The Ghost Town Trail is a 36-mile trail network that runs throughout Cambria and Indiana counties. The trail was originally established in 1991 when Kovalchick Salvage Company donated 12 miles of the former Ebensburg and Blacklick Railroad to Indiana County. In 1993 the Cambria and Indiana Railroad donated an additional four miles that run from Rexis to White Mill Station, which is known today as the Rexis Branch. In 2005 an additional 20 miles of trail were added to the system–12 miles in Indiana County and eight miles in Cambria County.
Throughout its evolution, the Ghost Town Trail has been supported by approximately $372,000 in Keystone Fund grants. These grants were used to leverage millions of dollars in support from a wide variety of private, local, state, and federal agencies. They have helped with the costs of planning, design, and construction.
The Ghost Town Trail is designated as a National Trail by the U. S. Department of the Interior and offers many interpretive opportunities. Trail users can learn about the importance of riparian areas and see the impacts of acid mine drainage, and explore historical sites like the Eliza Iron Furnace, which supplied crude iron to southwestern Pennsylvania communities in the mid-1800s.
Since its opening, the Ghost Town Trail has accommodated more than 75,000 annual users, who make a significant impact on the local economy. Municipalities along the trail such as Ebensburg have welcomed its presence and continue to beautify their communities to encourage trail users to visit their central business districts. The trail is also used heavily by local citizens and organizations such as the Indiana Bicycle Club and Ebensburg Runners.
The trail is divided into two segments. To the north, the trail follows the 20-mile former Cambria and Indiana Railroad corridor and is known as the CANDI Trail. It extends from Colver to Revloc in Cambria County. To the east, the 10-mile former Conrail corridor extends the Ghost Town Trail into the Borough of Ebensburg. The completion of this portion of the Ghost Town Trail links the county seats of Indian in Indiana County and Ebensburg in Cambria County.
“The Ghost Town Trail has added a new dimension to the many recreational assets of the Ebensburg Community,” said Ebensburg Mayor Charlie Moyer. “The number of people drawn to our area has increased significantly because of this facility. As a frequent user of this trail, two to three times a week, I enjoy the rewards that are available. Getting exercise and spending time in the woods are opportunities that are not available everywhere. I see many others taking advantage of this jewel. It is apparent that the word is spreading, and Ebensburg will continue to lead the area in recreation and enjoy an economic boost.”