Guided Tours - Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if we have more than one automobile in our group?

Your guide will ride in a lead vehicle while the others caravan to the next location of the walking tour. Please note that the park allows a total of 3 cars to caravan within the park.

  • What if I only want an hour tour?

Your guide can adjust your tour to one hour; however, the fee schedule will remain the same. 

  • How do I become a certified park guide?
Click here to learn how to become a certified guide. You will be provided with recommended resources to study in order to prepare for a written and oral test. If you have any questions, please contact the Executive Director of Harpers Ferry Park Association, Catherine Baldau at or 304.535.6881.

  • How often guides are available?
Guides are not on-site and are available by reservation only. You may check at the Visitor Center to see if a guide is currently in town and available for an unscheduled tour.

  • How much walking is involved on the tour?
Though you drive to different area of the park, most of the tour is on foot. Each tour can be custom fit to the needs and requests of the guest party. If there are special needs or concerns for the tour, be sure to address them during the registration process. If you forget, make sure to talk with your guide before you start.

  • Are these tours ranger led?
Our guides are not actual park rangers, but they are trained and certified by National Park Service rangers. If you are interested in a tour given by an NPS ranger, you can find more information about it here.

  • Are there restroom facilities available during the tour?
There are restrooms at the visitor’s center (where the tour begins) and also in Lower Town next to the Bookshop (where tour ends).

  • Can we stay in the park once the tour has been completed?
Absolutely. Depending on the transportation arrangements, you should be able to leave your car in the special designated area until you are ready to conclude your visit at the park. This assumes that your visit concludes during the normal park visitation hours (9am-5pm).

  • Are there opportunities to get food and shop before/after the tour?
Lower Town offers many different dining options, as well as a variety of shops with varied items for sale. They are all within walking distance and easily accessible from the location of the conclusion of most tours. If you choose to start your day in the park before your tour, the same accessibility applies.

  • Can we start the tour if we are coming from the C&O Canal?
We have many tours that are scheduled as a part of a multi-day hike or ride on the C&O Canal towpath. Whether you are taking a day, or several days, we can tailor the tour to meet your specific start/arrival details.

  • Do we need to tip the tour guide?
Tips are absolutely not a requirement. They are appreciated when provided, but are not mandatory. A portion of the tour fee supports Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and a portion goes to your tour guide.

  • Can the tour guide take us to Maryland Heights (or a specific part of the park not mentioned)?
It would depend on guide availability. Be sure to mention this when reserving and we will do our best to accommodate special requests.

  • We would like to learn more about where John Brown was tried. Can the tour guide take us to Charles Town?
Unfortunately our guides are only certified to give tours within HFNHP. You can visit the Charles Town Visitors Center page to see what tours they have available.

  • Are the tours appropriate for young children/teenagers?
Yes! The tours are heavy on historical information, but our tour guides are able to work with a variety of different age and interest groups. If your child has a special interest be sure to mention when booking.

  • We are a school group coming into town. Do you have any special rates or options for schools?
Our rates remain the same. If you are looking for something a bit more cost effective, please contact the HFNHP Education Department.

  • Can I request a certain guide?
Absolutely! While we cannot guarantee the guide will be available, all efforts will be taken to accommodate specific guide requests.

  • I have limited mobility/other special needs. Would I still be able to take the tour?

We are able to accommodate a variety of individual needs. Please mention any concerns you may have.