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Ghost Town Trail

Facilities | FAQs | Directions | Trail Map | User Survey | Contacts | ADA Guidelines

The Ghost Town Trail now has its OWN Facebook page!

In addition to our Facebook page for Indiana County Parks & Trails we also have a separate Facebook page for the Ghost Town Trail. facebook icon

History

The Ghost Town Trail totals 36 miles in Indiana and Cambria Counties, Pennsylvania. The trail was originally established in 1991 when the Kovalchick Salvage Company donated 16 miles of the former Ebensburg & Black Lick Railroad to Indiana County. In 1993 the Cambria & Indiana Railroad donated an additional 4 miles from Rexis to White Mill Station known as the Rexis Branch. In 2005 an additional 20 miles were added to the trail - 12 miles in Indiana County and 8 miles in Cambria County. The trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Ghost Town Trail derives its name from numerous mining towns that once existed along the railroad corridor. Wehrum, the largest of the former towns, once had 230 houses, a hotel, company store, jail, and bank. Warren Delano, uncle of President Franklin Roosevelt, developed the town. Other ghost towns include Bracken, Armerford, Lackawanna #3, Scott Glenn, Webster, Beulah, and Claghorn. Learn more about the former town of Claghorn. There are few remnants of these former towns and most of the ghost towns are located on private property not open to the general public. A detailed history of the area can be found in Delano’s Domain: A History of the Mining Towns of Vintondale, Wehrum, and Claghorn by Denise Dusza Webster.

The Eliza Furnace, in Vintondale, is one of Pennsylvania’s best preserved iron furnaces. An interpretive exhibit is located at the site. The furnace operated from 1846 to 1849 and is a unique relic of the Black Lick Valley’s early industrial era. The furnace is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Historical markers along the trail provide interpretive information about the Black Lick Valley’s intriguing history.

The Ghost Town Trail is designated by the U.S. National Park Service as a National Recreation Trail. More info about the national recreation trails program can be found at: www.americantrails.org

The Ghost Town Trail is part of a large network of trails in western Pennsylvania known as the Trans Allegheny Trails network.

Icon for Trans Allegeny Trails

Facilities

The trail totals 36 miles and is open to hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. The trail is open year-round and the packed limestone surface is ideal for non-motorized activities. Portions of the trail in both Indiana and Cambria County are located adjacent to PA State Gamelands. Trail users are strongly advised to wear safety orange if using the trail during hunting seasons.

Access areas with the following services are available:

Access
Location
Services available

Saylor Park

1284 Old Indiana Road Blairsville, PA 15717

Parking, restroom in season, picnic facilities, nearby walking path and ballfields, park is operated by Burrell Township

Heshbon

10485 Route 259 Hwy
Blairsville, PA 15717

Parking, portable restroom in season

Dilltown

7452 Route 403 Hwy.
Dilltown, PA 15929
(Could also be Homer City, PA 15748)

Parking, restrooms, picnic facilities, nearby trail shop and bed & breakfast, water

Wehrum

2415 Wehrum Road Vintondale, PA 15961

Parking

Vintondale, Rexis

1069 Main Street
Vintondale, PA 15961

Parking, restroom at Eliza Station, picnic area, water

Red Mill

1093 Red Mill Road Ebensburg, PA 15931

Parking, nearby private cottage rental

Twin Rocks

1397 Plank Road
Nanty Glo, PA 15943

Parking

Nanty Glo

1097 1st Street
Nanty Go, PA 15943

Parking, restroom in season at football field, local restaurants

Ebensburg

424 Prave Street Ebensburg, PA 15931

Parking, local restaurants

In Dilltown the Dillweed Bed & Breakfast and trail shop provides overnight accommodations and trail related items for sale. The Red Mill Resort on the Rexis Branch also offers overnight accommodations. Motels, hotels and bed & breakfasts are located in Ebensburg, Johnstown, Indiana, and Blairsville. Camping is not permitted on the trail. Learn more about local camping options.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are new to the Ghost Town Trail you may want to look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Directions

The Ghost Town Trail is easily accessed via Routes 119, 22, 403, 271, and 422. Saylor Park, one-mile off Route 119 serves as the western terminus. Ebensburg, located along Routes 422 and 22 serves as the eastern terminus. A directional map with wrtitten directions to the various trail access areas is available.. Other directions are available by contacting the park office.

Trail Map

Detailed trail maps in PDF format are available for all three connnected trail sections. (Blacklick to Dilltown. Dilltown to Nanty Glo. Nanty Glo to Ebensburg.) These are large files which may take several moments to download. A regional trail map is also available. A handy Ghost Town Trail Mileage chart is also available.

For those with an interest in a historical perspective of the trail, we have compliled a group of USGS topographic maps (LARGE FILE!) from the early 1900s that present a look at how the Blacklick Valley looked about 100 years ago.

Thumbnail of historic Blacklick Valley

User Survey (2009)

In 2009 the Rails to Trails Conservancy conducted a survey of the users of the Ghost Town Trail. The results of this survey can be found here in two forms: The Complete User Survey Report (VERY large (5 MB) PDF file) and the Executive Summary of the report.

Contacts

Indiana County

Indiana County Parks & Trails

724/463-8636

Cambria County

Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority

814/472-2110

Americans with Disabilites Act Guidelines

If you are mobility disabled and would like to use an electric mobility device on our trails please read our mobility device guidelines before you visit.

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