Sandy Hook in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Exploring Maryland Heights
Antietam Iron Works, a major nail producer in the early 1800s, burned the timber of the heights for charcoal to fuel furnace and forges. Traces of charcoal hearths and roads remain today as testimony to this industry.
Civil War earthworks, stone fortifications, and encampments transformed the mountain into a fortress from 1862 to 1865. Today, these former defenses and camps are some of the best preserved Civil War ruins in the United States.
Nature has reclaimed Maryland Heights, but hiking these trails offers a look at the weathered and silent ruins of the past.
Suggested Day Hikes
Overlook Cliff Trail (red)
A steady climb to a scenic overlook with excellent views of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. This trail also explores a Civil War fortification.
Distance: 2.8 miles
Time: 2 hours round trip.
Stone Fort Trail (blue)
A more strenuous hike, steep in spots, to the summit. Along the way are weathered charcoal hearths and the ruins of Civil War defenses and military campgrounds. Scenic vista reveal Maryland Heights as a strategic mountain citadel on the border between the North and South.
Time: 3 hours round trip
These trails have strenuous uphill sections, no restrooms, and no water supply.
Due to the steep and uneven terrain, the trails are not accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
Federal law requires protection of these irreplaceable ruins and artifacts. Leave them undisturbed.
Location. 39° 19.732′ N, 77° 43.847′ W. Marker is in Sandy Hook, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Sandy Hook Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located at the start of the Maryland Heights trail, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: Knoxville MD 21758, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Naval Battery (approx. ¼ mile away); Maryland Heights - Mountain Fortress of Harpers Ferry (approx. ¼ mile away); Branding the B&O (approx. 0.3 miles away in West Virginia); Hiking Maryland Heights (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pvt Luke Quinn (approx. 0.3 miles away in West Virginia); Power of the Potomac (approx. 0.3 miles away in West Virginia); Mere Machines of Labor (approx. 0.3 miles away in West Virginia); By the aid of these machines... (approx. 0.3 miles away in West Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sandy Hook.
More about this marker.
Regarding Exploring 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.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Maryland Heights Virtual Tour by Markers
Also see . . .
1. Maryland Heights. National Park Service details about the heights and the hiking trail. (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.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Natural Features • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,807 times since then and 86 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week February 3, 2008. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Picture of boulder into which Civil War era graffiti is carved. • Can you help?