Changes planned for popular site at Gettysburg National Military Park

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 26, 2017 3:45 PM

Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jan Kransell

The view, looking up to Little Round Top, is shown in this 2002 photo.

(Harrisburg) -- The National Park Service is considering changes to one of the most popular sites at Gettysburg National Military Park.

The park is planning more paved paths, pull-off areas for buses, and more parking to accommodate the big crowds at Little Round Top.

It's the site of the one of the most significant actions during the Battle of Gettysburg, and provides great views of the surrounding landscape.

Because of that, Katie Lawhon with the Park says crowds can overwhelm the site during peak season, leading to erosion.

Lawhon says that's led to a six inch drop off from the sidewalk to the ground in some places.

"There's quite a bit of erosion. There's just been so much foot traffic there that if you step off a sidewalk, there are places where it's a six inch drop, and it's even a safety issue," says Lawhon.

However, she wants to be clear that they're not talking about setting up new visitor limits.

"But the main way you visit the site won't be changing. So it'll still be a site on the Auto Tour route. Buses will still be able to drive to the summit, so will cars, bicylcists, hikers, people on Segways," she says.

A public comment period is open until May 13th, and work could start as early as next year.

Lawhon says if they didn't take action now, they might have had to consider closing parts of the site off to visitors.

The project is estimated to cost nearly $5.5 million.

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