NATIONAL PARK SERVICE SEEKING COMMENTS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
COMPREHENSIVE TRAILS PLAN
FOR GETTYSBURG AND EISENHOWER PARK
Public Open House planned for January 21
Photo Attached: Trail at Gettysburg National Military Park. Courtesy of the National Park Service.
GETTYSBURG. Pa. – The National Park Service (NPS) proposes to
develop a Comprehensive Trails Plan for Gettysburg National Military
Park (NMP) and Eisenhower National Historic Site (NHS). The purpose of
the Comprehensive Trails Plan is to improve visitor access, convenience,
safety, and opportunities for understanding and appreciation of the
historic battlefield and the landscape of the Eisenhower site. This
project is necessary for the following reasons:
· Opportunities to interpret the park landscape more
intimately (i.e. outside of a vehicle) should be expanded to improve the
visitor experience and understanding of the history of the parks.
· During peak visitation there is considerable traffic
and tour bus related congestion on the self-guided tour route.
· There are safety concerns due to a lack of designated
separation between vehicles and pedestrians along paved roadways.
· A lack of clearly defined trails and pathways in the
park leads to “social trailing” that often results in erosion and
degradation of cultural resources.
· There is a lack of connections for visitors to access
park sites by modes other than vehicles or motorized tours.
· Visitors experience wayfinding challenges due to
fragmented trail segments, poorly identified pedestrian routes.
· Conflicts exist on trails (i.e. equestrian trails)
authorized for multiple user groups.
· Physical degradation of the park’s existing trails
results in accessibility challenges to persons with disabilities.
· The lack of wayfinding and poor delineation of trails
limits the ability to enforce temporary trail closures needed for
maintenance or resources management.
The NPS proposes to enhance and expand the trail network so visitors can
experience more of the battlefield without vehicles; consider
multi-modal uses of commemorative park avenues to improve safety and
accessibility; establish additional bike routes; expand opportunities
for visitor access to Eisenhower NHS; evaluate hiker/biker shuttle
opportunities; and assess the expansion of equestrian trails if
inclusion of horses is appropriate to the story of the battle and if
resources are not adversely impacted.
New trails would follow historic alignments such as avenues, lanes,
railways (where appropriate), tree lines and fence lines in place at the
time of the Battle of Gettysburg.
For more specifics related to the development of a Comprehensive Trails
Plan, the NPS has prepared a newsletter that is available at
The NPS seeks the public’s participation in the planning process for
the Comprehensive Trails Plan. We are now accepting written suggestions,
comments, and concerns regarding the proposal, which can be submitted
online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/TrailsPlan.
COMMENTS ARE REQUESTED BY JANUARY 30, 2016.
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE - Members of the public are also invited to attend a
public open house on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30
p.m. at the Gettysburg NMP Museum and Visitor Center, Ford Education
Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, to learn more about the
proposal. The NPS will also be accepting comments at the open house.