Selecting Your Gettysburg Bicycle Route

When using Civil War Cycling’s products, selecting your Gettysburg bicycle route is easy. Simply pick a route and ride. Use our digital maps and/our printed color guidebook to find monuments and then compare the map’s photographs with what you see in the park. The digital maps are optional supplements to the book, “Bicycling Gettysburg National Military Park: The Cyclist’s Civil War Travel Guide,” but you don’t need to own the book to use any digital map. Collectively, the “GNMP Companion Maps” are PDF files that describe 14 circular routes through Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP). You can purchase and download digital maps here for printing or loading onto your mobile reader

Last Update: March 4, 2019 (11:40 pm)

Why do you need specialized maps? A personal note

For more than thirty years, and over many dozens of visits, I toured Gettysburg National Military Park by bus, car, and foot. In 2012, I toured the battlefield on a bicycle for the first time. The experience of learning American history while exploring park land on a bicycle is hard to describe, but if I had to pick one word, it would be “exhilarating.” And yet it took four years to work out the kinks in my self-directed, solo tours. I was frustrated by one-way roads, incomplete or inaccurate maps, and not knowing how best to avoid town traffic. Eventually, I learned what equipment to pack, what clothes to wear, and where to find convenient access to water, portable toilets, and shade for picnics. It was also challenging to know how best to sequence my visitation of which monuments and within what general timeframe.

I created my own maps (and guidebook) because I could not find any maps that met the needs of a bicycling historian. I hope that these maps help you to avoid the mistakes that I had made and that you can enjoy every minute of your battlefield tour. ~Sue Thibodeau

Table of Gettysburg Bicycle Routes

Civil War Cycling's bicycling maps are historically themed, circular routes over park roads that are designed for safety and cycling convenience. You may print these multi-page color PDFs to tuck into your jersey, bicycle panniers, or handlebar map bag. If your mobile device has a PDF reader, you can also digitally view your maps while on a break. There are no license keys or passwords. Simply purchase, download, and use.
Route #Route NameMilesThemeLink
1Full Day Loop23.8Maximum battlefield coverage for July 1-3, 1863Read More
1bFull Day Short Loop11.5Abbreviated coverage of key battlefield sites for July 1-3Read More
2Battle Day 1 Loop10.5Fields north of town and part of Culp's HillRead More
3Battle Days 2 & 3 Loop17.0Southern half of the battlefield, plus a complete tour of Culp's Hill
Read More
3bBattle Days 2 & 3 Short Loop10.7Abbreviated coverage of key battlefield sites for July 2-3Read More
4The Ridges Loop9.0Simple route over the July 2-3 battlefield south of town, excluding Culp's HillRead More
5The Ridges Extended Loop12.2Adds to Route 4 a ride through Devil's Den, Rose Woods, and the Trostle Farm areaRead More
6, 7Culp's Hill Lower & Upper Loops2.4 (each)Culp's Hill divided into two loopsRead More
8Culp's Hill Double Loop5.5Complete tour of Culp's Hill, including East Confederate AvenueRead More
9, 10, 11Devil's Den, The Wheatfield, and Little Round Top Loops1.5 - 3.8Devil's Den, The Wheatfield, and Little Round TopRead More
12East Cavalry Field5.2East Cavalry FieldRead More

Selecting Your Gettysburg Bicycle Route

selecting your Gettysburg bicycle route
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No Obligation, Free Sample

You can view sample excerpts here.

Also, although Route 12 (East Cavalry Field) is only 7 PDF pages (and not recommended for first-time visitors to Gettysburg), the map’s content and styling are representative of our other maps. You can anonymously view or download this free PDF here.

Need Some Help Narrowing Your Options?

If you are healthy enough for a full or half-day ride over smoothly paved park roads, then I recommend first considering these GNMP bicycle routes:

The Full Day Loop (23.8 miles)

The GNMP Route 1 Companion Map (Full Day Loop, 23.8 miles) is the centerpiece of the guidebook. Although neither require the other, many bicyclists will want both the guidebook and the companion map for Route 1. The PDF contains over 30 pages of full-color segment maps, photographs, and cross references to monument histories.

The Ridges Extended Loop (12.2 miles) and Culp’s Hill Double Loop (5.5 miles)

For its coverage of the southern half of the battlefield, my next favorite route is the GNMP Route 5 Companion Map (The Ridges Extended Loop, 12.2 miles). A close second is the GNMP Route 8 Companion Map (Culp’s Hill Double Loop, 5.5 miles).

How are Civil War Cycling Routes Unique?

Unless you are riding with a licensed battlefield guide, it is challenging to design a safe, circular ride through Gettysburg. This is especially true for bicyclists who prefer not to ride against the flow of traffic, given that GNMP has many one-way roads. Unless you plan ahead, it can be frustrating to lose riding time while trying to figure out how safely to find a particular monument.

Civil War Cycling’s maps are designed to make it easy for you to focus, not on logistics, but on the park and its history. The maps provide an experiential framework for learning about the Battle of Gettysburg — without any dependency on GPS signals or cell phone battery power. They also provide tips on bicycling amenities like restrooms, water, picnic areas, and shade.

Questions?

If you are planning a bicycle tour of Gettysburg National Military Park, and you would like some free advice over email, please contact Civil War Cycling. I’d love to here from you!

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