Named in honor of the third President of the United States who stood here and declared it the finest view of the most beautiful section of Virginia he had ever seen, Jefferson Rock is a highlight for those who visit what is now Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This site is near the Appalachian Trail and is a popular destination for hikers. With the exception of the bridge a mile downstream and the steeple of St. Peter's Church, built in 1833, the view from this rock has changed little since the time of Thomas Jefferson’s visit.
Thomas Jefferson stood on the rock on October 25th,
1783, enjoying the view so much that he waxed eloquent about its beauty in his famous work, Notes on the State of Virginia. According to Jefferson, the view alone was “worth a voyage across the
Jefferson Rock is a shale formation that overlooks the area where the Potomac meets the Shenandoah River. The area has changed some since 1783, as the natural foundation holding the part of the rock where Jefferson stood began to erode over time it became so unsteady that one could sway the rock back and forth with a simple push.
Since the natural foundation had become unsafe, four stone pillars were placed under each corner of the top slab
in sometime between 1855 and 1860.