ferry. The Ed Garvey is spectacular, I thought it was built decades ago but actually fairly recently, built off site then brought up piece by piece. Regarding the spring at Ed Garvey-it is downhill about .5 mile. It's a tough climb back up.

Reviewed by W P on 10/13/2009
Did this one from the Weverton Road trailhead and hiked up to the cliffs, then along the ridge a ways. The cliff view is spectacular, and it was a peaceful and fairly empty trail (on a Tuesday afternoon). Leaves were just starting to change color, so that was nice too.

Reviewed by Garrett on 8/14/2008
I did this hike with two of my friends. It was already our third day on the trail, starting from the I-70 footbridge. By the time I reached the Ed Garvey shelter on the previous night, I was in pain from the hike from Dahlgren’s. This was my first time hiking, and I found it to be very pleasant. After leaving Ed Garvey shelter you enjoy a really easy hike all the way to Weverton Cliff. Even with my foot swelled, pounding, and almost useless from the beating it took the day before, I enjoyed this hike greatly. Just as many rocks as the rest of the trail, but at least it was a nice straight run. After Weverton, you hit the steep descending switchback, which was my favorite portion of the entire hike.

Reviewed by tyler on 7/26/2008
this hike had it all. we started at Gathland State Park then hiked to the cliffs, had lunch, then down to the river for a swim and back to Gathland again for the car.. Gathland is a couple of miles from the shelter so that the hike from there to the river is almost 8 miles, and thats not even all the way to Harper's Ferry. there is parking by the river though.

Reviewed by AMAZONEV on 1/25/2008
Perfect quick 45min drive from Rockville about 1hr hike up back down and home for a juicy morning hike (like 4 hrs). Nice getaway alone but also a neat short hike with a group for a picnic. And you can say you sampled a piece of the Appalachian Trail.

Reviewed by MCM on 11/27/2007
It is the steeple of a Catholic, not Episcopal church, in Harper's Ferry that is visible for miles.

Reviewed by Bruce D on 10/28/2007
Started at I-70 and ran all the way to the C&O at Weaverton. Was an excellent run - took about 4 hrs to finish the 19.1 miles. Had no plan to make good time - just wanted to check it out. Made it with 2 - 16 oz water bottles with no problem. This run will make you feel beat up physically and you have to really focus not to fall or roll ankles. 19 miles on this part of AT felt like 24 normal miles. Beautiful Fall day, started at 50 deg and lots of hikers on the trail. Being my first time on this trail, the white blaze was confusing while running and easily lost in a few spots - like after coming to the parking lot at the Washington Memorial. Ed Gaver shelter was cool but was the only shelter I saw over the stretch.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Maryland Hiking, Maryland Trails, Maryland Hikes, Frederick County Hiking, Frederick County Trails, Frederick County Hikes

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