Planning for Gettysburg
Tips and Tricks
- There are no restrooms during the larger hikes. There is also no privacy to do your business in the woods as there are paths and people everywhere. If by chance you find an outhouse, use it!
- Parking downtown is nearly impossible. There is a public parking garage behind the Gettysburg Hotel.
- There are a lot of readings to complete during the hikes. This will greatly reduce your expected hiking speed.
- The room descriptions in the trail guide are hard to follow. The guide makes you think that there are large banners or plaques naming each area. This is not the case. Most of the areas are marked by very small information signs on the walls and displays. In 2014, we walked through half of the museum looking for the second point of interest before starting over.
- There is a public bathroom in the parking garage behind the train station.
Billy Yank Trail
- The Billy Yank trail is approximately 10.5 miles if you do not climb Big Round Top. The only plus is that Gettysburg is full of roads. We found that Little Round Top was a perfect place to have an adult meet us with a vehicle with lunch. Not carrying additional weight is a major plus.
- The Wheatfield appears to be mowed differently than the trail guide instructions. Just find the path that gets you to the middle of the field.
- You will be very excited when you read that there is a restroom at Devil's Den. Your excitement will quickly be squashed when you find out that it was removed in 2010.
- After Big Round Top, the trail guide instructs you to follow the path after the 1st Vermont Calvary monument to the Slyder Farm. What it does not tell you is that the monument is off the main road in a field to the right. It is very easy to miss even with several people scouting the area. If you miss the monument, you will continue to follow South Confederate Ave to Emmitsburg Rd and eventually meet up with the trail, however you will miss the farm. See the map on the right for the correct path in red. our mistake is in blue.
Johnny Reb Trail
- The trail is much easier if you follow the guild and use the trail marked in red to the right. The blue line represents the path out troop took in 2014 and is partially uphill and completely unnecessary.
- The trail has a greater elevation change than you may think. We averaged less than a mile per hour during our trip in 2014.