Billy Yank Trail Hike Report – Gettysburg

Hike Summary

This hike was performed by members of Pack 802 during our trip to Gettysburg, PA in October 2020.  The trail is one of five required segments of the Gettysburg Heritage Trails program and explores several key battleground sites located West of Taneytown Road, including the Pennsylvania Monument, the Peach Orchard, the Wheat Field, Devils Den, Little Round Top, Big Round Top, the Virginia monument, and Pickett’s charge.  The entire hike is an approximately 10 mile loop that begins and ends at the Visitor’s center parking lot.

In order to make this hike more accessible to younger Cub Scouts, I divided the 10 mile trail into two approximately five mile segments which we hiked over the course of two days.  Additionally, we were prepared to bail out any scouts that were unable to complete the hike by staging vehicles at the approximate mid-point along each segment and by having a dedicated safety driver available to pick up a scout/parent on an as needed basis.  The two segments were from the visitor’s center to Little Round Top, and from a parking area near Big Round Top to the parking area near the cemetery.  While the segments are laid out in sequential order following the hike guide, we actually hiked them out of order by starting with segment 2 after arriving in Gettysburg on a Friday afternoon.  We hiked segment 1 after visting the museum and cyclorama on a Saturday morning.  I only mention this to provide consistency when reviewing the Alltrails GPS recording, which shows the route and elevation contour for the second half of the hike prior to the first half.

Additional information about these segments including facilities and parking are listed below.

Hike Stats

Hike Distance:  9.63 Miles

Total Elevation Gain:  604 ft

Rating:  Moderate based on total distance.  Each individual segment is easy rating with minor elevation changes throughout.

Hike Location

Gettysburg Visitor’s Center:  1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Google Maps Points of Interest:  Link Here

Segment 1

This segment covers the first half of the hike beginning at the Visitor’s Center and ending at Little Round Top.

Parking Start:  Visitor’s Center multiple lots available.  1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Parking Mid: Side of Wheatfield Rd near Peach Orchard (39.80096, -77.24832).  Approximately 3 vehicles.

    Parking End:  Lot near Little Round Top on Sykes Ave (39.79191, -77.23638).  Approximately 20 vehicles.

        Facilities Description:  There are male/female restrooms at the Visitor’s center and near the Pennsylvania Monument along Humphreys Ave (39.80715, -77.2346).  There is no additional restroom along this segment of the trail until the pit toilet on S Confederate Ave across from Big Round Top (start of segment 2).  There is no public water available along this route after leaving the visitor’s center.

          Segment 2

          This segment covers the latter half of the hike beginning across the street from the Big Round Top access trail and ending back near the Visitor’s Center.

          Parking Start:  Lot on S Confederate Ave across from Big Round Top (39.78895, -77.24023).  Approximately 18 vehicles.

          Parking Mid: Lot on SW Confederate Ave near Observation Tower (39.79979, -77.25614).  Approximately 8 vehicles.

          Parking End:  Soldier’s National Cemetery Lot on Taneytown Rd (39.81672, -77.23282).  Approximately 50 vehicles.

            Facilities Description:  There is a pit toilet at the starting parking lot (big round top) and a pit toilet near the NPS ampitheater off of W. Confederate Avenue.  There is an additional public restroom on Emmitsburg Rd but is approximately 1/10th of a mile off trail.  To access, turn left on Emmitsburg Rd. after passing the Slyder Farm before crossing Emmitsburg Rd to get to SW Confederate Ave.  There is no public water available along route.

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