Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891

Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain Tour

Please click here to jump to the Overview section with all tour details including pricing.

Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain: Highlights

New for 2023, the Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain tour is a 5-day adventure bike tour of South-Central Pennsylvania along pristine farm roads with a mix of both paved and gravel roads over rolling hills, through covered bridges, and past rivers and streams. The tour starts from the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country and ends at Gettysburg National Military Park, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

The adventure begins with a tour of the covered bridges of Lancaster County and a visit to Lititz, Pennsylvania which was voted as “America’s Coolest Small Towns” in 2013 by Budget Travel. The next is a crossing over the Susquehanna River to York, Pennsylvania and then south onto the smooth gravel of the York County Heritage Rail Trail. The following day is a loop around the farms and verdant fields of Spring Valley. The fourth day heads south on the Heritage Rail Trail crossing the Mason-Dixon line into Maryland and onto the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail with a swing-around of Prettyboy Reservoir Park to end back in Pennsylvania. The final day is an early morning cycling tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield and then a turn south up and around Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland and finally back to end the tour in Gettysburg.

Our friends in Central Pennsylvania have long bragged about having some of the best riding around – come see why!

Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

To easily register for a particular tour, please click the Book Now! link after the tour date listed below. This will select the tour name and the appropriate date on the registration form.

2024 Tour Dates

This tour runs from Monday to Friday unless noted otherwise.

2025 Tour Dates

Tour Status Notes: NO STATUS = Date Set, no riders have signed up. TOUR OPENED = Tour Opened, rider minimums not met. TOUR A GO! = Tour is Go, rider minimums met. SOLD OUT = Tour Full, rider maximums met.

Why Should you Sign-Up Now and OPEN a Tour Date?
This is the proverbial chicken and the egg conundrum! We need our cyclists to first commit to the date that works for them so that we can commit to that date.

For starters, when you OPEN a date you get to pick your preferred departure date, and there is no penalty if the tour does not run. Once you pick your tour date, Lizard Head closes nearby dates and funnels all additional riders to your chosen date until the tour meets its 6 rider minimum.

BONUS: As an added bonus, we can also hold a spot for you on another tour date of your choosing. There is no fee to switch to another tour date.

In conclusion, if you want a tour to run, we need you to sign up and not wait for others to do the same! Waiting for others may mean that a tour date takes longer or does not confirm. Just Do It! Once a few riders jump into the proverbial waters, others will follow!

Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 5-Days Cycling/4-Nights Lodging

Meeting/Ending Town: Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. If flying, use Harrisburg International Airport (MDT).

Total Miles: 238 miles with 196 miles paved (82%) and 42 miles gravel (18%). (additional mileage options available)

Mileage Range: 38 to 66 miles

Ability Level: Intermediate (2/3) , Upper Intermediate (3)

Tour Cost: $2,685 per person. Add $495 per person to this Tour Cost for a private room each night of the tour (includes 5-Nights).

Tour Discounts: Please see our Reptile Rewards & Tour Discounts page to learn more about Reptile Rewards, Tour Discounts, and Group Discounts. Tour discounts are not stackable with any other discounts or promotions – only the highest valued discount is provided. Please note that for discounts to apply the tour minimum must be met.

Tour Includes: 5-Days of guide service, 4-Nights lodging, all in-tour meals (except for one lunch and two dinners), park entrance fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental, and massage (if available) are additional.

Bike Recommendations: With some days on short sections of smooth gravel, road bikes can be used on this tour provided that they have 25-32mm wide tires. This tour can also be enjoyed on a cross bike or an adventure gravel bike. Please call 970.728.5891 or email us if you have any questions on the recommended bike and equipment to bring on this tour.

Lodging for 4-Nights: (subject to change)

Meeting Hotel and Ending Hotel reservations and costs are NOT included unless specified otherwise. Guests are on-their-own to make reservations at the Meeting Hotel or Ending Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

Gravel Bike Rentals

NOTE: The make, model, and specifications of rental bikes may differ from what is described below. Please contact us if you have any specific needs for a rental bike or have any questions about rental bikes.

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rent the Scott 2023 Addict 30 which is light, can handle rough terrain, fits chunky tires and has enough mounts to carry all the liquids and freeze-dried chicken curry you want. What's really important, though is what this bike allows you to do. Now, perhaps more than ever, the Addict Gravel 30 is your ticket to adventure when you need it most.

The Addict 30 features: Addict Gravel Disc HMF Carbon Gravel geometry, Shimano GRX 22 speed drivetrain, Shimano BR-RX400 hydraulic disc brakes, Schwalbe G-ONE Bite Performance 700x45C tires. Approx. Weight: 20.3 / 9.2 kg (without pedals)

Learn more about our Rental Bikes and Equipment

If you have any further questions, please read more on our Rental Bikes FAQ page. You can also email us at or call us at 970.728.5891

Meals On Tour

Lizard Head Cycling Guides provides most meals on all tours (unless otherwise noted) including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guides will prepare a daily lunch en route for nearly every tour, both road and off-road, as well as provide nutritious snacks at periodic aid stations during the day.

Most of our road tours utilize local restaurants for all meals and occasionally guides may prepare a dinner or two during a tour. Due to the nature of being "off the grid", most of our off-road tours feature guide prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. FUN NOTE: When guides prepare a meal in camp and the guests sit around and watch, this is called "Guide TV". :)

We also pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests and needs, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works best for you during your tour. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Lunches: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and, of course, plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies.

Dinners: On our road tours, Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients and guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu including: appetizer, salad, entrée, and of course, dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post-ride element.

