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Camping Near Gettysburg

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  • Camping Near Gettysburg

    I'm planning a trip to Gettysburg, it's been on my bucket list for a while now. Looking into it I see there is only 11 miles of trails?

    I was wondering if there are any places with good riding near there any of you kind COTHers familiar to the area could recommend. I'm thinking at this point I'd stay 2 or 3 days at Gettysburg and then move on to a bigger park nearby if possible for more riding. I'm coming from Ohio so I'd like to make a week of it and I'd get burned out on 11 miles of trails pretty quickly.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    We stopped overnight this past summer at Artillery Ridge campground on a trip back from New York. They have a barn, small paddocks and trails mostly around the perimeter of the Gettysburg Battlefield. We decided due to time constraints on our short overnight stop to drive around versus take our two tired horses out (we'd ridden all week in the Adirondacks) but the trails I saw looked pretty nice. The facility was nice also. The pens were right behind the hookups for the LQ trailers. They also had some cabins for rent near the horse pens.

    http://www.artilleryridge.com/index.htm

    It's a beautiful area and we want to go back and see the museums and ride again. I don't think you can actually ride on the battlefield nor can you approach the monuments from horseback but as I said, it's a beautiful area.

    Comment


    • #3
      We camped at Artillery Ridge for 5 days summer before last - it was great! I think we spent about 2 days trail riding in Gettysburg ... maybe one full day and one partial day where we toured some of the National Park the rest of the day. But yes, the trails are not extensive and not what they used to be (my sister and niece had been there many years ago when entire sections that now are not open for riding still were available.) However, we trailered to Michaux State Forest one day, which was not too far. And that is a gorgeous park with lots of equestrian trails (we picked up an excellent map at the Forest District Headquarters that the DCNR puts out. Michaux has 31 miles of marked roads and trails for equestrian use. Another day we trailered out to Morven Park where we had set up to have a guided trail ride (just call the park and they can organize that for you for a modest fee) for half the day and then played on the XC course for a couple hours after that. (And then went and toured the Foxhunting Museum ... so yeah, there's lots to do!!)

      I think there were other options not too far away from Artillery Ridge as well, but after that we had already planned to change sites out to the Elk State Forest and played around that area for a while. the Thunder Mountain Equestrian Trail is especially nice! My sister has a great book covering different equestrian trails and camping options in Pennsylvania, which was our source. I can't remember what it was called but I'll check with her, because that would be really helpful for you in planning your trip.

      But Gettysburg was fantastic! Definitely worth it!!! (And btw my friend and I trailered all the way out from Iowa to do this! So yes, it was that good!!!)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
        We stopped overnight this past summer at Artillery Ridge campground on a trip back from New York. They have a barn, small paddocks and trails mostly around the perimeter of the Gettysburg Battlefield. We decided due to time constraints on our short overnight stop to drive around versus take our two tired horses out (we'd ridden all week in the Adirondacks) but the trails I saw looked pretty nice.
        OP not to hijack your thread, but DB can I ask about your camping/ riding in the Adirondacks? DH and I were looking into doing that this summer possibly
        Last edited by tabula rashah; Mar. 1, 2013, 08:56 AM.
        I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
        If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

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        • #5
          I've ridden the battlefield trails a few times over the past 10 years; I don't know if there are non-battlefield trails I don't know about, but the main loop definitely DOES traverse the actual battlefield.

          The battlefield trail map is here: http://thegehs.org/wp-content/upload...rse-trails.jpg

          And some info on other nearby trails is here:http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisi...ing-trails.htm

          Artillery Ridge also runs public trail rides on the battlefield; they don't do the entire loop though. But if you camp at AR, you can access the battlefield via the connector trail, then do the loop.
          *friend of bar.ka

          "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the suggestions! Artillery Ridge is the campground I'm going to be staying at. Will definitely look into Michaux and Elk State Forest, and the other suggestions also.

            Ideally we'd like to find something within a few hour's drive of Gettysburg to go camp for a few days with an extensive trail system that can accommodate our LQ trailer (electric and water hook-up would be nice!) Thanks for giving me some places to look into!

            Comment


            • #7
              Elk State Forest is not close enough to Artillery Ridge ... I think it was about a 5 hour drive to get there. But we spent 5 days at Artillery Ridge and did "local" stuff and then relocated to Elk State Forest area (which is in the Alleghenies, I think.) But I have e-mailed my sister to find out what book it was she had that outlined camping and trail riding opportunities in PA. It was an awesome book! (I wish there was one like that for every state!!!!)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                OP not to hijack your thread, but DB can I ask about your camping/ riding in the Adirondacks? DH and I were looking into doing that this summer possibly
                Otter Creek has amazing trails.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tuscarora State Forest in Blain PA would be about a 2 hour drive from Gettysburg. Tons and tons (days and days) of riding. Call the Forestry Bureau and they can send you maps and get you hooked up with a nice camp site. What time of year are you thinking? Gettysburg can be VERY muddy on the trails and in the dog days of summer, there's not much shade- that being said, it's a pretty cool experience. Your horses will see all kinds of things so you might not want to take a greenie ;-)
                  Kerri

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I'm aiming for late May to go out there. I'm a wuss. No big trips/rides in the heat of summer. So what's the best time of year to go? Spring? Fall? I don't really mind mud within reason, we get our fair share of it here so the horses are used to it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Be sure to call Park Service at Gettysburg before you go, particularly during rainy seasons and/or after a big rain-- they do close sections of the trail to minimize damage when necessary. Since the trail is basically a big loop, it could really impact your overall enjoyment.
                      *friend of bar.ka

