From: April 19 to April 22, 2018

Destination: Harpers Ferry, WV

  • Harpers Ferry Holiday

    Harpers Ferry, located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, is known for both its great natural beauty and its historical significance. As a result it is a center point for numerous activities: hiking on the Appalachian trail and other Civil War historic trails, biking on the gently graded C&O Canal towpath, canoeing down one of the lively rivers, and visiting the historic old town. Mid-April in this area is beautiful with many flowering trees and shrubs and temperatures typically in the 60s and 70s, there is no better place for an active and relaxing long weekend getaway. Maximum group size: 16
  • Thursday, April 19
    If you're flying in, we'll pick you up at 1pm at the Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI). If you're driving, plan to meet us at the Harpers Ferry Hostel at 2:30pm. We'll settle in and then go out for our first hike. The Maryland Heights hike is a 3.1 out and back or a 4.7 mile loop with spectacular views of the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and fascinating Civil War history. Our hike follows a worn military road, leftover from the Civil War, that steeply winds its way up the mountain and turns onto a wooded path leading down to the cliffs. Alternatively, if you prefer something that is flatter but no less scenic, an out and back hike on the C&O canal towpath is a delightful option. If you cannot get to the hostel by 2:30 pm, plan to join us for dinner at the hostel at 6:30 pm and an evening of relaxation and games.

    Friday, April 20
    After a hearty and relaxed breakfast we head to the Shenandoah River above Harpers Ferry for some delightful canoeing. This lovely Class I waterway for paddlers offers ripples and ledges, interspersed with flatwater sections that afford relaxation. Winding its way through the scenic Shenandoah Valley, nestled between the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, the river is home to heron and osprey, and deer sometimes break through the thickets to drink at the water's edge. If you have never paddled before, no worries - you will get the instruction you need to have a fun and safe day. And if that weren't thrills enough, we'll try a nearby zipline. If you have wanted to give ziplining a try, this is a perfect place to start.

    We'll end the day with another hearty dinner back at the hostel. If weather permits, we can enjoy sitting around a campfire and perhaps enjoying s'mores.

    Saturday, April 21
    The C&O Canal Towpath stretches for 185 miles from Washington DC to Cumberland, Maryland. Running parallel to the Potomac River, the path is both flat and tree-shaded, and can be navigated on either fat tire or regular tire bikes (although fat tire is preferable). We will cycle about 6 miles to the Antietam Aqueduct where we stop for lunch. Those wanting more cycling can continue up the towpath to the town of Shepardstown, WV (about 40 miles total). Others may choose to return to the hostel to have some time to relax, go for a walk, visit the town of Harpers Ferry, or enjoy a quiet moment to read. Tonight we'll go out to dinner at one of the many restaurants that have cropped up recently.

    Sunday, April 22
    This morning we will walk along the towpath into the Harpers Ferry Lower Town Historic District, which sits on the point of land where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge. George Washington convinced the Federal Government to build an Armory & Arsenal here and this, plus its geographic location, has determined much of the town's history. This is also the site of John Brown's ill-fated raid of October 16, 17, and 18, 1859. Several park exhibits and museums occupy restored 19th century buildings in the Lower Town today. To get the most from our visit, our local tour guide will tell us the fascinating history of this unique town. We will then walk back to the hostel for our final farewell lunch and end our weekend together by 2 pm.
  • Price: $795  (see this page for discounts). Deposit $300. There are no singles available on this trip. Please make sure you understand our cancellation policies.

    Trip Includes

    • Three nights lodging 
    • Meals and snacks from dinner on Thursday through lunch the following Sunday
    • Roundtrip transportation from the BWI airport and during the trip
    • Dinner in town at a Harpers Ferry restaurant
    • Bike and canoe rental, canoe shuttles, and ziplining 
    • Experienced guides
    What's not included: Travel to and from BWI, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and travel insurance.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking up the Maryland Heights Trail while imagining what it was like to drag 9 ton cannons behind you
  • Biking on C&O Canal Towpath alongside the gorgeous Potomac River
  • Paddling the historic Shenandoah River while singing John Denver songs
  • Learning about the history of Harpers Ferry
  • Hanging out at the Harpers Ferry Hostel with other really fun women

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