Devil's Den

Devil's Den Rehabilitation Project

Devil's Den has been closed since March 21. Anticipated reopening (full or partial) is expected around the end of September. A full or partial reopening decision will be tied to social trail re-vegetation results. The worst of these areas may continue to be fenced off to allow extra time for more robust growth.


The rehabilitation of Devil’s Den will address significant erosion and safety issues in this highly visited area of the battlefield. Devil’s Den will be closed for approximately five to six months.

This project is necessary due to significant erosion along existing walkways and unauthorized social trails that have created safety hazards. The scope of the project will reestablish, preserve, and protect the features that make up this segment of the battlefield landscape. These improvements will allow visitors to better immerse themselves into the historic landscape that is essential to understanding the three-day Battle of Gettysburg.

For the safety of all visitors and contractors, Devil’s Den will be closed for five to six months. However, Crawford Avenue, Sickles Avenue, and the Devil’s Den parking area will remain open as much as possible for visitor use. (Adjacent battlefield locations, such as the Slaughter Pen, Devil’s Kitchen, and the Triangular Field, will all remain open.) The construction contractor will occasionally need to close all road access around the area in order to further facilitate the project. All road closure notices will be updated to our website and social media platforms with as much notice as possible.

 
A black and white photograph of two women and one man standing in front of a stack of very large boulders that tower over their heads.
Devil's Den, photo taken in 1903.

Library of Congress

 

Timeline


March 21, 2022
Devil's Den closed to the public. The construction contractor has placed fencing around the site.
March 30
Granite steps delivered. Concrete steps removed.
April 7
Granite steps installed on west stairways.
April 14
Granite steps installed on east stairways.
April 21
Grading trail system. De-compact social trails.
April 28
Concrete framework installation for new pathways.
May 5
Pouring aggregate concrete for new pathways.
May 12
Pouring aggregate concrete for new pathways.
May 19
Pouring aggregate concrete for new pathways.
June 16
Park and contractor working through quality control list.
July 21
Park still working on boulder to sidewalk tie-in material.

 
An overhead map of the Devil's Den area of the Gettysburg Battlefield. There is a red outline around a field of large boulders and two blue dashed outlines abound other large boulders and pathways.

August 12

Vegetation management begins. The primary goal of this phase of the project is to remove vegetation to better reflect 1863 conditions. This phase of the project will be completed in stages.

  • Stage 1 will remove woody species from the rocky outcroppings and upper trail portion of Devil’s Den. This includes removal of all tree and shrub species within an area of about one acre (see red outline on map).
  • Stage 2 will remove and chemically treat all invasive plant species and any vegetation (tree or shrub) exceeding 10 feet in height within an area of about 0.8 acres (see blue outline on map). The remaining native vegetation will be left as a natural barrier to visitor traffic in efforts to provide time for recently seeded native grasses to establish.
  • Stage 3 will remove the remaining vegetation from Stage 2 once native grasses have established. This process may take up to two growing seasons from the initial planting – up to 2024. In the interim all non-native vegetation will continue to be treated within the entire project area.


August 17
Stage 1 vegetation management concludes.

September 24
National Public Lands Day: The first 50 volunteers to sign up will be able to help us remove woody vegetation from the summit of Devil's Den in preparation to reopen the site. Sign up here!

End of September
Anticipated reopening (full or partial). A full or partial reopening decision will be tied to social trail re-vegetation results. The worst of these areas may continue to be fenced off to allow extra time for more robust growth. Areas of high grass, thick undergrowth, and taller trees will be addressed before the site is re-opened to the public.

 
A color map, with a black and white overlay, that shows existing trails and construction plans in Devil's Den.
Devil's Den overlay map that shows pre-existing paved and social trail conditions (Google Map) with black line construction drawings of the rehabilitation project.

Project Facts


Trail surface (before rehabilitation project)

  • 5,885 square feet

Trail surface (after rehabilitation project)

  • 5,815 square feet (1.2% decrease)


ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Trail surface (before rehabilitation project)

  • 700 square feet

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Trail surface (after rehabilitation project)

  • 2,200 square feet (214% increase)
 
 
 

*** We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. ***

Last updated: September 13, 2022

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1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg , PA 17325

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