ECW Weekender: “Climbing” Gettysburg Battlefield

On a recent afternoon at Gettysburg, I had an idea for combining some physical fitness training and battlefield history. I wanted to do stairs to jumpstart my fitness plan for the new week, so I decided to climb all the free, regularly public accessible battlefield structures with flights of stairs. Unfortunately, I didn’t count all the steps, but it was good mini-workout with some great views at the top.

I started at the Pennsylvania Monument on Cemetery Ridge.

Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg (Bierle)

Then it was onto the Culp’s Hill tower.

Longstreet’s Tower came next.

Next, the 44th New York monument.

Finally, the First Day observation deck.

Combine the climbing with about 4.5 miles of hiking over the fields and I’d like to think I earned my ice cream that Saturday. My “relaxing” afternoon at Gettysburg morphed into something else, but I certainly had a good time, and personally I’d rather walk the stairs and the miles on a battlefield than in a gym. Especially when the spring weather is near perfection!

P.S. Did I miss any places to climb stairs? I know the Lutheran Seminary is publicly accessible, but there’s a fee to climb into the cupola. (Free and regularly accessible were my criterion.)

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, author, speaker, and researcher. Past and present, everyone has a story. What will we discover and discuss?
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8 Responses to ECW Weekender: “Climbing” Gettysburg Battlefield

  1. Makes me think of the Wilder Brigade Monument at Chickamauga. That wasn’t a fun experience, but it was a practice in bravery for me, haha. Definitely didn’t do it for the steps/exercise that day. Just the view. 🙂

  2. waynegettysgrg says:

    I think you got ’em all! In Pittsburgh, we have “city steps” all throughout our hilly town (712 sets/44,265 treads/24,090 vertical feet), so I’ve become a bit of a steps enthusiast as well.

    As you said, miles of battlefield trekking combined with the steps beats an indoor dreadmill anytime! Thanks for a very cool post.

  3. Michael Oliva says:

    You could have climbed big round top to the top

  4. Rosemary Lather says:

    I did a long run there in preparation for the Boston marathon. I had intended to run 20 miles but I got to an intersection and checked my Garmin watch. I was at mile 18.43. I saw my hotel was about two tenths away so I ran there and got 18.63 miles!!!! With that number I had to forsake the 20 mile goal.

  5. Chris Mackowski says:

    This post has me feeling up!

  6. billhenck says:

    For what it’s worth, I think Longstreet tower has 112 steps and the Culp’s Hill tower has 94.

  7. Katy Berman says:

    I have a fear of heights. I let my kids and grandkids do the climbing!

  8. Phil Lord says:

    Granted it is not steps, but there is no better bicycle ride than the 17 miles from the Visitor Center, out to the first contact area, and then around the entire loop. Of course we do stop and do the same climbs, my favorite always being the Little Round Top monument. A relative, Pvt. Darwin Thompson, fought through the entire war in the 83rd PA Regiment, Co C. We do not not believe he was at Gettysburg, having taken sick earlier. What an inspiring place to commune with the past.

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