Harpers Ferry Visitor Center is a part of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and headquarters of the Appalachian Trail. The visitor center has various amenities, including museums, information, classes, and unique hiker and guest services.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is the headquarters of the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia. The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, attracting millions of visitors a year. The trail covers over 2,000 miles within 14 different states from Maine to Georgia. The trail is protected by the National Park Service, and it is partnered with private, public, local state, and federal programs. The mission of the conservancy is to protect, manage, and advocate for this scenic trail. Hikers are encouraged to prepare and learn the area before adventuring out onto the trail.
The Appalachian Conservancy is home to the Harpers Ferry Visitor Center which is one of the legendary stops along the Appalachian Trail. The welcome sign out front provides an optimal and popular photo op for all travelers. The visitor center offers a variety of unique services and serves as a refuge to hikers. Customed hiker services include package-mail pick up with proof of a photo ID. Hikers can also give a donation in exchange for Coleman fuel or denatured alcohol. Hikers can rest from hiking and relax in the comfortable hiker lounge. Hikers can rest, rehydrate with a cold drink, and charge electronics in the provided charging stations. The lounge hosts photo albums of over 30,000 hikers' photos since 1979 for all to enjoy.
Visitors can explore the museum that has inspiring and unique exhibits. The exhibits include a 3D map of the Appalachian Trail, a story wall of legendary hikers such as the famous Earl Shaffer, and more. Visitors can also buy some helpful trail merchandise and souvenirs from the on-site gift shop. Popular souvenirs include t-shirts, mugs, patches, guide books, and maps. The friendly staff and volunteers are well educated about the center and local area. The staff is known to give travelers helpful information, suggestions to nearby historic sites, answer any questions, give tours to small groups, teach training classes, and more. The visitor center is also helpful to young travelers, as well. Parents and teachers can find a printable and friendly adventure guide from the center websites. Kids can come prepared with a completed Jr. Ranger adventure guide in exchange for a free Jr. ranger patch. Kids can have fun exploring the sheltered kid fort play area designed especially for kids. The victor center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and is closed on holidays. Parking options include free two-hour parking behind the building or use the metered street parking below the center. Long-term parking for up to two weeks is available, with a registered and approved parking permit located in a separate nearby area.