Antietam National Battlefield proposes improvements to park trail system

Sharpsburg, Md.— Antietam National Battlefield has released a proposal to create a more connected, enjoyable and educational visitor experience by repositioning certain tour stops and developing a comprehensive trail system. By improving the trail system and relocating some of the tour stops, the National Park Service (NPS) will provide visitors with a more comprehensive understanding of this significant battle and its lasting legacy, while better protecting and preserving park resources. The NPS invites the public to comment on the final Visitor Access and Circulation Plan during a 30-day review period through May 23, 2018.

The new system will better integrate the land that the park has acquired since 1992, which has nearly double the park’s acreage since then. The plan includes reconfiguring some existing trails to improve visitor access, creating walking loops around key historic areas such as the Sunken Road and Miller Cornfield, and developing a perimeter trail around the entire battlefield. The plan will also amend the battlefield’s 1992 general management plan to preserve its historic visitor center and commemorative-era tour roads. While drafting the plan, the NPS incorporated significant feedback from both visitors and stakeholders. 

The public comment period is open from April 23 through May 23. Written comments may be submitted electronically at the NPS’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC), the NPS preferred method of receiving comments, but written comments may also be mailed to: Antietam National Battlefield, P.O. Box 158, Sharpsburg, MD 21782.