Ghost Town Trail In Pennsylvania

Here is everything you need to know about the Ghost Town Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Length: 57 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Ghost Town Trail is a historic rail trail located in western Pennsylvania, United States. It follows the path of the former Ebensburg and Blacklick Railroad, which was originally constructed in the late 19th century. The railroad played a crucial role in the region’s coal mining industry, transporting coal from the mines to various markets.

The trail’s name, “Ghost Town,” is derived from the numerous coal mining towns that once thrived along the railroad line but eventually became abandoned as the coal industry declined. These towns were bustling communities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with schools, churches, company stores, and other amenities. However, as the demand for coal decreased and mines closed, the towns gradually emptied, leaving behind remnants of their former existence.

In the 1990s, efforts were made to preserve the history and heritage of the region by converting the abandoned railroad into a recreational trail. The Ghost Town Trail officially opened in 1994, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the area’s rich industrial past. Along the trail, visitors can discover the remains of old coal mining structures, such as coke ovens, mine entrances, and foundations of former buildings. Interpretive signs and markers provide historical information, allowing visitors to learn about the lives of the miners and the impact of the coal industry on the region.

Today, the Ghost Town Trail is a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, and history enthusiasts. It spans approximately 46 miles, passing through scenic landscapes, forests, and small towns. The trail not only offers a glimpse into the area’s industrial past but also provides a peaceful and picturesque outdoor experience for all who visit.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Saylor Park Trailhead: Located in Saylor Park, near the town of Saylor, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

2. Dilltown Trailhead: Situated in the town of Dilltown, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

3. Heshbon Trailhead: Located in the town of Heshbon, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

4. Vintondale Trailhead: Situated in the town of Vintondale, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

5. Twin Rocks Trailhead: Located near the Twin Rocks area, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

6. Nanty Glo Trailhead: Situated in the town of Nanty Glo, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

7. Ebensburg Trailhead: Located in the town of Ebensburg, this trailhead offers parking facilities, restrooms, and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

8. Eliza Furnace Trailhead: Situated near the Eliza Furnace Historic Site, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and access to the Ghost Town Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Ghost Town Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Taxi – Traditional taxi service for convenient transportation.
4. Bus – Public transportation service with scheduled routes.
5. Train – Rail service for longer distance travel.
6. Car Rental – Rent a car for personal transportation.
7. Bike Rental – Rent bicycles for exploring the area.
8. Scooter Rental – Rent electric scooters for short trips.
9. Shuttle Service – Shared transportation service with designated stops.
10. Walking – Explore the Ghost Town Trail on foot.


The amenities available at the Ghost Town Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail, including trailheads and visitor centers.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at different trailheads and access points along the Ghost Town Trail.

3. Camping Sites: While there are no camping sites directly on the trail, there are nearby campgrounds and recreational areas where visitors can camp. Some options include Blue Spruce Park, Yellow Creek State Park, and Prince Gallitzin State Park.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas located at different points along the trail, providing visitors with a place to relax and enjoy a meal. Some of these areas may have picnic tables, shelters, or grills.

5. Visitor Centers: The trail features visitor centers or information kiosks at certain locations, where visitors can obtain maps, brochures, and additional information about the trail and its history.

6. Trailhead Facilities: At various trailheads, you may find additional amenities such as parking, restrooms, water fountains, and information boards.

7. Interpretive Signage: Throughout the trail, there are interpretive signs that provide information about the history, ecology, and points of interest along the Ghost Town Trail.

8. Bike Rentals: Some sections of the trail offer bike rental services, allowing visitors to explore the trail on two wheels.

It’s important to note that amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the Ghost Town Trail you are visiting. It is recommended to check with local authorities or visitor centers for the most up-to-date information on available amenities.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Holiday Inn Express & Suites Indiana – A comfortable hotel located near the Ghost Town Trail with modern amenities.
– Quality Inn & Suites – A budget-friendly hotel offering basic accommodations near the trail.
– Hampton Inn Indiana – A well-known hotel chain providing convenient lodging options for trail visitors.
– Park Inn by Radisson Indiana – A hotel offering comfortable rooms and a range of amenities for a pleasant stay.

2. Food Services:
– Hoss’s Steak & Sea House – A popular restaurant serving a variety of steak and seafood dishes.
– Eat’n Park – A family-friendly restaurant chain offering a diverse menu of American comfort food.
– Subway – A fast-food chain specializing in made-to-order sandwiches and salads.
– Sheetz – A convenience store chain with a wide selection of grab-and-go food options.

3. Emergency Services:
– Indiana Regional Medical Center – A full-service hospital providing emergency medical care.
– Indiana County Sheriff’s Office – Law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining public safety in the area.
– Indiana Fire Association – A local fire department offering emergency response services.
– Indiana County 911 – Emergency dispatch center for police, fire, and medical emergencies.

Ghost Town Trail Difficulty Notes

The Ghost Town Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of hikers and bikers. The trail spans approximately 46 miles through scenic woodlands, abandoned coal mines, and historic ghost towns in Pennsylvania. With a mostly flat terrain and well-maintained paths, it is accessible for beginners and families. However, there are some sections with slight inclines and uneven surfaces that may pose a challenge for those seeking a more adventurous experience. Overall, the Ghost Town Trail provides a balanced mix of ease and excitement, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the beauty of nature while exploring the remnants of a bygone era.

Features And Attractions

The Ghost Town Trail is a 46-mile long trail located in Pennsylvania, United States. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Ghost Town Trail:

1. Eliza Furnace: This historic iron furnace was built in the 1840s and is now a designated National Historic Landmark.

2. Saylor Park: Located in Blacklick, this park offers beautiful views of the Blacklick Creek and is a popular spot for picnicking and fishing.

