This page was last modified on Friday, August 03, 2007


Gettysburg Heritage Trails Program

Gettysburg Historic Trail MedalThe York-Adams Area Council, the National Park Service, and the Gettysburg National Military Park/Eisenhower National Historic Site are proud to offer Scouting groups the opportunity to participate in the Gettysburg Heritage Trails program, which includes a stop at the Visitor Center/National Cemetery, two hiking trails through the battlefield at Gettysburg, a walking tour of historic downtown Gettysburg and a tour of the Eisenhower National Historic Site.

The National Park Service and the York-Adams Area Council have published a trail guide for each of these five trails and tours (the current edition was revised in June 2002, 14th edition).  Trail guides are available at the Gettysburg National Military Park or from the York-Adams Area Council Scout Shop and cost $1.00 per guide.  The five program elements are:  1)  The Visitor Center/National Cemetery; 2) The Billy Yank Trail; 3) The Johnny Reb trail; 4) The Eisenhower National Historic Site; 5) The Historic Gettysburg Trail.

Gettysburg Heritage Trail GuideThe trail guides are designed to be quite comprehensive and provide all of the information you should need concerning the trails programs, maps, requirements, etc.  The trail guides are the primary source of information for participants in these programs, as the council does not make available any other printed or on-line materials regarding these programs.  Our Scout Shop can accept credit card orders for trail guides by calling 800-569-5197 (outside York) or you can now order these materials on-line.

Program Descriptions

The Visitor Center/National Cemetery and Eisenhower sections are question and answer exercises, as outlined in the trail guide.  The trail hikes through the battlefield are designed to give participants a soldier's perspective on what happened on the battlefield.  

The Billy Yank trail is a nine-mile hike through the battlefield and takes approximately six hours to complete, while the Johnny Reb trail is a three-mile hike and takes approximately two hours to complete.

The Historic Gettysburg Trail is a walk through the downtown area to help visitors imagine what it was like to live in Gettysburg in July 1863.  This trail is approximately three miles and takes 2-3 hours to complete.

There are fees associated with the Electric Map and Cyclorama programs, which are included in the activities spelled out in the trail guide.  Please call the park at (717) 334-1124 for pricing and reservations.

SPECIAL NOTICE: The Gettysburg Cyclorama program closed in November 2005 to complete the removal and restoration of the painting. It will open again in 2007-2008 with the opening of the new National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg.

Camping At Gettysburg National Military Park

Tent camping is available at the McMillan's Woods area of the park and reservations can be made through the park service. For detailed information regarding the reservation procedures and site availability at McMillan's Wood, please visit the Gettysburg National Military Park's website using this link - http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm.

Groups camping at McMillan's Woods can arrange for showers at the Gettysburg YWCA, 909 Fairfield Road, for a nominal fee of $1 per person.  Groups need to call the YWCA at least one day in advance to make arrangements (717) 334-9171. 

Additional information about Gettysburg National Military Park is also available through the U.S. National Park Service at http://www.nps.gov/gett.  A terrific map of the battlefield and the town of Gettysburg is available on the National Park Service's web site.

More views of the Gettysburg Battlefield. 


The basic patch is awarded for completing the Visitor Center/National Cemetery section.  The Billy Yank and Johnny Reb side segments are awarded for those two trail hikes and the Historic Gettysburg patch is awarded for the completion of the guided walk, and the Eisenhower star patch is awarded for a visit to Eisenhower National Historic Site and completion of that section.

Current prices for Gettysburg items are:

  • Main Gettysburg patch - $2.25 each

  • Johnny Reb, Bill Yank, Eisenhower, and Historic Gettysburg segments - $1.00 each

  • Plastic Patch Holder - $1.00

  • Gettysburg Trail Medals - $4.25 each

To receive the Trail Medal, Scouts must have completed the entire set of requirements for each patch segment.  Additional shipping and handling charges apply for mail orders.  You can order these recognitions on-line or the Scout Shop can accept credit card orders at (800) 569-5197 (outside York).

Information on the awards may be obtained from the York-Adams Area Council at (717) 843-0901 or (800) 569-5197.

General Instructions

As units visit the Park and National Cemetery, participants will notice numerous cannons and monuments.  These cannons and monuments were placed here by battle veterans, family members and the grateful citizens of this country to mark positions and honor the great sacrifices made here.  They are irreplaceable historic objects that we are all entrusted to care for.  PLEASE HELP PRESERVE THESE CANNON AND MONUMENTS.  DO NOT STAND, CLIMB OR HANG ON THEM OR THE GRAVESTONES.  RESPECT THEM.  Scout leaders, we ask you to please closely supervise your Scouts.  Running and climbing youngsters frequently fall and injure themselves.

Remember To Show Respect for Historic Resources

Leaders:  Please read this important update for all Gettysburg Heritage Trails program participants!!


Supported by donations from Shamiro and WeddenOp

© 2007, York-Adams Area Council

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 2139 White Street, York, PA 17404

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