Change the Destination for Your Next Walk or Bicycle Ride

by Dennis Hickethier

Now is the time to spring out of winter confinement into the fresh air. But before heading out, perhaps you might want to think about going someplace that is not in your normal routine. In Adams County there are plenty of locations that offer great scenery for your next walking or biking adventure. I know it helps me to get going if I look forward to a new destination or route. So this month we are offering some suggestions for your next walk or ride.  

There are many places to walk on the battlefield, but I like to park in the Devils Den parking area (not on weekends!) and do a figure 8 loop on park roads. Another favorite of mine is to park in the Middle School parking lot and walk to Spangler Spring and back around, taking the “low road” around Culps Hill. Another favorite (with no hills) is to park at the Ag Center at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, then walk west down Broadway and around the back of the college and Constitution Avenue and then find my way back. I also combine walking the Biser Trail with walking the adjoining neighborhoods. I like to walk 2-3 miles but you can modify most of the distances to suit your time and energy. A great resource on local walks, including a number outside of Gettysburg, has been put together by Healthy Adams County and can be found online at (Walking Routes).

Bicycling offers even more options to explore since you can travel farther in a shorter time. HABPI lists over 10 rides at and we’re working on adding more. Just look under the Bicycle Info tab for “On Road Cue Sheets”. There you will find route maps and turn-by-turn instructions for rides of different lengths. Many of the rides start from the Gettysburg Rec Park and include portions of the battlefield. Also Hanover Cyclers offers organized group rides for cyclists of all abilities. It’s a great way to explore new roads with people who have already ridden them to ensure they are “bike-friendly.” Check out their website for details.  

My wife and I like to occasionally turn a ride into an adventure by including a stop for refreshments along the way. So perhaps you, too, might consider a ride to an outdoor restaurant or pack a snack and stop at a park. If a destination is too far for me, I think about where I can park (grocery store, a community park, etc.) to make the trip doable. It’s worth the investment in a bike rack for the car as it opens lots of destinations I wouldn’t otherwise consider. So keep things fresh this year by exploring new walks and bike rides.

And finally, a special request. The past year has been a tough one. Walking and cycling became for many a way to escape the house or apartment, socialize safely, get some exercise, and just decompress. We would like to hear from you about your “pandemic bike experience”. What did bicycling do for you or mean to you, what adventures did you have. Anything from a sentence or two to a full-page story would be welcome. We’d like to collect and share some of these in a future article and/or on our Facebook page. Please email your thoughts and stories to

Dennis is a board member for Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. He is retired from the federal government and has been riding his bicycle in Adams County for 28 years.