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Gettysburg McMillan Woods

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Our Troop will be camping at McMillan's Woods Youth camping area and visiting Gettysburg sites. Can anyone tell me about camping at McMillan Wood's?

Also, we plan on doing some or all of the BSA York-Adams Historical Trail programs. This includes the Billy Yank and Johnny Reb trails. I noticed that bikes are allowed at the Gettysburg Historical Park. Can bikes be used to accomplish these trails as well as the others? Maybe most of the trails? Can bikes be used around the Visitor's center and anywhere else for that matter. We can obviously walk these programs, as we've done this before a few years ago. But because it's so hot, I'm trying to make things more fun and enjoyable.

Thanks to all who can offer any information.



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Our troop just went to Gettysburg in May, and we also stayed at McMillan Woods. McMillan Woods is a nice camping area. There are port-a-johns available, a dumpster to dump your trash, and also a water source. Please be advised there is limited parking for vehicles. Also, they now have a "camp host" staying on site now due to some prior incidents. Since any youth group can use this camp ground, I would like to think it wasn't scouts that were the bad apples...


Road access to McMillan Woods is via the park road (Confederate Avenue), which runs one way (roughly South). This is slightly inconvenient if you want to drive over to the town.


The new Visitors Center is open. It is located off Taneytown Road just down from the old VC. Please note the old VC and the Cyclorama are permanently closed. The Cyclorama has been restored and should be open for viewing at the new VC in September. They electric map was not moved to the new VC, which I think is sad. The layout of the new VC is great, and there are more displays, but I could tell there were some items that were not on display that were in the old one.


In my mind, bikes would be difficult to use for the trail programs. Some of the trails do take you across fields and down unpaved trails that might not be bike acessable. Also, since the VC has moved, they have updated the guidebook for the scout trails. According to sources at the VC, the old guidebook is no longer available. The new guidebook was supposed to be in the gift shop when they opened in April, but when we were there, they had not yet arrived. Luckily, we found some at the Eisenhower Site when we visited there (we did this on a rainy day before we started the hikes). In my opinion, hiking the trails gives a better perspective of the battlefield, and you can answer the questions as you go.


If you still have some time before you go, you may want to contact the battlefield to see if the books are in. If not, you can still order the guidebooks via the York-Adams Council's website.

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Stupid Question - Isn't viewing the electric map presentation one of the requirements for the visitor center patch (central "Gettysburg" patch).


I've walked and biked Gettysburg as a youth, and went back a year ago as an adult. My family has actually taken family friends on the walking tour... it is a really nice way to see the park.


If I recall, there are some sections where the trail is a "trail" and isn't really suitable for biking. I'm sure that you could spend some time with a booklet and a park map (or 2) and come up with bike "detours".


Have fun... and if you are walking... bring the walking shoes. The Billy Yank trail is LONG.

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Don't forget that the 145th Anniversary Gettysburg re-enactment will be happening on the July 4th weekend (4-6 July). It promises a very large (20k+ number of re-enactors).





As a re-enactor from the past, I HIGHLY recommend taking as many boys as you can to one of these events. The re-enactors are great teachers and the boys always find fun things to see and experience.


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I have hiked the Billy Yank twice. The second time I took a GPS unit and I can say for sure that it is more that the nine miles as it states in the old trail guide. It's more like twelve. Plan on it taking all day.


Both times we had lunch at the crest of Little Roundtop near the 140th NY Regiment Monument. This made sense because it is about the halfway point for the hike. There is a parking lot nearby, so we had a vehicle meet us there with cold water and our lunches.

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I've been with a group that has done the blue and gray routes by bike. You have to leave the bikes at times, or walk them across fields. Those are the only two parts, I think would be reasonable to do.


I think if you are having a lot of younger non-hiker liking scouts, bikes would make long hot days a little shorter.


We did it when a number of boys were working on their Biking MB, so it did double duty for training for that.


Walking does give an appreciation of the battlefield, but if you are trying to squeeze everything in. Biking is certainly an option to have up your sleeve.


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