How would you rather tour the Battlefields of Gettysburg? Cram into a tour bus with 50 other people? Or would you rather enjoy an open-air fun experience on one of Gettysburg Segway Tours instead?
While the lesser-expensive bus tours are a great way for families or those with disabilities to tour and learn about Gettysburg, they really weren’t for us.
Having experienced the bus tour on previous visits to Gettysburg, we found buses and sometimes, trolley tours, too restrictive and stifling for our personal liking. Sitting shoulder to shoulder on a cramped tour bus with blind spots and constantly looking over other tourists to get a better view out the window just wasn’t our thing.
However, learning about the pivotal 3-day Civil War battle while riding Segways is now our favorite!
This blog article contains affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no extra cost to you so we can continue to create more helpful free content. Thank you, we appreciate your support! Full disclosure here.
Today, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is peppered with stone reminders of such great losses, defeat and victory. One can only try to imagine what those three days in hot July of 1863 were like.
Small acres of corn fields instantly became trampled. What were once farmlands that provided the lifeblood of the community soon became a mass field of the Fallen.
And the town of Gettysburg is now a hallowed ground; not just in the National Cemetery but all around. It’s become a place to learn our history but at the same time, feel it.
By opting for the Gettysburg Segway Tours (as opposed to those crammed tour buses), we were able to get a more imaginable outdoor experience we were looking for. And, by the end of the day, we feel that we got a more fulfilling Gettysburg and Battlefield tour experience!
What is a SEGWAY?
A Segway Personal Transporter is a motorized personal vehicle consisting of two wheels mounted side by side beneath a platform that the rider stands on while holding on to handlebars, controlled by the way the rider distributes their weight.
They are the perfect and fun way to see the Gettysburg Battlefield. Segways are environmentally friendly and super quiet. And, they emit no gas or fumes.
What equipment does Gettysburg Segway Tours provide?
As part of the Gettysburg Segway Tours packages, you are provided pre-ride training and a bicycle helmet.
You also will receive an headset with pre-recorded audio narration by a Licensed Battlefield Guide. We’d listen to learn about what happened at each location. Escort Guides also can communicate with Segway riders through the headsets as well.
Before we were allowed to begin our tour, we were required to watch a safety and Segway operation video. We then, strapped on our helmets and learned how to operate our Segways on their indoor obstacle course. The course was actually quite easy and we both were super excited to go ride our Segway war horses to the battlefield.
Our Segways are referred to as our horses in which we learned what each of their roles during the Civil War (not just Gettysburg).
We’d learn about our particular war horse and were instructed to treat them respect just as the commanders of the regiments did with their war horses. In other words, we weren’t allowed to ‘horse around’ on our Segways.
After our indoctrination, pre-ride training, and learning about our war horses, we were ready to head to battle.
As they say at the Kentucky Derby, “Off they go!”
Gettysburg Segway Rides
There are two different Segway rides that are available for those who aren’t particularly interested in the historical tours but want to experience riding a Segway.
The Indoor Ride is for those who just want to try the Segway PT™ in our indoor training area. Those who graduate the initial training can try their hand at our new Segway PT™ Obstacle Course!
The Outside Ride is an Escort-Guided ride. SegTours of Gettysburg does not rent their Segways out like bicycles or other rental options.
Oh, and just so you’re aware, you will have to sign liability waivers before stepping foot onto a Segway.
The Gettysburg Segway Tours experience
For those who are interested in the historical tours of Gettysburg National Military Park and Battlefields, there are four different Segway tours you can choose from:
- Western Battlefield Tour
- Eastern Battlefield Tour
- Town Tour
- Specialty Tours
Tours visit all of the main historical sites and are directed by a Licensed Battlefield Guide. (We’ll talk about the Western Battlefield Tour and Eastern Battlefield Tour further down in this article.)
All tours are escorted and include opportunities to dismount to take photos and take a water and restroom break.
Our Gettysburg Segway Tours Experience
Anyways, we drove to the Segway Tours of Gettysburg, also known as SegTours, office to sign up for a Segway tour the night before instead of registering online. We also wanted to get a preliminary look at the Segways to get an idea of what to expect and to see if we were coordinated enough to do this!
We signed up for the three hour Western (main) Battlefield tour which included a 20 minute pre-ride training session and video.
The next morning, we got up, grabbed some grub and headed back to the SegTours to go on our Segway tour of Gettysburg.
We each were leased a Segway which, ironically, are also named after a famous U.S. Cavalry Horse.
The cool thing is the Tour Escorts take lots of photos so we could pay attention to riding, the history lesson and so we could truly enjoy the tour without having to worry about taking photos. They certainly don’t want accidents from riders trying to take photos while riding the Segways. After the tour in the evening or next day, all of the photos taken on our tour are available for free on their website.
