Is there a fee to drive through the park?
There is no fee for entrance to the park, National Cemetery, or park buildings. There is a fee to enter the Museum and Visitor Center exhibit galleries, film and cyclorama program.
What are the park hours?
Gettysburg National Military Park is open year-round. Park grounds and roads are open daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM from April 1 through October 31, and 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM from November 1 through March 31. The Gettysburg National Cemetery is open at dawn and closes at sunset. Park buildings are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
Where should I begin my visit?
We recommend that you begin your visit at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center at 1195 Baltimore Pike and start with the film "A New Birth of Freedom", a twenty minute film narrated by Morgan Freeman that sets the stage for you visit to the battlefield. Following the film, visitors get to experience the Gettysburg Cyclorama, the monumental 1884 painting that depicts "Pickett's Charge". Afterward, visit the center's extensive museum featuring artifacts from the Battle of Gettysburg and Civil War sites from around the country. Audio-visual presentations in the galleries help guide visitors through all three days of the battle and understand the causes and lasting effects of the Civil War. Plan on spending at least three hours in the museum and visitor center and there is a fee for entry to the film, museum galleries and cyclorama program.
What is the best way to tour the battlefield?
Visitors may tour the park on their own with the use of a self-guiding park map, hire a Licensed Battlefield Guide for a personal touch, or use one of the commercially available audio tours. See our Places To Go pages for options on touring the battlefield.
Does the park have bus tours?
Bus tours of the park are offered by several commercial companies in Gettysburg including some offered from the visitor center with a Licensed Battlefield Guide. See our Places to Go pages for information and schedules on these bus tours. For commercial buses in Gettysburg, call the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at (717) 334-6274 for further information and schedules.
Does the park offer horseback riding tours?
Horseback riding tours of the field are offered by a commercial company near Gettysburg. Call the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at (717) 334-6274 for further information. Horses are required to stay on designated trails in the park.
Can we camp and picnic on the battlefield?
The park offers McMillan Woods Youth Campground to organized scouting groups and other such organizations. Youth camping is by reservation only. See our Fees and Reservations page for further information. The Gettysburg area has several commercial campgrounds, all within easy driving distance of the battlefield park. There is no private camping allowed in the park.
There are two picnic areas in the park at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center and on South Confederate Avenue. Open fires are not allowed at park picnic sites.
Can we go into the old houses and buildings on the battlefield?
Most of the battlefield farms are private quarters for park employees and their families and are not open to the public. The Leister House (Meade’s Headquarters), the Brian (Bryan) House, and Snyder House are all park exhibits, some with historically furnished interiors that visitors can view through the windows of each house.
How can I find out about the annual reenactment, museums, hotels and restaurants in Gettysburg?
Call the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at (717) 334-6274 for further information. The annual reenactment is held on private land in Adams County and not within Gettysburg National Military Park.
What is the “Gettysburg Cyclorama”?
The Gettysburg Cyclorama is a 360-degree oil on canvas painting 377 feet long by 42 feet high that depicts the full fury of “Pickett’s Charge”. This unique painting, first shown in Boston in 1884 before coming to Gettysburg in 1913, is now featured in its own specially designed hall in the Museum and Visitor Center. Viewing the cyclorama program is included in the entry fee to the museum galleries and film.
How can I find out about my ancestor who was a soldier and may have been at Gettysburg?
Gettysburg National Military Park does not maintain a comprehensive list of soldiers who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, nor do we have a database of individual soldier records. Military service records for Union and Confederate soldiers are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. For information on ordering an individual’s records, go to the National Archives web site at http://www.archives.gov. The park does have a comprehensive database of Pennsylvania soldiers who fought at Gettysburg as well as the dead and wounded of both armies. Inquire at the park information desk for assistance with this information.
Where can I find a list of those soldiers buried in the Soldiers' National Cemetery?
The Veteran's Administration now offers a free searchable database of burials in national cemeteries throughout the United States, including Gettysburg. Visit the VA web site at http://www.va.gov for further information and to search the database.
When are the ranger guided programs given and what is the schedule?
The summer schedule of ranger guided programs is available at the park information desks. The schedule is usually set for release by mid-May every year and will be posted on the Gettysburg National Military Park web site.
Most of the Union soldiers are buried in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg. What happened to the Confederate dead?
The southern dead were removed to cemeteries in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia between 1871 and 1873. Most of the Confederate dead were interred at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia in a special section set aside specifically for the casualties of Gettysburg.
How many monuments are on the battlefield?
There are approximately 1,328 monuments, markers and memorials at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Why is the National Park Service removing trees from the battlefield?
Visitors notice areas of the park where tree removal has been ongoing for several years, and will continue for several more as part of our battlefield rehabilitation program, as specified in the 1999 General Management Plan for Gettysburg National Military Park. The tree removal will reestablish former pasture and cropland that was present in 1863 at the time of the battle. In conjunction with the tree removal, historic orchards are being replanted on battlefield farms and several areas, void of trees after 1863, are being allowed to grow into high grass meadows or woods. Another part of the rehabilitation program is reestablishing the many miles of battlefield fences that designated farm fields and also played a role in deciding the movements of troops during the battle.
I know a lot about Gettysburg. How do I get to become a battlefield guide?
The Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg National Military Park are a unique service. Guides are individuals who have proven their abilities and knowledge through a series of written and oral exams before they are licensed by the National Park Service. The written test for new guides is usually given once every other year. Those who score the highest on the exams are invited back to give an oral test of their knowledge in a supervised tour of the park with other guides and National Park Service personnel. Dates for the written test will be announced as the need arises to fill spaces in the guide force.