Hoping to Build More Trails

by Eric Meyer

Many people across the country have discovered the benefits of walking and biking trails over the past year. Trails have provided a great way to get outside for exercise and fresh air, to socialize safely with friends, and to simply clear one’s mind or decompress. With this renewed focus on trails as a much-needed resource for communities, Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) has redoubled its efforts to develop a number of trails within Adams County. Here’s the latest on what we’re doing. 

The Gettysburg Inner Loop is a network of bike paths that will eventually encircle the Borough. Existing segments include the bike lanes along Steinwehr Ave. and the connector route to the Rec Park along Queen St., which is designated by road markings known as “sharrows.” The recent addition of the blue bridge near Middle St. now connects the Rec Park to Buford Ave. We’re currently working with the Borough on the next phase of the loop, along the north end of town. Over $250,000 has already been committed by local sources to help extend the trail towards the Historic Train Station on Carlisle St. Grant applications have been submitted for the additional funding. The project will not only extend the trail but also address other infrastructure needs in the area. 

Looking ahead, HABPI and the Borough secured two no-cost land right-of-ways to connect Water St./Fourth St. to the Historic Train Station. Thank you Spectra-kote and SCCAP for your generosity and community commitment. Additionally, the Gettysburg Station developer has indicated they intend to include the trail in their plans, thereby opening access to the Train Station. 

Also in the works is an off-road, multiuse trail extending from Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP) to the Maryland border. This trail will form one segment of a larger trail system known as the Grand History Trail. In addition to providing locals with an enjoyable place to walk, jog, and bike, the trail will open up additional tourism opportunities. The project feasibility study was completed last year and we are now meeting with specific land owners to discuss easements for the trail. 

We’re also working with the GNMP to gain permission for bicycle riders to use the wider walking paths from the Visitor Center to and across Taneytown Rd. This access is important for visitors who wish to tour the Park on bike, and it opens the first link of the Grand History Trail from the Visitor Center south towards the Maryland border. Happily, the Park has indicated that it will make an announcement on bicycle access shortly. 

We’re in the early stages of exploring a biking and walking path next to Boyds School Rd. between Old Harrisburg Rd. and Biglerville Rd. This new path would connect to the existing North Gettysburg Trail at the Gettysburg High School, providing access from town to organizations like St. Francis Xavier School, the Adams County offices, and Gettysburg Place apartments.  We are meeting with key stakeholders to explain the concept, identify concerns, and gauge support.

And finally, HABPI has begun discussions with the Adams County Historical Society regarding adding a short pedestrian/cycling path that connects the society’s new location on Biglerville Rd. to the existing North Gettysburg Trail, improving accessibility for nearby residents and visitors. 

We welcome your questions and comments. If you’re interested in helping us in our work to develop trails and promote safe biking and walking, contact us at habpi2012@gmail.com. In the meantime, happy trails to you.

Eric is president of Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc and a retired engineer who rediscovered his love of biking about 25 years ago.