2023 Peregrine Falcon Closures at Harpers Ferry NPS and The Narrows

posted in: Harpers Ferry, raptors | 1
The Sign Wall and the Ramps of Maryland Heights

Significant portions of the climbing areas at both Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and The Narrows (aka Lover’s Leap) in Cumberland, MD are closed to visitors effective February 15-July 31, 2023. These closures occur seasonally to protect Peregrine Falcons during the nesting and mating season. Since human disturbance can cause nest abandonment and the loss of eggs and chicks, land managers have closed these areas to all visitors. Mid Atlantic Climbers supports the National Park Service and Maryland DNR closures.

Mid Atlantic Climbers will keep in touch with both land managers and update this post as necessary. The closure is expected to be in effect until July 31, 2023.

Maryland Heights at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

All routes on the prominent feature of Maryland Heights between and including the Gully and the Confederate Walls are closed to climbing for the duration of the closure. A large portion of the hillside above is closed to all visitors as well (see image). You can read the full closure announcement from Harpers Ferry NPS here. 

CLOSED: The Gully, The Sign Wall, The Ramps, and the Train Tunnel Wall, and the Confederate Walls.
OPEN: Skink Rock, Stone Fort, Union Walls, Balcony Rock, Balcony Junior, Elk Ridge Bouldering

More details on walls and routes can be found on the Harpers Ferry Mountain Project Page.

These seasonal closures for Peregrine Falcons have occurred for several years and are supported by the climbing community including Mid Atlantic Climbers, and our partner organizations: The Access Fund, The American Alpine, and The Outdoor Alliance. Harpers Ferry reports that the peregrine falcon’s return comes after two consecutive years of fledgling chicks at the park.

Shaded area is closed to all visitors 2/15-7/31
2023 Harpers Ferry Peregrine Closure

The Narrows, aka Lover’s Leap

At the Narrows, all routes between the end of the Sunshine Buttress to the Robinson Crusoe area are closed to climbing.

Route information and maps can be found on the Narrows aka Lover’s Leap Mountain Project Page.

The Narrows 2020 Perigrine Closure Boundaries 2/15-7/31 <CLICK TO ENLARGE>

  1. Matt Olear

    Hello – Some of you know me as the volunteer who helps monitor the peregrine falcon pairs mentioned above on behalf of the NPS, Md. DNR, and USFWS.

    I wanted to respond to this post with a note thanking you all for your cooperation and sharing my email (matthewolear@msn.com) in case anyone would like to DM me with questions.

    I do this work as a volunteer, and I have challenging personal circumstances that make it harder for me to keep up with things as diligently as I would like. But, I’ll do my best to answer questions sent to me or posted here.

    Thanks again for your stewardship of these resources and for helping provide the falcons a chance to nest successfully.