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

Definition of Ability Levels

= Intermediate (2/3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 1 to 3 times a week for a total of 50 or more miles.
= Upper Intermediate (3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 2 to 4 times a week for a total of 75 or more miles.
= Advanced (3/4) Rides and/or takes spin classes 3 to 5 times a week for a total of 100 or more miles. Has ridden multi-day tours and done a century ride.
= Expert (4) Rides 4 or more times per week totaling 150 or more miles. Rides E.F.I. with regularity. Has done numerous multi-day tours, century rides and races.

How Fit do I Have to Be? If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equaling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

Do the Bump! Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a "bump" via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time. After the bump the rider is "off the front" and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They'll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options: Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tour – something we're well known for in our business. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. 🙂

Slow or Fast? Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up, but then they're surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine! Slow and Fast only exist relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!

Please also see this blog post for more information.

Overall Route Map

Below is an example of the daily routes for this tour and are subject to change based on season, available accommodations, road closures, and other factors. The actual routes will be made available to registered participants before their tour, so please view these routes as a general outline as to what to expect.

Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain: Itinerary*

*PLEASE NOTE: Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations, road construction, road closures, and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Also, the distances and elevation profiles shown below may not reflect the actual distances and elevations while on tour as these are provided here to give an idea as to the anticipated mileage and terrain. Please view this itinerary, the distances, and elevation profiles as a general outline as to what to expect while on this tour.

Day 1: Lancaster Covered Bridges
52 miles with up to 2,640 feet of climbing (90% paved/10% gravel)

The tour kicks off with a Monday morning ride through Amish Country navigating right-of-ways with horse-drawn buggies while coasting through covered bridges and along the rolling hills of beautiful Lancaster County. We soon roll through Lititz, Pennsylvania, which in 2013 was announced the winner of Budget Travel’s “America’s Coolest Small Towns” competition from among 15 other finalists.

After departing Lititz, we continue our circuitous route through Amish Country passing through no less than 10 covered bridges before ending the day at the small town of Marietta, PA, located along the banks of the Susquehanna River.

Elevation Profile: 52 miles +2,640 feet / -2,740 feet

Day 2: Heritage Rail Trail
41 miles with up to 2,070 feet of climbing (56% paved/44% gravel)

Departing from Marietta, the route takes us onto the Lancaster County River Trail running adjacent to the Susquehanna River and then crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge into York County. We join up with the Heritage Rail Trail and make a stop in York, PA to explore and have lunch at the Central Market House, a local farmers market and community gathering place for over 125 years.

After the Central Market House and back onto the Heritage Rail Trail, riders will enjoy smooth gravel for the remainder of the day until reaching Glen Rock, PA, our home for the next two nights.

Elevation Profile: 41 miles +2,070 feet / -1,600 feet

Day 3: Spring Valley Loop
45 miles with up to 3,500 feet of climbing (70% paved/30% gravel)

This gravel loop, starting from and ending at Glen Rock, passing through Spring Valley County Park, brings us a mix of pristine paved roads and easy-rolling gravel as we make our way through quiet towns and empty roads. Just another day to appreciate life at bike speed and enjoy some truly unbeatable riding.

Elevation Profile: 45 miles +3,500 feet / -3,110 feet

Day 4: Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail & Prettyboy Reservoir
47 miles with up to 3,710 feet of climbing (73% paved/27% gravel)

For the fourth day of the tour, our route will take us south on the beautiful Heritage Rail Trail where we soon cross the Mason-Dixon line into Maryland and onto the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail. We divert west off the rail trail, then circumnavigate around Prettyboy Reservoir, and loop back up into Pennsylvania to cross the Mason-Dixon line once again. The ride ends at Codorus State Park and from here we load up to shuttle to Gettysburg to rest up for tomorrow’s fantastic final ride.

Elevation Profile: 47 miles +3,710 feet / -3,800 feet

Day 5: Gettysburg Battlefields & The Mountains Loop
64 miles with up to 4,120 feet of climbing (100% paved)

The final day of the tour brings us to the Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The riding starts early in the morning with a humbling tour of the Gettysburg National Military Park to view the memorials and monuments to all the soldiers that lost their lives here.

Turning south we cross the Mason-Dixon line once againback into northern Maryland and then over Catoctin Mountain Park which is located in the forested Catoctin Mountain ridge−range that forms the northeastern rampart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Turning back north the route goes across the final covered bridge of the tour, Sachs Covered Bridge, and then ends back in Gettysburg. After lunch in Gettysburg, the tour ends back in Harrisburg after a shuttle.

Elevation Profile: 64 miles +4,120 ft / -4,065 feet

Bridges and Battlegrounds Mixed Terrain: Logistics & FAQs

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

If you have not already, now would be a great time to consider adding travel insurance to your tour. You are welcome to use any travel insurance company you would like. We recommend Generali/Trip Mate.

Generally, if contracting COVID causes clients to cancel or interrupt their tour, trip insurance companies would treat it as any other illness as long as it is contracted after the insurance was purchased. Please check your individual plan documentation for details. Please note that quarantine is usually only covered if clients are actually sick with COVID. If a state requires quarantine upon arrival because of standardized state law, coverage is generally not covered. Again, check your individual plan documentation for details.

American Guests - use this link:

  • The Premium Plan is the only plan which offers Pre-Existing coverage so long as the plan is purchased prior to Final Payment.
  • The Premium Plan is the only plan that offers an optional Cancel For Any Reason - the policy must be purchased within 24 hours of initial trip deposit, the full trip cost must be insured, and if they cancel for Any Reason, it must be 48 hours prior to departure, and the reimbursement for an Any Reason claim is 60% of pre-paid, insured, non-refundable trip cost.
  • Customer Service can be reached at 1-800-874-2442 for coverage questions and policy modifications or to purchase by phone. Agency Code: LIZA0855

Canadian Guests - use this link:

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