This event is part of the 2020 Cambria County Trails Series.
Come spend the day with us on the 2020 Trail of the Year!
Please see changes to event below, noted in blue. These changes were made based on current CDC guidelines and are subject to change. Registrants will be notified of any changes as quickly as possible.
Last update: 7/13/20
Friends of the Trails Members Receive $5 OFF!
To receive a $5 discount on your registration fee for The Ghost Town Trail Challenge, become a Friend of the Trails today. Simply select the "Friends of the Trails" add-on at the end of the checkout process. Email email@example.com or call 814-472-2110 to receive coupon code. Your 2020 tax-deductible membership donation will go towards enhancing, maintaining, and preserving the Cambria County Trails, including The Ghost Town Trail, the Path of the Flood Trail, and the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail.
The 5th Annual Ghost Town Trail Challenge, hosted by the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority, has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 22nd, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Challenge is a 32-mile long (50k), endurance hike/run along the entire length of the Ghost Town Trail, DCNR's 2020 Trail of the Year, from Blairsville, PA to Ebensburg, PA. Participants begin at sunrise and are challenged to complete the entire 32 miles by foot before sundown. This is not a race, but rather a challenge, which tests your mental and physical ability to journey this distance. The Challenge starts at Saylor Park in Blairsville, PA and ends 32 miles later at the Young People's Community Center in Ebensburg, PA.
There are three Challenge events to choose from on August 22, all taking place on The Ghost Town Trail:
- Full Challenge (32 Miles - 50k) - It begins at 7:00 a.m. at Saylor Park in Blairsville and ends at the YPCC in Ebensburg.
Registration Cap for 50k: 250
- Half Challenge (16 Miles - 25k) - It begins at 8:30 a.m. near the Wehrum Trailhead and ends at the YPCC in Ebensburg.
Registration Cap for 25k: 150
- Friends/Family Challenge (7.5 Miles - 12k) - It begins at 9:15 a.m. at the Nanty Glo Trailhead and ends at the YPCC.
Registration Cap for 12k: 250
Due to social distancing concerns, participants are required to provide their own transportation to the starting area this year. It is highly recommended to get dropped off due to limited trail head parking in some areas.
If you are considering attempting the 50k but have never participated in an endurance hike/run, we suggest starting with the 25k. There are cut off times at each aid station for the 50k, please see further down the page for more information.
Please try to arrive early so that you can hear important announcements before the events begin.
6:45 a.m.Pre-race announcements at Saylor Park (1284 Old Indiana Rd. Blairsville, PA 15717)
7:00 a.m. Begin Full 32-mile GTT Challenge
8:15 a.m. Pre-race announcements at Wehrum Trail Head (2415 Wehrum Road, Vintondale, PA 15961)
8:30 a.m. Begin Half 16-mile GTT Challenge
9:00 a.m. Pre-race announcements at Nanty Glo Trail Head by ball field (809 McCoy Street, Nanty Glo, PA 15943)
9:15 a.m. Begin Friends/Family 7.5-mile GTT Challenge
The GTT Challenge for all distances finishes at the Young People's Community Center in Ebensburg, PA.
ALL proceeds from the Ghost Town Trail Challenge will benefit the enhancement and expansion of the Cambria County Trails. The 2020 Cambria County Trails Series and our Friends of the Trails Membership program provide sustainable funding for improved trail accessibility, beautification, and extension projects on the Ghost Town Trail, the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail, and the Path of the Flood Trail. To receive $5 off your race registration, become a Friend of the Trails when you register (at checkout) or by visiting our website: www.cambriaconservationrecreation.com.
REGISTRATION ENDS AUGUST 1ST AT MIDNIGHT - NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION
*All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a shirt.
All finishers will receive a ghost plasma cutting to commemorate the 5th year of the challenge. Due to ordering timelines for the growlers, you must sign up by Sunday, July 12th to receive a growler. We are unable to provide a complimentary fill up this year, unfortunately, due to limitations on capacity in bars and breweries. Shirts and growler coupons must be picked up at packet pick-up, they will not be mailed.
IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS REGARDING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, PLEASE KNOW THAT DUE TO ORDERING TIMELINES, WE WILL NOT BE ISSUING REFUNDS AFTER AUGUST 1ST.
Until March 1 (Early Bird)
$57.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)
$47.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)
$37.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
Until August 1
$62.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)
$52.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)
$42.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a shirt. Participants will have the option during registration to upgrade to a light weight long sleeve hoodie instead of a t-shirt. Please note your size when asked for t-shirt size. All finishers receive a finishers plasma cut ghost to commemorate the 5th year of the challenge.Due to ordering timelines for the growlers, you must sign up by Sunday, July 12th to receive a growler. We are unable to provide a complimentary fill up this year, unfortunately, due to limitations on capacity in bars and breweries. Shirts and growler coupons must be picked up at packet pick-up, they will not be mailed.
Packet pick-up will be Thursday, August 20th from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday, August 21st from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the Up-N-Running store in Ebensburg, PA.
*Due to race morning logistics, it will be impossible to do packet pickup race morning. Therefore, pre-race packet pickup is mandatory. No packets will be taken to the start lines unless you are driving the morning of the event from out of town. In this case, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request for your packet to be available at the start. If you do not email the race director about picking up your packet, it will NOT be available for you race morning.
208 W. High St.
Ebensburg, PA 15931
First aid via bicycling patrollers and EMS will be available at multiple points along the trail. Your safety is our number one priority. We have many drop out of the event mid-way due to heat exhaustion, dehydration and blistering. Please be vocal with our first responders if you are feeling any different than usual, they are there to help you finish safely. A van will be available for those unable to complete the challenge.
