One of America’s favorite hiking trails will be closed weekdays through mid-October while diseased trees are removed, according to officials from the National Park Service.
Starting Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, the Maryland Heights Trail in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will be closed on weekdays for the removal of diseased trees, which have the potential to become hazardous, according to park ranger Autumn Cook.
Tree work will occur Monday-through-Friday until Oct. 11. The trail will be open on weekends, but the small parking area near the trailhead will be closed daily until the work is complete. The Maryland Heights Trail is always closed from sunset to sunrise.
The trees to be removed are mostly ash and oak species, Cook explained in a press release.
The ash trees have been infected with emerald ash borer beetles, which are invasive insects that kill ash trees within two to three years of infestation. The oak trees have been damaged by either sudden oak death or gypsy moth caterpillars.
During this closure, visitors are encouraged to explore other park trails. The Loudoun Heights Trail is similar in intensity and offers views of lower town from the mountain opposite Maryland Heights.
The 3,500-acre national park protects, preserves, and interprets the history of Harpers Ferry at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers—the site of John Brown’s Raid and industrial, Civil War, and African-American historic sites.
Located in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia the park features more than 20 miles of hiking trails.
Harpers Ferry is an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C., and a five-hour drive from Charleston, West Virginia.
For information about planning a visit to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, call 304-535-6298 or visit www.nps.gov/hafe.