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Gettysburg National Military Park details Little Round Top closures

A $13 million rehabilitation of Little Round Top began on Tuesday, July 26 at Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP). The Little Round Top area of the battlefield will be closed for approximately 18 months while the National Park Service improves infrastructure and updates the experience for visitors.  

Closures

During the 18-month rehabilitation project, the following will be closed to all visitation and traffic:   

  • The entirety of Little Round Top as described as the area that borders Wheatfield Road to the north, Crawford Avenue to the west, Warren Avenue to the south, and Sykes Avenue to the east.   
  • Roads in their entirety: Sykes Avenue, Warren Avenue, Wright Avenue.   
  • Hiking trail in its entirety: The trail that runs parallel to Sykes Avenue, located on the east side of the road, from Wheatfield Road on the north end to just past Wright Avenue on the south end.   

During the rehabilitating, the following will be closed to all vehicle traffic:   

  • South Confederate Avenue will be closed to all vehicle traffic just south of the picnic area.    
  • South Confederate Avenue will be open to all pedestrian (walk, hike, bicycle, Segway) traffic from just south of the picnic area to near the four-way intersection with Warren Avenue, Sykes Avenue, and Wright Avenue. All pedestrian traffic will be required to turn around at this intersection. Walkers and hikers will also be able to proceed on the many hiking trails around Big Round Top, to Devil’s Den, and to the Slyder and Bushman farms. As always, bicyclists and Segway riders are not permitted to ride on any unpaved surface.   

Auto Tour Detour   

Due to the length of the project, and the roads affected by the closure, the park has created an updated Auto Tour detour. This map is available on our website and in paper format at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center information desk. This paper map will also be distributed throughout the Gettysburg, PA area through Destination Gettysburg and Main Street Gettysburg affiliates.   

Importance

Results of a 2017 Gettysburg NMP Visitor Study emphasized the importance of Little Round Top to visitors. The report showed that 90% of park visitors go to Little Round Top during their battlefield visit.  

“This closure will allow the necessary improvements to be completed in a safe and timely manner. The result of this project will help prevent further damage to this iconic location while increasing access and improving the visitor experience,” said park Superintendent Steven D. Sims.

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects, and interprets the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and their commemorations. The project will provide the maximum possible level of access to, and interpretation of, key battle and commemorative features, while ensuring the protection and stewardship of this highly significant site.   

The scope of the rehabilitation project will address 1) overwhelmed parking areas and related safety hazards, 2) significant erosion caused by heavy visitation, 3) degraded vegetation, and 4) poor accessibility. The high volume of visitation is a significant contributing factor to the deterioration of the landscape, resulting in a degradation of important natural and artificial defenses, and historic topographic features of the battlefield. The rehabilitation of Little Round Top will reestablish, preserve, and protect the features that make up the battlefield landscape and that are essential to understanding the three-day battle that occurred at Gettysburg. This rehabilitation project will also enhance the experience of visiting the hill, with improved interpretive signage and new trail alignments, allowing visitors to immerse themselves into the historic landscape.   

Project Website   

The Gettysburg National Military Park website (https://www.nps.gov/gett) has a dedicated section for the Little Round Top rehabilitation project. These web pages include the Auto Tour detour map, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), a project timeline, links to Little Round Top virtual content, and photo albums. More content will be added as it becomes available.   

Cost   

The overall cost of the project is $13 million ($11 million for construction and $2 million for re-vegetation). The project has been funded through a mix of private and federal funding. The staff of Gettysburg National Military Park would like to thank the following: John Nau III, Gettysburg Foundation, American Battlefield Trust, and the National Park Foundation.   

We appreciate your patience as we work to complete this pivotal rehabilitation project.

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