Tip 1. Decide whether you want to ride on your own or with a tour guide.
GettysBike Tours is a small business located in the Bus/RV Lot of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. They offer tours led by Licensed Battlefield Guides. With a tour package, bike rentals are a very small additional charge. Alternatively, you can also bring your own bike. (I am not affiliated with GettysBike Tours, but I have ridden with them twice and enjoyed both rides.)
If you an adventurous learner and want to plan your own self-directed bicycle tour of the Gettysburg battlefield, then I highly recommend that you read the following Civil War Cycling posts before making any decisions:
Tip 2. Get excited! Imagine the possibilities.
The Civil War Cycling Blog is a growing collection of posts about bicycling U.S. Civil War battlefields, and Gettysburg currently gets the most attention. You might want to peruse our archive of blog posts for titles like these:
- Gettysburg Cycling Tips – Guest Post, John Banks Blog
- Flying Down Culp’s Hill on a Bicycle – A Video
- Bike Ride to the Gettysburg Eternal Light Peace Memorial – A Video
- Memorial Day and a New Burst of Freedom – A Bicyclist’s Perspective
Tip 3. Begin your trip planning with four simple steps.
Check out this post: 4 Simple Steps to Plan a Battlefield Bicycle Tour.
Tip 4. Get your maps!
If you read the post, “Why you need a guidebook to cycle Gettysburg,” then you understand that the official (free) NPS auto tour map is not designed for bicyclists and that GPS routes posted online are mostly for road cyclists (and contain no historical information or tips).
With this in mind, please take a look at Civil War Cycling’s digital maps and guidebook. READ ABOUT THEM HERE. A bicyclist who tours a national military park wants a safe, fun, and educational looped ride over park land. We want to explore freely the battlefield landscape while knowing how best to avoid motor vehicles and find shady areas to rest or study. And this is important:
We want a guidebook that makes history come alive on a bike! We want a book that combines the HOWS of bicycling with the WHYS of history — written for ordinary, adventuous, and imaginative people. The guidebook, Bicycling Gettysburg National Military Park, will teach you how to experience the Gettysburg landscape in your body in a way that helps your mind to understand Civil War battlefield events. Even if you never take a ride, the book is packed with maps, photographs, monument histories, historical summaries, and human interest stories that teach about the Battle of Gettysburg.