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mmais68569
09-13-2012, 18:53
Are there an airports near Harpers Ferry? I would like to start there next spring & hike south.

Mike (Mr. Mean)

RED-DOG
09-13-2012, 19:02
I don't think there's a Airport close to Harper's Ferry, but theirs a Amtrak that goes right in to Harper's Ferry from Washington D.C.

johnnybgood
09-13-2012, 19:17
Dullus International Airport-Leesburg,Va. 30 miles to the east. All the major carriers fly into IAD.

wnderer
09-13-2012, 20:39
I don't think the train goes to Dulles. You can take the MARC from Baltimore Airport to Harpers Ferry during the week. You might have to change trains in Rockville. The MARC doesn't run on the weekends.

yellowsirocco
09-13-2012, 20:49
Amtrak goes to Harper's Ferry and they connect with a lot of airports. If you are starting on a long hike you can kill some extra time in transit and it is no big deal. So check places like BWI and Philly and the flights might be cheaper even when you add in the extra train fare.

Personally I like to use Amtrak for the entirety of my trip if I can, I don't like baggage handlers or TSA goons touching my expensive gear.

Odd Man Out
09-13-2012, 23:52
Dullus International Airport-Leesburg,Va. 30 miles to the east. All the major carriers fly into IAD.

A group of exchange students from Moldova (one headed to our house) had to fly though Dulles, so their their bags were all labeled with big tags marked "IAD". They looked at their bags and all said "oh no, we're all going to hell!" To get their from HF would require a cab or shuttle. No practical public transport that I know of (except a bus from DC).

In addition to the Amtrak, there is a commuter train that goes to Union Station in DC (but only weekdays and only in the AM). From their you can get the train to BWI or the Metro Subway to DCA.

yushan
09-14-2012, 18:17
For shuttles between Harpers Ferry and the 3 area airports (BWI, DCA and IAD), check the ATC shuttle list: www.appalachiantrail.org/shuttles and check www.hostelhiker.com/book/details/36070/transfer-from-washington-dc-to-airportwodharpers-ferry/.

Sugarfoot
09-14-2012, 19:27
Even though Dulles is closest to Harpers Ferry, either Washington National (sometimes called Reagan) or BWI is easier if you want to get to Harpers Ferry on your own. Both DCA and BWI are served by Washington Metro (you may need to transfer lines, but that is easy), which will take you to Union Station in Washington. From there you can take Amtrak or MARC directly to Harpers Ferry. In general, trains to Harpers Ferry run in the afternoon and evening. From the station in Harpers Ferry, it is literally about 75 feet to the Trail, near the bridge over the Potomac, at the reconstruction of John Brown's "Fort." There is a hostel in Harpers Ferry (Tea Horse) and several B&Bs. I recall that AmTrak gets into Harpers Ferry about 5:20, leaving enough light to hike south to the first campsite (about 4 miles) or north, along the C&O towpath, to Weaver Campsite. If you fly into Dulles, you will need to either take ground transit to National or into D.C. -- there is no direct way of getting from Dulles to Harpers Ferry without either renting a car or arranging a shuttle. There are no rental returns in Harpers Ferry, so that isn't practical. Dulles has a lovely terminal designed by Eero Saarinen, but it isn't a good place to begin a hike.

thestin
09-14-2012, 19:48
Here's a link to the MARC train site. http://mta.maryland.gov/marc-train The MARC trains run Monday through Friday. No service on national holidays. As mentioned above, easy access to Union Station from both BWI and Reagan National. You can purchase MARC tickets from a self-service kiosk in Union Station. The Capitol and the National Mall are a short walk from Union Station if you have the time.

LIhikers
09-15-2012, 21:23
Personally I like to use Amtrak for the entirety of my trip if I can, I don't like baggage handlers or TSA goons touching my expensive gear.

This past spring I hiked the Great Alleghney Passage.
A friend came from NY City to join me. He said that the TSA was at the Amtrak station there and they took him out of line and went through his pack. They may be coming to a station near you, for your own safety you know.

Odd Man Out
09-15-2012, 21:42
You could also hike the C and O canal foot path from HF to Washington DC. It's downhill the whole way.

mmais68569
09-16-2012, 07:51
Does the TSA scan at train stations like the airport or is it just a random show up when they want? Reason I ask is so I know wheather to ship my fuel canister & pocket knife & a few other banned items.

Mike

Sugarfoot
09-16-2012, 07:57
When I was at Union Station in D.C. about a month ago, there were signs saying that all baggage was subject to searches and that passengers should have photo IDs. There were AmTrak cops and TSA folk around, but the only active security I saw was a cop walking a dog by the passenger line, which I assume was for sniffing out either drugs or explosives. There is an outfitter in Harpers Ferry where you could buy a fuel canister. They can't be shipped by air anyway.

dmperkins74
09-16-2012, 09:44
@mmais68569,

The shuttler's page Yushan pointed you to has a PDF full of shuttlers. I'm on the PDF in fact. I've run a shuttle from Dulles to Harpers Ferry before, so could possibly help you out if you're coming in there. If you're interested, fire an email to me at atshuttler@gmail.com.

Dan P. (AlphaPig)