There will be 6 Aid/Fuel stations, spaced out every 5-6 miles, complete with refuel food, gatorade, water, soda, and First Aid, for participants of every event along the entire 32 Miles of The Ghost Town Trail. *Mileages below are based off of the 32 mile Full Challenge from Blairsville (Mile 0) to Ebensburg (Mile 32).
Mile 6.5 – Heshbon Rd. Trailhead
Mile 13 – Dilltown Trailhead
Mile 19 – Vintondale Trailhead
Mile 25 – Nanty Glo Trailhead
Mile 29 – Beulah Rd.
Mile 32 – YPCC Trailhead (Ebensburg) – Finish Line
All aid stations will have pre-packaged foods to nourish your body and provide the sugars/salts you may need. A full listing will be announced as soon as it is solidified, as we now need to make changes to our traditional offerings. Gatorade, soda and water (water will be both bottled for you to carry and in cups for a quick drink) will also be available. First Aid items are available at aid stations, including moleskin, salt tablets, band-aids, sunscreen, duct tape, etc. First Aid patrollers will be available at aid stations and by bicycle along the course.
Participants may not touch items on aid station tables. Volunteers will be masked and gloved to hand items to you. Please be patient with them. We understand this may set your time back a bit, but remember that this is a challenge, not a race. We are making these changes for your safety.
Parking is limited at each distance start. Please try to get dropped off or carpool with another participant that you have already been in close contact with. The parking area for the 25k (Wehrum) is most limited.
Addresses of Start/Finish lines:
Full 32 Mile (50k) Challenge Start:
1284 Old Indiana Rd.
Blairsville, PA 15717
Half/16 Mile (25k) Challenge Start:
2415 Wehrum Road.
Vintondale, PA 15961
Friends/Family 7.5 Mile (12k) Challenge Start
Nanty Glo GTT Trailhead
Nearest Parking: Nanty Glo Borough Baseball Field
809 McCoy Street
Nanty Glo, PA 15943
Finish for ALL Events
Young People's Community Center (YPCC)
300 Prave Street
Ebensburg, PA 15931
Nine restroom facilities will be available along the entire trail at the following locations.
*Mileages below are based off of the 32 mile Full Challenge from Blairsville (Mile 0) to Ebensburg (Mile 32).
Mile 0 - Saylor Park in Blairsville (50k Start)
Mile 4 – on the Ghost Town Trail
Mile 6.5 – Heshbon Rd. Trailhead
Mile 13 – Dilltown Trailhead
Mile 16 – Wehrum Rd. Trailhead
Mile 19 – Vintondale Trailhead
Mile 25 – Nanty Glo Trailhead at the Nanty Glo Boro Baseball Field
Mile 29 - Beulah Trailhead down the hill from trail
Mile 32 – Young People’s Community Center Trailhead (Ebensburg, PA)
There is an approximate 1000 ft elevation gain over the course of 32 miles from Blairsville, PA to Ebensburg, PA. The elevation gain is very gradual in the first 19 miles, with the steepest and most noticeable elevation change between mile 19 and 22. Please note that the entire course is a constant elevation gain. We end on an uphill because we want to end the Challenge in Cambria County so that Ebensburg Area businesses may benefit from participant patronage. The elevation is all part of the challenge!
Exact elevation numbers can be found here: http://www.indianacountyparks.org/downloads/ghosttown-trail/ghosttowntrailmileagechart.pdf
Timing, Results, & Photos
All Ghost Town Trail Challenge events will be officially timed via UltraSignUp. Results and photos from The Ghost Town Challenge will be linked on our website (www.cambriaconservationrecreation.com) and will also be available on our Facebook Page (Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority).
Make sure that you are properly trained and physically prepared to participate in this event. For beginners, we suggest going on regular training hikes, and gradually improving your endurance by increasing the length of your hikes week by week. Start training early - 3 or 4 months in advance at least. Please research a training plan that best suits your personal needs.
If you hike 2.5 miles per hour, without injury, you should finish the challenge by 8:30 p.m. Keep in mind that this does not include time for breaks, food, and rest along your journey. Sunset is around 8:30PM on this day, so you have 13.5 hours to complete the challenge.
Challenge Day Preparation
Every person is different, so we cannot tell you what does and does not work. It is STRONGLY recommended that you wear a hydration pack or bring a large water bottle or 2 with you on the trail. Aid/Fuel stations will only be available every 5-6.5 miles. Also, make sure that you are wearing comfortable walking or running shoes that you have already broken in. Wearing sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and moleskin are also highly recommended.
Cut Off Times for 50k
We will begin enforcing cut off times at Mile 13 (Dilltown). A vehicle will be available to take you back to the finish line if you encounter any issues. Please seek assistance from a volunteer along the trail if you are needing assistance before you reach the next aid station. Those not reaching the below times after Mile 13 will be marked as DNF (Did Not Finish). Those marked as DNF will not receive the finisher's plasma cut ghost.
Cut Off Times by Aid Station:
Mile 6.5 Heshbon - 9:44 a.m.
Mile 13 Dilltown - 12:44 p.m.
Mile 19 Vintondale - 3:01 p.m.
Mile 25 Nanty Glo - 5:32 p.m.
Mile 29 Beulah Road - 7:14 p.m.
By meeting these times, and without serious injury, you should be at the finish line by 8:30 p.m.!
2020 Cambria County Trails Series
All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Trails program, which exists to enhance and expand the Cambria County Trails. For details and to register, visit www.cambriaconservationrecreation.com/trail-events/.
Local time: 7:10 AM
August 22 - Ghost Town Trail Challenge
Sept. 5 - Jim Mayer Trail 5K/10K