The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Maryland Heights in Harper's Ferry

On a cool, rainy, September day (yes, I've been sitting on these photos for a while), Jennell and I met up for a hike up Harper's Ferry's most popular trail; Maryland Heights, which features an overlook of Harper's Ferry from atop a 300 foot cliff.  At the bottom is the Harper's Ferry train tunnel so popular with local trainspotters.  We'd both been to Harper's Ferry on numerous occasions, but neither of us had ever trekked the Maryland Height Trail.

On this morning, there was only a 20% chance of rain...  We got the 20%.

Luckily that 20% stopped not long after we arrived in Old Town.  Although it finally stopped raining, the Maryland Heights peak was hardly visible through the raincloud caught in the river valley.

In all the times I've been to Harper's Ferry, I have never seen a train; I assume this is due to Winter weather conditions, as every other time I've been, it has required heavy Winter gear.  This time, however, there was lots of train traffic.  We probably saw 15 trains; we lost count.

Passing through the fog, each one looked like a toy.

Jennell and I were taken by surprise by the steepness of the Maryland Heights trail; usually trails to mountain peaks are switchbacks, whereas this was more or less straight up the mountainside.

By time we reached the peak, the fog had burnt off, but a haze still remained in the valley.  Seeing as Jennell is afraid of heights, and we are atop a 300 foot cliff without fall protection, I scouted the rocks first so we could safely take a few photos while knowing safe boundaries.

Of course, those tracks below us were quite active throughout the entire day.  Since neither of us had been here before, we relaxed at the peak for a few hours, watching trains as the sun finally broke through, pushing the morning's poor weather out for a warm afternoon.

Here's some video of the trains moving across the river.  From so high up, the town looked like a well put together big kid train set.

By time we hiked back to the bottom, the sky was clear, and the creatures had come out from shelter.  A gloomy morning had made way to a lovely afternoon.

Still, more trains passing through.

Next was a much needed dinner and local craft brews.  Outside was a live band.

As the sun set, the light shown upon where we had hiked to and from, and we spotted our next trail to try out across the river.

Finally, on our trek back to the Visitors Center at dusk, we explored a little and ended up at Jefferson Rock by accident.  Neither of us had even heard of it before - clearly we aren't cultured in the Harper's Ferry area AT ALL.  But that was partially the point of our visit, and will continue to be next time.

I found the warning sign and pillars to preserve the natural rock formation's integrity fascinating... as well as the nearby water fountain.

A fitting end to a wonderful day.