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 RoutesCivil 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 Name||Miles||Theme||Link|
|1||Full Day Loop||23.8||Maximum battlefield coverage for July 1-3, 1863||Read More|
|1b||Full Day Short Loop||11.5||Abbreviated coverage of key battlefield sites for July 1-3||Read More|
|2||Battle Day 1 Loop||10.5||Fields north of town and part of Culp's Hill||Read More|
|3||Battle Days 2 & 3 Loop||17.0||Southern half of the battlefield, plus a complete tour of Culp's Hill||Read More|
|3b||Battle Days 2 & 3 Short Loop||10.7||Abbreviated coverage of key battlefield sites for July 2-3||Read More|
|4||The Ridges Loop||9.0||Simple route over the July 2-3 battlefield south of town, excluding Culp's Hill||Read More|
|5||The Ridges Extended Loop||12.2||Adds to Route 4 a ride through Devil's Den, Rose Woods, and the Trostle Farm area||Read More|
|6, 7||Culp's Hill Lower & Upper Loops||2.4 (each)||Culp's Hill divided into two loops||Read More|
|8||Culp's Hill Double Loop||5.5||Complete tour of Culp's Hill, including East Confederate Avenue||Read More|
|9, 10, 11||Devil's Den, The Wheatfield, and Little Round Top Loops||1.5 - 3.8||Devil's Den, The Wheatfield, and Little Round Top||Read More|
|12||East Cavalry Field||5.2||East Cavalry Field||Read More|
Selecting Your Gettysburg Bicycle Route
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.
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!Back to Gettysburg