Path of the Flood Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

Though it memorializes a sad occasion, the Path of the Flood Trail is a beautiful, tranquil trail. In the Johnstown Flood of 1889, the South Fork Dam failed and more than 2,200 townspeople lost their lives.

The first 2 miles of the trail opened in 2007, extending from the historic Staple Bend Tunnel, believed to be America's oldest railroad tunnel, and continuing on-road to a wooded hillside. This section ends at the Franklin Ball Field in Johnstown, where it connects to the Allegheny Portage Railroad & Incline Trail.

The Path of the Flood Trail is hilly in some sections, as it follows a portion of the Little Conemaugh River. Mostly ballast, with asphalt near the tunnel, the trail is used mainly by joggers, walkers and cross-country skiers.

A few memorial markers relating to the flood are posted along the trail. While in the area, you may want to poke around the Johnstown and Cambria County area, where several 1860s-era buildings from the area's steel industry are being restored to their former glory.

During the summer months, the trail is heavily canopied with large trees, and native wildflowers flourish throughout the section leading from the tunnel to Franklin Ball Field. Benches along the trail overlook an active rail-line and a lush green valley.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the tunnel trailhead from the Johnstown National Memorial, follow US 219 North to State Route 53 North, Railroad Street. Exit toward South Fork and Portage, and turn right on State Route 53 to Summerhill. Turn left on Main Street then turn right on Madison Street; turn left on Jackson Street. Go approximately 1 mile on Jackson Street, which becomes Swigle Mountain Road (State Route 3043). Bear left onto Mineral Point Road. Use caution on the steep hill.

Turn left on Beech Hill Road and proceed over the bridge to the railroad underpass. Drive under the underpass and up the short hill. The trailhead is on the right, marked by a large sign and nicely landscaped with an informational kiosk at the far end of the asphalt parking lot.

Reviews

Greatly improved trail

   June, 2014 by sfordick

This is a "follow-up" of a review I did for the Path of the Flood Trail in July 2013. I had mentioned the incomplete sections, the uphill sections, and the poor Ehrenfeld trail access. Since then, the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority ...read more

I love it!

   October, 2013 by giatinob

My wife and I have been walking local trails for years now. We both agree the Path of the Johnstown Flood Trail from Mineral Point to the Staple Bend Tunnel is our favorite trail, and it’s the one that we look forward to each spring to walk on. Other ...read more

Nice scenery, but not complete, and not well marked

   July, 2013 by sfordick

I had been looking forward to biking the Path of the Flood trail for some time, and today, I finally had a day off. So off to the Ehrenfeld trailhead I went. After reading reviews and info online, my plan was to bike the whole way to the Franklin ball ...read more