Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park is in Pennsylvania of USA.

Understand

Gettysburg is the site of one of the most important battles of the American Civil War, and the largest land battle ever fought in North America.

History

The battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863. The fighting started accidentally when Union and Confederate troops converged just north of the town of Gettysburg. Three bloody days of fighting ensued, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. The Confederate forces fell back after Lee's final frontal assault broke on the third day. After touring the three days of Gettysburg, follow the Confederate Retreat through Fairfield, just 8 miles west of Gettyburg on PA Route 116, through beautiful rolling countryside and farms. As you drive the 8 miles try to imagine a soldier who has just participated in what will become the largest battle ever fought in North America, tired, hungry, possibly wounded, retreating from the Union in a driving rain storm through mud into the town of Fairfield — most likely the longest 8 miles ever marched! The town, itself, was raided by the Confederates in 1862 and during the retreat on July 4, 1863. It is worth the drive. You can pick up an area tour guide and map at the Fairfield Inn located in the center of town.

Landscape

Flat meadows surrounded by rocky hills, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains looming in the distance. In the countryside north of Gettysburg is the "Fruit Belt" of Pennsylvania with thousands of acres of apple and peach orchards and vineyards.

Climate

Gettysburg has a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold moist winters. Spring and Fall are mild and pleasant. Heavy winter storms occasionally strike the area, but these are fairly rare. Heaviest snowfall occurs during February and early March. Severe thunderstorms may occasionally hit the region, mostly in July and August.

Get in

By plane

Several airports are in the region, although none of them are particularly close by. Airports in Harrisburg (MDT), Baltimore (BWI), Washington Dulles (IAD), and Philadelphia (PHL) are the closest. Flying into Baltimore would probably be your best bet, as the drive to Gettysburg is approximately 60 miles.

By car

Gettysburg can be reached via US Rt 30 from Philadelphia, or via State Rt 97 from the Baltimore area. From the south, US 15 runs through the town for visitors arriving from the Washington DC region.

By train Amtrak has stations in both Harrisburg and Lancaster. Taxi service and car rentals are available to Gettysburg from there.

Fees/Permits

Access to the battlefields are free at all times. However, museums carry a small fee. The cost to get into the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is $10.50 for adults and includes a short film and entry to see the Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting.

Get around

By car

By far the best way to see the park is with your own vehicle. Roads wind extensively throughout the battlefields, and include many places to pull off and allow visitors to walk around. Use caution when using these roads, as there may be many people walking or bicycling on these roads. The speed limit throughout the park is 15 MPH. When in your car, you may navigate by map or purchase a CD at several locations throughout Gettysburg that will orientate you to the battlefield.

By bus

Guided tours on buses are available for fees of $22-25 for adults, and $12-15 for children aged 4-11. More information can be found at the tour bus website. There are several different types of bus tours — one's with Licensed Battlefield Guides and one's with headphone narration.

By bike If you have the time and have an average level of fitness, bikes can be rented reasonably in Gettysburg and can provide an enhanced experience in the park. Cycling the major sites of the July 1-3 campaign can be completed in one day and allow the visitor to experience battle lines and topography in a much more realistic fashion than car or bus.

By horseback The battlefield features a couple horse trails where you can either bring your own horse or rent one from places around town, including Artillery Ridge Campground and Hickory Hollow Horse Farm.

By Segway There are two places in town — SegTours, LLC and Segs in the City that lease Segway personal transporters for battlefield and town tours. Some feature a licensed battlefield guide.

By foot One of the best ways to tour the battlefield is by foot — either running, walking or hiking. There are 26 miles of roadway and several hiking trails, both flat and rugged.

See

Tour the battlefields, see the various museums throughout the town, and visit many of the gift shops.

Do

Throughout five hallways of scenes, the American Civil War Museum recreates history with life-sized dioramas of the Civil War. Visitors complete a self-guided museum tour that begins with the economical, social, and political causes of the war and ends with the untimely assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Following the self-guided tour, visitors enter into the internationally acclaimed, digitally enhanced Battleroom Auditorium. Amidst the sounds of thunderous battle cries and bullets, visitors will witness a life-sized recreation of the Battle of Gettysburg. Discover how a small town in rural Pennsylvania became known for one of the bloodiest battles in American history. An animated Abraham Lincoln delivering the immortal Gettysburg Address follows the battle recreation. $5.50 adults / $3 Youth (ages 6 — 17) / 5 & under FREE.

Buy

Eat

Restaurants abound throughout the town, from nationally known chains, to local Mom & Pop diners.

Drink

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park at any time.

Sleep

Camping

There are seven campgrounds in Gettysburg: Artillery Ridge Campground, Drummer Boy Campground, Gettysburg Campground, Gettysburg KOA, Round Top Campground, Granite Hill Campground, Gettysburg Battlefield Resort (Membership)

Backcountry

Hiking, camping, and grilling can be done at nearby Caledonia State Park, located approximately 25 miles west of Gettysburg on US Rt 30. Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve in nearby Fairfield, Pa., has more than 600 acres and miles of trails for hiking as well.

Stay safe

Gettysburg is very safe. However, it can get very crowded during the summer, and especially on summer weekends. If large crowds are not pleasing to you, especially avoid the anniversary dates of July 1-3.

The best time to see Gettysburg is year round. There is something to do for everyone. The Spring brings the Apple Blossoms to the area's orchards and is fantastic for the golf enthusiast with over a dozen courses nearby. Summer is hot and crowded with families although mid-week is still comfortable for sightseeing. The Fall brings Apple Harvests and beautiful changing of the leaves, while Winter boasts sweeping vistas and great skiing and snow boarding in Fairfield, PA, only 8 miles west of Gettysburg on PA Route 116.

Go next

Nearby destinations suitable for day trips include:

Routes through Gettysburg National Military Park

Pittsburgh Chambersburg  W  E  York Lancaster


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, April 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.