Guided Tours - Frequently Asked Questions

How often guides are available?
Guides are not on-site and are available by reservation only. You may check at the Park Bookshop or Visitor Center to see if a guide is currently in town and available for a private guided tour.
How much walking is involved on the tour?
Our tours are a majority of walking with some driving involved. The standard tour is 2.5 hours in length and consists of approximately 1 mile of walking. Each tour can be custom fit to the needs and requests of the guest party. Benches are occasionally available along the routes to sit down for a moment. 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.
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.
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. When reserving your tour, please note any concerns you have regarding your situation so we can accomodate guests with mobility restrictions, impairments or other health issues.
Are these tours led by a Harpers Ferry NHP Ranger?
Our guides are not park rangers. However, all of our guides have been trained and certified by National Park Service rangers. To learn more about our guides, check out the Meet Our Guides portion of the Certifited Guide Tours section.
If you are interested in a tour given by an NPS ranger, you can find more information about it here.
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.
What if I only want an hour tour?
Our tours can be adjusted to one hour; however, the tour cost will remain the same.
Are there restroom facilities available during the tour?
There are two restrooms located in the Historic Lower Town.  However, it’s always a good idea to take care of business before the start of the tour at the restroom on the Visitor Center plaza.
Are the tours appropriate for young children/teenagers?
Yes! Our tours are heavy on historical information, but our tour guides are able to work with a variety of different age and interest groups. You are the best person to judge if your child will enjoy a history based walking tour or not. If your child has a special interest be sure to mention when booking.
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.
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 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 park's normal hours of operation.
Are there opportunities to get food and shop before/after the tour?
The Historic Lower Town district 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. To learn more about the local business check out the Experience Harpers Ferry website.
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. Please note that your group will be arriving via foot or bike when reserving your tour.
Can the tour guide take us to Maryland Heights (or a specific part of the park not mentioned)?
Special requests for your tour are dependent 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 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. You can visit the Charles Town Visitors Center page to see what tours they have available.
How do I become a certified park guide?
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.