Weverton Cliffs is a small part of the Appalachian Trail. It is also one part of the trail that offers some of the most amazing views in the United States of America. Weverton Cliffs is located in Knoxville, Maryland, near the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal along the Potomac River.
Most avid hikers are more familiar with the longer more well-known parts of the Appalachian Trail. However, those who have climbed the South Mountain to Weverton Cliffs have never been disappointed particularly by the amazing views at the top of the trail.
1. Where it is located
Weverton Cliffs is located in Knoxville, Maryland near the town of Weverton in the southern part of the Maryland. The Cliffs sit atop South Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail that leads to Weverton Cliffs is a part of the Appalachian Trail. The cliffs rise above the Potomac River. The entrance is located off Weverton Cliffs Road. The trail is accessible by the roadside clearly marked as part of the Appalachian Trail. There is parking available near the start of the trail.
2. What to expect
Weverton Cliffs is a short but challenging trail. Regular hikers rate it moderate. It is kid friendly and leashed dogs are allowed on the trail. The trail is an out and back trail so you hike to the top and turn around to come back where you started. The hike there and back is a total of 3 miles.
The hiking trail is well maintained but there are areas with rocks and tree roots, so hikers should wear hiking boots. The trail rises through the forest trees 1,500 feet which can be tough but well worth it. There are switchbacks but the trail is well marked. The hike back to base is easier than the hike up because it's down hill. The trail itself is shaded by forest trees and filled with wildlife.
3. The views
While the hike is relatively easy and short, it's well worth it. Reaching the cliff side summit offers some of the most amazing views in the United States of America. The overlook view offers vistas of the winding Potomac River and adjacent Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks.
Rolling hills stretch for miles from Maryland to West Virginia. Views of small towns such as Brunswick and Knoxville dot the hillsides. You'll be able to see Harpers Ferry as well. Weverton Cliffs is beautiful all year round but especially during the fall when the tree leaves turn to red, gold and orange and the weather is comfortable.
4. Why it's such a hit
Weverton Cliffs is popular with regular hikers and those just looking for a nature walk. The trail is rated moderate because at times it can be rocky with tree roots, parts of it are very narrow, and the walk up can be a bit taxing because it's all uphill. However it's definitely doable.
The fact that it is only 1.5 miles each way and should only take about an hour is a plus. The most important reason people love to hike the trail is the view from the Weverton Cliffs at anytime of the year. Also, the sunsets are amazing,
5. Weverton's History
The town of Weverton, Maryland and the surrounding towns are steeped in history. Weverton is unincorporated and has a population of just 500. It's located near Harpers Ferry in southern Maryland along the Appalachian Trail. The town was founded in the 1820's by Casper Wever.
At the time, settlers were spreading west and the need for transportation and trade were important. Weverton was founded as a mill town before a flood shut down the mill. However, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was built and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was created, allowing for the transport of goods. Weverton and surrounding towns were important battle sites during the Civil War. In fact, Harpers Ferry was home to America's second arsenal. Today the town of Weverton is small and quaint.
6. Combine hike with C & O Canal Hike
If you want to take a longer hike than just the Weverton Cliffs Trail, hiking along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal will add a few miles to the hike. Beginning at Harpers Ferry you'll walk along the old towpath adjacent to the Potomac River. This is where the mules walked as they pulled the boats through the canal.
The canal was built in the early 1800's to transport goods from the east to the western settlers. Today the towpath is popular with hikers, runners and bikers. It's a scenic route and a comfortable walk. It takes you to the beginning of the Weverton Cliffs Trail.
7. Other nearby trails
There are many trails near Weverton Cliffs. Whether you're an avid hiker or just a casual adventurer, you are certain to find a trail that is enjoyable. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park offers beautiful trails. Other sites to visit include Jefferson's Rock and Elk Ridge. The Maryland Heights trail is known for its challenges. There are also the Loudan Heights Trail, the Boliver Heights Trail and the Lower Town Trail among many others to explore.
8. Nearby Brunswick
A great place to stop after you've hiked the Weverton Cliffs is the small town of Brunswick. The town is quaint and has a lot to offer. There is a River and Trail Outfitters store where you can purchase and book tubing and rafting trips in the on the Potomac. There's a coffee shop called Beans in the Belfry.
A favorite spot in Brunswick is the Smoketown Brewing Station. It's located in the old fire station and decorated with historical pictures and firehouse items from the past. The Brewery offers a wide menu of beers as well as small plates and a bar menu.
9. Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry is a great place to stay when hiking the Weverton Cliffs and other nearby trails. Steeped in history, Harpers Ferry was home to America's second armory.
It is where John Brown got a group together to take control of the armory with the intentions of staging a large scale slavery rebellion. Brown did not have enough recruits, was captured by General Lee and the Marines, and hung. Brown became a hero to the Union and an enemy to the Confederacy. His rebellion helped lead to the beginning of the Civil War.
10. Things to do near Weverton Cliffs
When not hiking the trail to Weverton Cliffs, there is a lot to explore in the area. There are boat tours, ghost tours and historic tours. There are campgrounds. Water sports like boating, kayaking, tubing and rafting are fun. There is horseback riding too. Harpers Ferry has a national park that is beautiful to explore.
Maryland has an amusement park and a putt putt course. With so much history in the area there are many historic sites, historic homes and museums in the surrounding towns.
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Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson