Gettysburg National Military Park cut the ribbon on a new pedestrian trail along Taneytown Road on May 31st, just in time for the American Hiking Society's 21st annual National Trails Day.
The ribbing cutting took place on the new trail just north of the Taneytown Road entrance to the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center.
The new 3,500-foot trail improves visitor safety along Taneytown Road and access from the museum to the Pennsylvania Memorial, Cemetery Ridge and numerous locations on the Gettysburg battlefield.
The new Gettysburg trail became necessary due to a combination of improved visitor orientation at the visitor center and increasing numbers of park visitors walking the battlefield due to new opportunities to understand battlefield landscapes thanks to twelve years of battlefield rehabilitation efforts by the National Park Service.
“The addition of this short but very important trail to the park will ensure our visitors will have safe pedestrian access to key portions of the battlefield from the museum and visitor center area,” said Superintendent, Bob Kirby. “In the past, visitors have navigated the narrow Taneytown Road from Meade's Headquarters to Pleasanton Avenue by walking down the edge of the roadway. We recognized this as an unsafe condition and worked hard to secure the funding to improve visitor access. Combined with the health benefits of walking, this addition to the Park is a win-win."
The project also included resurfacing 1,190 feet of trail near the 20th Maine monument at Little Round Top. Total project costs were $755,829, funded through the National Park Service Northeast Region’s portion of the Park Roads and Parkways Program’s Category III Alternative Transportation Funds of the Federal Lands Highway Program.
National Trails Day is a long-standing celebration of America's magnificent trail systems and its countless supporters and volunteers. National Trails Day is celebrated in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. This special day is an open invitation to all Americans to get outside and connect with local hiking clubs, community groups, and state and national parks. National Trails Day promotes the relationship between healthy parks and healthy people.
Individuals and groups may volunteer to help with maintenance projects in the park through Adopt-a-Position by contacting Amanda Whitmore by email at Amanda_Whitmore@nps.gov.