Gettysburg, National Military Park – Pennsylvania, 11-28-15
In a change of pace we decided to go south for the long weekend and check out some new National Parks along the way. First up on our list was Gettysburg National Military Park. I have always liked visiting battlefields to take in the history and this is among one of the best to visit. It is steeped in history and also quite beautiful. There are plenty of monuments to visit along with some short and easy hiking trails. We started by visiting the visitor center and picking up a park map.
The park map had a laid out self driving tour which marks off 16 points of interest. Following the tour will take you to many of the best places to see, along with explaining the historical significance of each location. We were only spending a couple of hours at the park so we kept our itinerary pretty light and did not go to every stop but we did enjoy the ones we saw. We started at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The cemetery is also the site where President Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address. It was a solemn place I would recommend visiting and paying your respects.
After walking through the cemetery we made our way over to the Pennsylvania Memorial which is the largest and most dramatic of all the monuments at the park. It is quite large and there is a staircase you can climb to the top which offers beautiful views of the surrounding battlefield. From here you can really get a sense of the massive scale of this engagement.
Scattered around the area are also countless monuments erected to commemorate various units and skirmishes from the battle. You could spend countless hours trying to stop and see all of them. Since we only had limited time we decided to make our way over to Little Round Top instead and hike up to the top of this famous hill. The hike up Little Round Top is super short and quite easy up a very well maintained trail. Up at the top of the hill are several monuments commemorating the events that transpired there during the battle.
In addition to the monuments on top of the hill there are a few monuments and a look out further down the hill.
After taking in the views and enjoying the park we packed it up and continued on our way south to Virginia. On the way we also made a brief stop at Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park but unfortunately we made it there much too late and were only there long enough to take a quick look around pick up a park map from the visitor. However, I will say it was a pretty awesome looking place from what we did see and I am certainly hoping to go back soon and really check it out.