Family Adventure Resource

Crossing into Harper’s Ferry

Who knew that cross into Harper’s Ferry would be such a challenge.  About 50 miles before our crossing we started hearing that the only way across was a footbridge and it had a spiral staircase.

I hadn’t read about that at all, when we decided to stay there.  We were committed to it though.  We had already paid for a campsite at the KOA outside of town (on the Harpers Ferry side) and we had a friend meeting us there.

The first folks to tell us about it were three women cycling the trail together.  They were out for a Sunday morning bike ride. We had stopped at a Historic Site and were reading about the area.  They came up to us and asked all of the usual questions… where did we start; where were going; what’s your next stop….They were impressed with our bikes and our stokers.

When our kids were infants we felt like we could have been naked and most folks wouldn’t have noticed because they were so focused on our kids!  On the ride it started feeling that way again.  They were definitely the highlight and we were just bystanders or something!

Well, these three women told us about the staircase and no other access to Harper’s Ferry. We thanked them and went on our way.  As we rode, we talked about it.  Could it be possible that there was no other way into Harper’s Ferry?  Should we cross the river at some other point?  Isn’t there a ferry — Harper’s Ferry?

Ken thought they probably didn’t consider highways as an option and weren’t as comfortable on BIG roads as we were, since we both had thousands of miles of road riding behind us.  But then we met a couple of other women that road along with us and confirmed the fact that there wasn’t an accessible bridge and that the walkway was UP a spiral staircase.  Of course it couldn’t just be a straight stair case.  How on earth were we going to get two HUGE bikes up with all of there gear??  We decided we just had to wait until we got there and figure it out.  If we had to we would find the road and ride across on the highway.

Well, we arrived in the Harper’s Ferry area, watching hundreds of people floating down the river on tubes.  Sadie's Biking Trip Pictures 2013 531Climbers on the wall above us and yes in deed a spiral staircase up to the walkway.  We parked our rigs and went up to investigate.  The one woman we had seen on the trail was there.  She offered to help.  We had run into her and her friend probably 8 times over the last 25 miles.  Her friend had just gotten a bike and was out for her first ride and they had done 25 miles out and were slowly working their way back 25.  She was hurting!  Mostly her butt!  She had bought a BIG comfy gel seat — terrible for long distance riding.  Great for boardwalk riding but not anything over 5 miles!!

Anyway, the touring cyclist woman had offered her help.  We were trying to figure out HOW– take all the gear off make multiple trips; unhitch the trailer??

Another guy came by and asked if we needed help — he thought we could all just muscle them up.  So we did.. Ken and he on each end of my bike…then he and ken on each end of Ken’s bike and a couple of us carried the trailer separately.  Amazing!  The goodness of strangers!

Sadie's Biking Trip Pictures 2013 537

Here you can see the staircase….it winds around a couple of times up to the level of the train tracks.

Pedestrian path across the river at Harper's Ferry WV

Pedestrian path across the river at Harper’s Ferry WV




Sadie shot video while we all carried bikes — a feat in itself!

The adventure of the bike carries:

The second bike:

Its definitely something to consider — the crossing.

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