3. Dilltown: This small town along the trail features a historic railroad station and a charming general store.

4. Wehrum: Once a thriving coal mining town, Wehrum is now a ghost town with remnants of its past, including a few buildings and a cemetery.

5. Eliza Furnace Trailhead: This trailhead marks the beginning of the Ghost Town Trail and offers parking, restrooms, and picnic facilities.

6. Heshbon: Another former coal mining town, Heshbon has a few remaining structures and is a fascinating glimpse into the region’s industrial history.

7. Vintondale: This town is home to the Vintondale Heritage Museum, which showcases the history of the area’s coal mining industry.

8. Twin Rocks: Known for its unique rock formations, Twin Rocks is a great spot for photography and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

9. Nanty Glo: This town was once a major coal mining center and has a rich history. The Nanty Glo Park offers a playground and picnic area.

10. Ebensburg: The endpoint of the Ghost Town Trail, Ebensburg is a charming town with a historic district, shops, and restaurants.

These are just a few of the many points of interest along the Ghost Town Trail. Exploring the trail will provide you with a deeper understanding of the region’s history and natural beauty.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Ghost Town Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians and follow all traffic rules.
4. Motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, are not permitted on the trail.
5. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may have seasonal restrictions or closures due to weather conditions or maintenance work. Check for any updates or closures before visiting.
6. Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the trail.
7. Fires and open flames are prohibited along the trail.
8. Respect the natural environment and do not disturb wildlife or vegetation.
9. Leave no trace – pack out all trash and dispose of it properly.
10. Use designated parking areas and do not block access points or private property.
11. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Ghost Town Trail, located in Pennsylvania, offers a unique and fascinating experience for history enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. When planning your visit, it’s important to consider the best times of the year to fully enjoy the trail and be aware of any seasonal closures.

One of the best times to visit the Ghost Town Trail is during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant colors as wildflowers bloom and trees regain their lush foliage. The weather is generally mild, making it perfect for hiking, biking, or simply strolling along the trail. Fall, on the other hand, offers a breathtaking display of autumn foliage, with the trail adorned in shades of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it an ideal time for outdoor activities, and the scenic beauty of the trail is truly mesmerizing.

It’s worth noting that the Ghost Town Trail is open year-round, but certain sections may have seasonal closures. During the winter months, some parts of the trail may be inaccessible due to snow or ice. It’s always recommended to check the trail’s official website or contact the local park authorities for up-to-date information on closures and trail conditions. Additionally, it’s important to be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear, especially during the colder months, to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Overall, the Ghost Town Trail offers a captivating journey through history and nature. Whether you’re exploring the remnants of old coal mining towns or immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes, the best times to visit are during the spring and fall seasons. Just be sure to check for any seasonal closures and plan accordingly to make the most of your experience on this remarkable trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead for easy access.
2. Paved Trail Surface: The trail is paved, providing a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities along the trail are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
4. Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options for wheelchair users.
5. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, with ramps and other accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
6. Accessible Interpretive Signs: Signs along the trail are designed to be accessible, providing information in a format that can be easily read by individuals with disabilities.
7. Wheelchair Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated areas along the trail that provide accessible viewpoints for wheelchair users.
8. Accessible Trail Amenities: Benches, water fountains, and other amenities along the trail are designed to be accessible for individuals with disabilities.
9. Assistance Animals Allowed: Service animals are permitted on the trail to assist individuals with disabilities.
10. Accessible Trail Experiences: The trail offers inclusive activities and events that cater to individuals with disabilities, ensuring everyone can enjoy the experience.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or damaging the surrounding environment.
2. Carry a map and compass: Ensure you have the necessary tools to navigate the trail and find your way back if needed.
3. Dress appropriately: Wear sturdy footwear, dress in layers, and consider weather conditions to stay comfortable and safe.
4. Bring enough water: Stay hydrated by carrying an adequate supply of water, especially during hot weather.
5. Pack snacks and food: Carry enough food to sustain yourself during the hike, especially for longer distances.
6. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent insect bites.
7. Check weather conditions: Be aware of the forecast and avoid the trail during severe weather conditions.
8. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans, including your expected return time.
9. Be cautious of wildlife: Respect the natural habitat and keep a safe distance from any wildlife encountered.
10. Carry a first aid kit: Have basic medical supplies on hand to treat minor injuries or emergencies.
11. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings and be cautious of any potential hazards or obstacles.
12. Leave no trace: Pack out all trash and respect the environment by leaving it as you found it.
13. Hike with a buddy: Consider hiking with a partner for added safety and enjoyment.
14. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a whistle, flashlight, and extra batteries in case of unexpected situations.
15. Follow any posted rules or regulations: Observe any specific guidelines provided by the trail authorities for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Conservation Notes

The Ghost Town Trail, located in Pennsylvania, is considered to have a stable conservation status. The trail is managed by the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority, which ensures the preservation and maintenance of the trail. The conservation efforts focus on protecting the natural and cultural resources along the trail, as well as promoting sustainable use and enjoyment by visitors.

The trail passes through various landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and former coal mining areas. Efforts are made to conserve the biodiversity of these ecosystems by managing invasive species, maintaining the health of the vegetation, and protecting the habitats of native wildlife. The conservation authority also works to prevent erosion and maintain water quality in the streams and wetlands along the trail.

In terms of cultural conservation, the Ghost Town Trail showcases the history of the region’s coal mining industry. The conservation authority ensures the preservation of historical structures, artifacts, and interpretive signage along the trail. This allows visitors to learn about the area’s past and appreciate the significance of the ghost towns that once thrived in the region.

Overall, the conservation status of the Ghost Town Trail is considered stable due to the ongoing efforts to protect and preserve its natural and cultural resources. These conservation measures ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy and learn from this unique trail.

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