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, 2020. 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, 2020.
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 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 fully supported by the climbing community including Mid Atlantic Climbers, and our partner organizations: The Access Fund, The American Alpine, The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club – Mountaineering Club, and The Outdoor Alliance. The park reports that climbers have been in 100% compliance during these closures.
This seasonal closure is a completely separate management decision from the Park’s closure of all climbing in the Virginia and West Virginia portions of the park. You can find out more information about that closure and read about the climbing community’s efforts to restore climbing access from Climbing Magazine. To get involved in the effort to re-open these portions of the park, check out our campaign to #ClimbHarpersFerry!
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.