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Yahoo names Harpers Ferry best fall destination

Journal photo by Mary Stortstrom Lower Town Harpers Ferry is seen from the Appalachian Trail bridge. Harpers Ferry was named the No. 1 destination in Yahoo! Travel’s Best Trips to Take This Fall, beating out other national landmarks for the title.
Journal photo by Mary Stortstrom
Lower Town Harpers Ferry is seen from the Appalachian Trail bridge. Harpers Ferry was named the No. 1 destination in Yahoo! Travel’s Best Trips to Take This Fall, beating out other national landmarks for the title.

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — Harpers Ferry was named the no. 1 destination in Yahoo! Travel’s Best Trips to Take This Fall, beating out other national landmarks for the title.

According to Annette Gavin, CEO of the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Yahoo! travel writers selected Harpers Ferry as the top destination from a list that includes the Great Smoky Mountains, the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway in New Mexico and Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

“I’m excited for the community (of Harpers Ferry) and Jefferson County, and for West Virginia as a state because we beat these iconic places,” Gavin said. “Getting recognition from Yahoo! is incredible since their reach is so big.”

According to Dennis Frye, chief historian with the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, said the that occurred in July boosted marketing of Harpers Ferry on a local and regional level.

“The fire forced all of us to redouble our marketing efforts and promote Harpers Ferry more aggressively. We have not seen a drop in the number of visitors, and that’s due in part to the very positive message that Harpers Ferry is open for business,” he said.

Gavin said the recognition from Yahoo! Travel is “incredible for Harpers Ferry to get on the heels of the devastation they suffered.”

Frye said the official number of visitors to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, recorded by Park rangers, was approximately 260,000 people in 2014.

“Unofficially, it’s probably more like half a million visitors. Harpers Ferry is what’s known as a ‘porous’ park, meaning there are so many entrances, it’s impossible to count everyone who comes in,” he said. “The park is the second largest tourist attraction in Jefferson County.”

The recognition also closely followed the release of a “Real Harpers Ferry” video vignette from the state tourism office.

“(The video) is about people, it’s about a feeling and it engages you,” Gavin said. “This just goes to show that you never know what’s in your backyard. Sometimes, people here in West Virginia may take (Harpers Ferry) for granted, but it’s a national treasure.”

To view the full list from Yahoo!, visit www.yhoo.it/1JySaR6.

Staff writer Mary Stortstrom can be reached at 304-725-6581 orwww.twitter.com/mstortstromJN.

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