                      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ETA, about seeing weird stuff @ Gettysburg-- that's for sure!! I thought for sure my horse would freak out at the giant monuments-- nope. Then when we got passed by a herd of people on Segways, I thought, "hang on, here we go!!" but nope, he was fine with that too. He DID do a whole LOT of horrified staring off at nothing, which we attributed to him seeing dead people-- lots and lots of dead people.
                        *friend of bar.ka

                        "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Gettysburg local here. Actually these days, there's not much in the way of muddy trails. They've had one section on the round tops part of the trails closed off since the one hurricane in the fall of 2011. The round top area is where you'd find any mud and rocks in the past. They did reopen part of it (made some improvements and added more wooden "boardwalks" to ride on), but you still can't go through the whole section yet and therefore cannot make a full loop on the trails without backtracking. I haven't been out on the battlefield yet this year, but I doubt they've opened that last closed section since I was last there.

                          Anyways, there's somewhere around 8 miles of trails. Much of the trails now have a sort of all-weather footing and are great to ride on after wet weather. They have posted rules for riding, one of which says no excessive speeds. It's very unclear about what speed they want. I always w/t/c there. My advice is to just not take off into a mad gallop in front of a ranger. I would advise either to have shoes or boots. My horse is barefoot and Gettysburg is one of the rare places I put his boots on. That trail footing is kind of like crushed gravel and not very comfortable after awhile for bare hooves. Artillary Ridge is the campground to stay at, as everyone mentioned. They have a connector trail that attaches to the battlefield trails. You do ride by monuments. You just can't ride your horse off of the trails to go up to a monument or whatever else. I personally wouldn't ride there in the hot summer heat. Spring and fall are nice. There might be a higher volume of riders and tourists in general this year due to it being the 150th anniversary of the battle.

                          For other riding in the area- Michaux State Forest isn't far. There's different areas you can ride at. You can also camp there with horses, but it's basic camping. Tons of miles of trails. Some locations are rocky, others are not. Codorus State Park is 30-45 minutes away in Hanover, PA. They have 8 plus miles of nice trails. It's always nice riding there. Hills, lots of shade, and a huge lake you can walk the horses into. There's nice trails at some areas down in MD also. Down around Westminster and Frederick. There's a few that are in the 40 min to an hour away range. There's also Catoctin Mountain Park down route 15. I haven't gotten a chance to ride there yet. I've scouted out the trails a bit. Their trailer parking is small and the trails seem to be typical mountain trails.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cnvh View Post
                            ETA, about seeing weird stuff @ Gettysburg-- that's for sure!! I thought for sure my horse would freak out at the giant monuments-- nope. Then when we got passed by a herd of people on Segways, I thought, "hang on, here we go!!" but nope, he was fine with that too. He DID do a whole LOT of horrified staring off at nothing, which we attributed to him seeing dead people-- lots and lots of dead people.
                            We've had the same experience with some horses at the Chickamauga Battlefield. Something like 40,000 horses died there, so it's no wonder.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                              OP not to hijack your thread, but DB can I ask about your camping/ riding in the Adirondacks? DH and I were looking into doing that this summer possibly
                              Sorry I missed this until now!

                              We went to Otter Creek Horse Trails which is near Loweville, NY. When my husband was stationed at Ft. Drum and we lived in the area, we used to ride there all summer. We had not been back for 10 years and always wanted to go back...so we did!

                              Lovely trails...about 60 miles of marked trails, mostly sand with some rocks and roots and lots of water to cross...actually rivers! We nearly had to swim once as beavers had dammed up the creek downstream. Beautiful wilderness.

                              Loads of fun and temps in the 60's in August...winters are horrible up there but summers are divine. The locals think it's hellish when it hits 80F.

                              There is a horse camp in the State park but it's first come first served and tie stalls only. You can't set up high ties or pens. Very crowded and no hookups. We were shocked that it was full midweek when we got there too. 10 years before it only filled up on weekends but it was mobbed. Many good memories from this place but we chose to stay nearby at a different horse camp.

                              http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8088.html

                              Here is the site of where we stayed. The place was for sale so I don't know if it's still available or not. Decent sites, nothing fancy but he has some cabins to rent also.

                              http://www.manestaystables.com/generalinfo.shtml

                              There are some private places you can rent also run by an old friend of mine.

                              http://www.horsecampsatottercreek.com/horse_trails.php

                              This place would be an endurance riders dream other than winter. The trails are only for snowmobile use in winter and in a typical winter for that area, you are hard pressed ride outside anyway. It's very harsh.

                              We seriously debated looking into that Mane Stay horse camp...so so tempting...but the winters held us back. I remember how long they are up there...October to May... If I was rich i'd have a summer place up there and a winter home here.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thanks DB that is really helpful!!
                                I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
                                If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You're welcome! I hope you can go. It's well worth the trip up there. The riding is amazing. We went in front boots only just FYI. The footing is fairly decent....we just wanted to protect their front hooves from roots and rocks.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We do get alot of campers up here in Michaux. There a couple of big parking lots that get full of horse trailers, campers and RVs in the summer. One is on Cold Spring Rd. and one is (from memory) on Old Forge road. Lots of hills. There's one woman in my neighborhood who rides endurance from her small barn -she conditions out here as far as I can tell.

                                    Paula
                                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Here's the link to the book about horse trails in PA:

                                      http://www.patrail.com/

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