The Tour Escorts also bring some few snacks to share with us during tour stops. But we do recommend taking a couple bottles of water each. Each Segway has storage for your purse, small bag or backpack.
An important note, the Tour Escorts are not Licensed Battlefield Guides (link above), therefore, cannot quote or give historic information. This is the reason for listening to headset audio tour.
That said, Tour Escorts can pause the audio for each time we stop or when we asked questions.
Western Battlefield Segway Tour
Our Western Battlefield Tour took approximately 3 hours (including training) covering about 9 miles with 4 rest stops.
The Western Battlefield Tour visits both ends of Pickett’s Charge. The main battlefield route takes us along both Union and Confederate lines, encompasses all three days of the battle, and visits all of the most famous sites:
- Lutheran Theological Seminary
- Seminary Ridge
- McMillan Woods
- North Carolina Memorial
- Virginia Memorial (start of Picketts Charge)
- Pitzer Woods / Longstreet Headquarters
- The Peach Orchard
- The Wheatfield
- Devil’s Den
- Little Round Top
- Cemetery Ridge
- Pennsylvania Memorial
- High Water Mark / The Angle / Copse of Trees
- Meade’s Headquarters
- Brian Barn
- National Cemetery
Anyways, it was quite interesting to ride through the Battlefield while listening to the what happened all while enjoying the gorgeous outdoors. It really put things into perspective as we seg’d our way through the Battlefield. And, it surely beats having to sit in a bus to load and unload each time for a stop.
After we finished the Western Battlefield Tour, we were hooked! We were totally stoked about our first Segway experience! Not only for the fun factor but we yearned to learn more about the Battle of Gettysburg.
So, we signed up for the afternoon Eastern Battlefield Tour. We went for lunch and returned for our second scheduled tour.
We recommend the Western Battlefield Tour route for those who want a very good general understanding of the battle.
Eastern Battlefield Segway Tour
Since we had already gone through the indoctrination, video and training earlier in the day, we were issued and learned about our new horses (Segways).
This time, Jessie was our Tour Escort for the Eastern Battlefield Tour. For this tour, we rode different horses (Segways) to give our Western Tour horses a break (battery recharge).
So, we also had to learn about our new Battlefield Horses before riding onto the battlefields.
Then, our Tour Escort took us out. On the Eastern Battlefield We also had a Licensed Battlefield Guide on this tour to give us more in-depth historical accounts that aren’t in the audio narration.
This shorter tour Eastern Battlefield Tour route takes us to the East side of the battlefield. Although less well-known, it was the site of many pivotal engagements on each of the three days of the battle.
- East Confederate Avenue
- Spangler’s Spring
- Culp’s Hill
- Observation Tower
- East Cemetery Hill
- Soldier’s National Cemetery
- Many other sites and memorials
Our Gettysburg Segway Tours wrap up
Of all visits we’ve made to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, touring the Battlefield by Segway is, by far, our favorite!
Though the price of the Segway tours may be pricy, it’s a wonderful and fulfilling educational experience. But also, it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors, getting some fresh air and warm sunshine.
In our opinion, before taking the Eastern Battlefield Segway tour, we highly recommend taking the Western Battlefield tour first to get a good overview of the whole battle.
We actually got a better understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg by taking a Segway tour. The bonus of taking a Segway tour is we also learned about the battlefield horses who helped shape the outcome of this controversial Civil War battle.
By taking the Gettysburg Segway Tours of the Battlefield and Gettysburg, we got to experience the tour in a different sense…or senses (plural).
Gettysburg is undeniably one of the most emotional places in our Country that will follow us for the rest of our lives, even after visiting. Leaving with a greater knowledge and sense of appreciation for those who fell and rose in such a brutal battle that shaped our Nation’s history was humbly accomplished.
About the Gettysburg Segway Tours
For more information on Segtours of Gettysburg or you can call 1-888-4SEGTOURS. Check out their FAQ’s. All Segway riders must sign a liability release waiver. Important to note, there are age restrictions for riding and renting.
Upon request, you may be able to schedule a customized a tour for you or your family in an area of the battlefield or town that is not normally visited by our tours (e.g., Oak Hill, East Cavalry Field, South Cavalry Field, Gettysburg College, the town cemetery, etc.).
However, we suggest phoning Gettyburg SegTours at least 2 weeks prior to when you’d like your specialized personal tour to allow them to acquire a Licensed Battlefield Guide for your tour.
Check out SegTours of Gettysburg video:
If you don’t think a Segway tour is for you or family members due to physical limitations, ages of those in your party or your travel budget, there are other cool ways to explore Gettysburg.
And lastly, to make the best of your Gettysburg experience, you’ll definitely want to read our 24+ Best Things to Do in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.