Sandy Hook in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Hiking Maryland Heights
The Stone Fort Trail
To your left, is a strenuous but rewarding hike to the summit. The route passes Civil War forts and campgrounds, scenic overlooks and weathered charcoal hearths.
Distance: 3.3 miles
Time: 3 hours round trip.
There are no restrooms or water along either trail.
The Road to Retreat
You are hiking the same mountain road that defeated Federal troops descended on September 13, 1862. Despite a six-hour resistance upon the crest against a 2,000-man Confederate advance, Union defenders received orders at 3:00 p.m. to withdraw from Maryland Heights and "fall back to Harpers Ferry in good order." Forty hours later, with the capture of Harpers Ferry by Stonewall Jackson, Union commander Col. Dixon S. Miles surrendered 12,500 men, including the 2,000 defenders from Maryland Heights.
The Overlook Cliff Trail
To your right, is a moderate but pleasant hike to a scenic overlook of Harpers Ferry and the Shenandoah Valley.
Time: 1.5 hours round trip
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 39° 19.943′ N, 77° 43.637′ W. Marker is in Sandy Hook, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Sandy Hook Road. Located at the split between the Stone Fort and Overlook Cliff Trails, on Maryland Heights, part of the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Knoxville MD 21758, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Naval Battery (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Making a Mountain Citadel (approx. 0.2 miles away); 30-Pounder Battery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Charcoal Making on Maryland Heights (approx. ¼ mile away); Maryland Heights - Mountain Fortress of Harpers Ferry (approx. ¼ mile away); Exploring Maryland Heights (approx. 0.3 miles away); Civil War Campgrounds (approx. half a mile away); 100 - Pounder Battery - Heaviest and Highest (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sandy Hook.
More about this marker. In the lower section of the marker is a drawing of "Retreating Federal troops descending the mountain road on September 13, 1862. Thirteen months earlier, soldiers from the Second Massachusetts Infantry had constructed the road as one of their first projects of the Civil War." A map of the trails with key points of interest is on the upper right quadrant of the marker.
Regarding Hiking Maryland Heights. This marker is one of a set along the National Park Service's trail to the top of Maryland Heights. You can see the other markers in this set through the Maryland Heights Virtual Tour by Markers link below.
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Harpers Ferry. National Park Service summary of the battle. (Submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Maryland Heights Virtual Tour by Markers. A set of markers relating the history of Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. (Submitted on February 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,627 times since then and 30 times this year. Last updated on April 18, 2018, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.