About Us

Confederate Trails / Victorian Carriage Company is a small, women owned and family operated business that provides horseback rides and horse drawn carriage tours of the Gettysburg Battlefield. We are proud members of the military, active in our local community, and enjoy helping families and friends create memories that last a lifetime. Please read on to get to know a bit about us.  We hope you will come visit us and have a great experience on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

Woman owned, family operated small business

Confederate Trails was founded and opened for business in 2010. Owner, Rachel Stephens, and her husband Doug have a strong bond to Gettysburg National Military Park. For one, they are both prior Army, and secondly their wedding anniversary is on July 3rd (for those of you not familiar, the Gettysburg Battle was July 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1863). Prior to starting the horseback riding business they would often come to the Battlefield on their anniversary to enjoy the history with their children. Rachel continues to serve in the Air-force as a flight nurse.

Dream becomes reality

Doug, now a retired disabled veteran, upon returning from his sixth deployment spoke with Rachel about wanting to change their focus to doing something that they loved for the rest of their lives. The Stephens family had often spent their free time trail riding and visiting the Gettysburg Battlefield, soon after Confederate Trails was born.

The military connection

Confederate Trails is a caring, family business that functions with the expertise that comes from a combined military experience of over 40 years. Doug & Rachel met when they were both medics and non-commissioned officers in the Army. Doug worked in the air (Huey helicopters) and Rachel worked on the ground (HUMV ambulances). Later they changed branch of service to the Air Force. Both have achieved flight status and Rachel has long since been commissioned as a Registered Nurse. She currently serves in the Air National Guard at the rank of Major.

A family operation

While you are out at the trails, don’t be surprised if you see the Stephens’ children.

Katie

When you arrive for your ride, do you hear a familiar, friendly voice? That would be Katie, the oldest child and only daughter. Katie is an energetic dynamo who is on the trail almost daily. She answers the phone, makes reservations and is the site manager for the day-to-day trail operations. Katie loves the horses and knows all of their personalities. She is great at matching horses with guests, ensuring you have a great experience. You want amazing? Katie’s it.

Zachary

Zachary, the 18 year-old son does a great job both at the barn and on the trail. He enjoys welcoming guests and keeping things running smoothly. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding his new motorcycle. Zach graduated this year from high school and also achieved rank of Eagle Scout.

Spencer

Spencer, the youngest at age 13, lends a hand when he is not playing football. Spencer is really looking forward to going into high school next school year and being able to play for the high school team!

Rachel – Owner, operator & also nurse

Caring for the elderly

During the off season, Rachel continues to work as a Registered Nurse. She has more than 17 years of experience and has a particular love for the elderly. Rachel did many years in long-term care working as everything from a floor nurse to nursing supervisor to Director of Nursing. Rachel credits her strong bond with the elderly to her close relationship with her grandmother. “My Gram is amazing!” Rachel states, “If I could be half the person she is, I would be happy!” Rachel’s grandmother, Francis, turned 100 on May 2, 2016.

Caring for kids

Currently, Rachel works as a substitute school nurse when she is not out on horseback or on one of their horse-drawn carriages. Taking care of kids of all ages from kindergarten to high school seniors is a joy to Rachel. “There is just something neat about each age group – I love it. They have so much energy!” Although school nursing seems rather tame next to the trauma training from the Air Force, the chance to be with kids both on and off the trail is very rewarding for Rachel.

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