When you make a day trip to Gettysburg, PA, you will have the chance to commune with the past in numerous ways. Whether you are taking a tour, traveling on foot, checking out a museum or attending an event, Gettysburg offers Baltimore visitors the best in historical day trip opportunities. One of the tour packages experiencing an increasing growth in popularity is the Confederate Trail Tour Package.
No experience is necessary, and riders as young as 8 may partake of this fun, family outing on horseback. Come out and go for a ride over the trails of history and see the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield the way Gen. Robert E. Lee saw it from horseback. Highlights of taking a ride on horseback include: panoramic views of Little Round Top and the Peach Orchard, a magnificent view of the area of Pickett's Charge, a Ride through Spangler's Farm and a view of President Eisenhower's Farm (available exclusively for two hour tours).
Tour packages vary in destination, duration, hour and price. These outings range from a one hour duration, for $35, from Monday through Friday at noon and 5 p.m. and weekends at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; two hour tours, for $60, on weekdays at 2 p.m. and weekends at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and one hour sunset tours (which are over for the season) for $45. Ride options vary depending on your party and personal interests.
Available through November, visitors are welcome to take a Battlefield Ride at a one or two hour duration of personal choosing. “The sun dapples the woodsy path as you ride horseback where the soldiers of the Confederacy once did the same. You'll ride behind the Virginia Monument (the area where Gen. Robert E. Lee waited for his returning troops after Pickett's Charge). Then follow the path to the Spangler Farm and see a panoramic view of the Peach Orchard and Little Round Top off in the distance. Those taking the two hour tour will continue on through Pitzer's Woods to the Longstreet Tower. While there you can catch a view of the Eisenhower Farm.”
Coming soon, visitors may also partake of The Soldiers Ride. “Put on the wool uniform of a Civil War Soldier, and prepare to ride the Gettysburg Battlefield. This unique experience allows you to truly feel as if you have returned to 1863 and are seeing and experiencing the world as they lived it. As you ride through the cool woods behind the Confederate lines, can you feel the soldiers riding beside you? Can you hear the whispers of the historic decisions made by the General and his field commanders as they send out their instructions via messengers on horseback? This unique experience is available only through Confederate Trails and Victorian Clothing Rental in Gettysburg.”
For the 2011 season, guests are invited to experience the best of both worlds in an Interactive Theatrical Ride. “Feel yourself transported back to 1863 as you ride through the wooded Gettysburg Battlefield paths. You are joined by a Civil War Re-enactor in period costume. Learn what it was like to be a soldier during the Civil War. Be part of history during this interactive trip—and enjoy the question and answer session at the end of the ride. The best way to catch a glimpse into the mindset of the Confederate Soldiers. Don't get bogged down in the complicated strategy of the battles—get a taste of the Civil War era life-style.”
Done, for the season, Sunset Rides will be back on come spring. “Now that dinner is done, and the heat of the day is gone, a peaceful quiet blankets the battlefield. Chirping crickets are heard as the horses clip clop down the trail. The hills of Pennsylvania are painted in twilight as the countryside whispers goodnight.”
If you wish to take part of this adventure through history, early reservations are highly recommended. Riders between the ages of 8 and 17 must wear a helmet during all rides (these are provided). Those between the ages of 8 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All riders must sign a waiver in order to participate. Long pants and close-toed shoes must be worn on outings. Rides are conducted rain or shine.
All tours depart from McMillan Woods Youth Campground’s parking lot on West Confederate Avenue. Special discount rates are given to firemen, police, military persons, EMS and re-enactors. For more information on rides, call 717-476-7428 or visit www.conferatetrailsofgettysburg.com.