Rangers with the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will lead a particularly strenuous hike to Split Rock on the Loudoun Heights Trail May 8, 2017, according to archaeologist and interpretive ranger Andrew Lee.
The six-mile round-trip hike is approximately five-hours long and very strenuous in its ascent and descent to the summit of the Blue Ridge on the Virginia border with West Virginia.
Participants should wear proper footwear, carry plenty of water, and pack snacks and a lunch, says Lee.
Loudoun Heights, also known as Loudoun Mountain, is the first peak of the Blue Ridge south of the Potomac River. The Loudoun Heights Trail connects with the Appalachian Trail near the summit and passes Civil War earthworks and views of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
Loudoun Heights was the scene of two military engagements during the Civil War. Its summit was occupied by Confederate General John George Walker during the Battle of Harpers Ferry, September 12-15, 1862, and of a night attack made January 10, 1864, when Colonel John S. Mosby's Rangers attacked Major Henry A. Cole's 1st Potomac Home Brigade of the Maryland Volunteer Cavalry. The failed-attack ended a run of engagements between Mosby's Rangers and Cole's Cavalry.
Pre-registration for this hike is required, and the hike is limited to 20 people. Participants should pay the National Park Service entrance fee at the park entrance station and ride the shuttle bus to the lower town. The program will begin on the green near the shuttle drop-off at 9:30 a.m. For additional information or to register, please call 304-535-6038.