This event is part of the 2023 Cambria County Trails Series.
Come spend the day with us on the 2020 Trail of the Year!
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 prior to completing your registration to receive your individual coupon code. Your 2023 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 8th Annual Ghost Town Trail Challenge, hosted by the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority, will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023. This is during the weekend of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. 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 Black Lick, 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 Black Lick, 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 June 17th, all taking place on The Ghost Town Trail:
- Full Challenge (32 Miles - 50k) - It begins at 7:00 a.m. at Saylor Park in Black Lick and ends at the YPCC in Ebensburg.
- Half Challenge (16 Miles - 25k) - It begins at 8:00 a.m. near the Wehrum Trailhead and ends at the YPCC in Ebensburg.
- Friends/Family Challenge (7.5 Miles - 12k) - It begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Nanty Glo Trailhead and ends at the YPCC.
Transportation will be provided for participants from the finish line in Ebensburg, PA to their respective starting areas, more information below. If you are planning to transport yourself to your start line that morning, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1, 2023, so that the proper amount of buses can be reserved.
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.
5:30 a.m. - 5:40 a.m. Shuttle loading time for 50k participants in Ebensburg, PA, promptly leaving at 5:40 a.m.6:50 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
6:50 a.m. - 7:10 a.m. Shuttle loading time for 25k participants in Ebenbsurg, PA, promptly leaving at 7:10 a.m.
7:55 a.m. Pre-race announcements at Wehrum Trail Head (2415 Wehrum Road, Vintondale, PA 15961)
8:00 a.m. Begin Half 16-mile GTT Challenge
8:00 a.m. - 8:10 a.m. Shuttle loading time for 12k participants in Ebensburg, PA, promptly leaving at 8:10 a.m.
8:40 a.m. Pre-race announcements at Nanty Glo Trail Head (1097 1st Street, Nanty Glo, PA 15943)
8:45 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 2023 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 JUNE 1ST AT MIDNIGHT - NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION - NO BIB TRANSFERS
*All pre-registered participants receve transportation, aid station amenities, post race meal, and complimentary race cup with their registration. You MUST add-on purchase either a unisex t-shirt or ladies tank top during check out to have one made for you. Ruckers are given the opportunity to purchase a unique custom made ruck patch.
All finishers will receive a finishers medal. Shirts and race swag must be picked up at packet pick-up, they will not be mailed.
WE DO NOT ISSUE REFUNDS. If you are no longer able to attend and have already registered, your registration fee will be used as a donation to the trails.
Until March 1 (Early Bird)
$50.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)
$40.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)
$30.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
Until May 1
$55.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)
$45.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)
$35.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
$60.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)
$50.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)
$40.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
ALL YOUTH 17 AND UNDER PARTICIPATE FREE but must still add-on the purchase of a shirt at check out if one is desired.
All pre-registered participants will receive transportation, aid station amenities, post race meal, and complimentary race cup with their registration. You MUST add-on purchase either a unisex t-shirt or ladies tank top during check out to have one made for you. Ruckers are given the opportunity to purchase a unique custom made ruck patch.
All finishers will receive a finishers medal.
Shirts and race swag must be picked up at packet pick-up, they will not be mailed.
Patches will be available for those that are rucking the Challenge, and must be purchased for $20 as an add-on item during checkout. These are custom made Ghost Town Trail Challenge patches that will be distributed at packet pick up.
RUCK INFORMATION: This is an official Go Ruck race (https://goruck.com). Learn more at https://www.goruck.com/rucking-101.
Requirements: Wear a Ruck/backpack with the standard weight of 10# for participants 150 lbs. and under, and 20# for those over 150 lbs. No participants will be weighed, weight requirements are on the honor system.
Packet pick-up will be Friday, June 16th from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the Up-N-Running store in Ebensburg, PA. *Due to race morning logistics, it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to do packet pickup race morning, however it will be available at the Ebensburg trailhead where buses are loading.
208 W. High St.
Ebensburg, PA 15931
*We do NOT hold packets that are not picked up prior to the event start. Any shirts or cups left behind from packets that are not picked up are fair game for purchase by other participants.
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 and one *water only* station, 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 23 - Twin Rocks (WATER ONLY)
Mile 25 – Nanty Glo Trailhead
Mile 29 – Beulah Rd.
Mile 32 – YPCC Trailhead (Ebensburg) – Finish Line
All aid stations will have foods to nourish your body and provide the sugars/salts you may need. Items include pb&j sandwiches, chips, pretzels, chocolate candies, gummy candies, oranges, bananas, and energy shots. 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.
Morning bus pick up per schedule above:
424 Prave Street, Ebesnburg, PA
Individual starting areas:
Full 32 Mile (50k) Challenge Start: Saylor Park, 1284 Old Indiana Rd., Blairsville, PA 15717
Half/16 Mile (25k) Challenge Start: Wehrum Trailhead, 2415 Wehrum Road, Vintondale, PA 15961
Friends/Family 7.5 Mile (12k) Challenge Start, Nanty Glo GTT Trailhead, 1097 1st 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 Aid Station
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. You should consider wearing a hydration pack or bring a large water bottle or two 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. Different socks yield different results for many people, reach out to your local running store to get some information on what will help you best (bad socks result in bad blisters!). Wearing sunglasses or a hat, sunscreen, and moleskin are 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 woodallion.
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.!
2023 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/.
Event's current local time: 8:42 AM ET
May 27 - Path of the Flood Historic Races
June 17 - Ghost Town Trail Challenge
Sept. 2 - Jim Mayer Trail 5K/10K
October Date TBD - Chernisky Ghost Town Trail-a-thon
We also are hoping to plan and present our first ever "extreme" trail running event at Rock Run Recreation in September 2023. As planning progresses, we will share more information on registration.