Ghost Town Trail Challenge - Blairsville

Blairsville, PA, USA
17 Jun, 2023 (Sat)


12 km, 25 km, 50 km

About the event

This event is part of the 2021 Cambria County Trails Series.

Come spend the day with us on the 2020 Trail of the Year!

Notations in blue are subject to change. These decisions were made based on current CDC and PA Dept. of Health guidelines. This event is being planned assuming all current Pennsylvania restrictions are still in place and is subject to change (for the better)! Registrants will be notified of any changes as quickly as possible.

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 protected] to receive coupon code. Your 2021 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 Challenge

The 6th Annual Ghost Town Trail Challenge, hosted by the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority, will take place on Saturday, June 19, 2021. This is the day before 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 19th, 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.
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: 250
- 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

Transportation will be provided for participants from the finish line in Ebensburg, PA to their respective starting areas, more information below. We encourage participants to provide their own transportation if possible considering the circumstances at this time with limited persons permitted on each bus. If you are planning to transport yourself to your start line that morning, please email [email protected] by June 1, 2021, 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.


5:00 a.m. - 5:30 a.m. Shuttle loading time for 50k participants in Ebensburg, PA, promptly leaving at 5:30 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

7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Shuttle loading time for 25k participants in Ebenbsurg, PA, promptly leaving at 7:30 a.m.
8:20 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

7:45 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Shuttle loading time for 12k participants in Ebensburg, PA, promptly leaving at 8:15 a.m.
9:05 a.m. Pre-race announcements at Nanty Glo Trail Head (1097 1st 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.

Challenge Proceeds

ALL proceeds from the Ghost Town Trail Challenge will benefit the enhancement and expansion of the Cambria County Trails. The 2021 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:

Registration Fees

*All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a t-shirt or ladies tank top and commemorative buff.
All finishers will receive a finishers woodallion (wooden 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)
$57.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)

$47.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)

$37.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
Until May 1
$62.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)

$52.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)

$42.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)
Until June1
$67.00 - 50k (Full 32 Mile Challenge)

$57.00 - 25k (Half/16 Mile Challenge)

$47.00 - 12k (Friends/Family 7.5 Mile Challenge)


All pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt or ladies tank top and commemorative buff. When selecting your shirt size, please be sure to select a size indicated for t-shirt or ladies tank top. Registrants are given the option to receive no swag, and to donate the excess funds to the beneficiary (Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority). In order to do so, you must still choose a shirt size and then select "OPT OUT OF SWAG". All finishers receive a woodallion (wooden medal) upon finishing the challenge.

Shirts and race swag must be picked up at packet pick-up, they will not be mailed.

Packet Pick-Up

Packet pick-up will be Thursday, June 18th from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday, June 18th from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the Up-N-Running store in Ebensburg, PA. Protective face coverings must be worn in the store during packet pick-up.

*Due to race morning logistics, it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to do packet pickup race morning. If you are coming from out of town with no local lodging the day before, please email [email protected] 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

Aid/Fuel Stations

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 snack-sized 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.

Our volunteers will be masked for your safety, please do the same for them and wear a protective face covering and sanitize your hands when selecting items from the aid station tables. Though this doesn't sound ideal, we are making these changes for everyone's safety.

Start/Finish Lines

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 if you plan on transporting yourself. The parking area for the 25k (Wehrum) is most limited.

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

Restroom Locations

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)

Course Elevation

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:

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 ( 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.!

2021 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
May 29 - Path of the Flood Historic Races
June 19 - Ghost Town Trail Challenge
Sept. 4 - Jim Mayer Trail 5K/10K

Races offered by this event


17 Jun, 2023 (Sat)
12 km


17 Jun, 2023 (Sat)
50 km
1000 ft Elevation gain


17 Jun, 2023 (Sat)
25 km