- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Explore the best rated trails in Altoona, PA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Bells Gap Rail Trail and Lower Trail. With more than 28 trails covering 262 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
This is second time doing trail with the wife. First time was a year or two ago, and in summer we were in better shape. We parked in the lot off rt 286 across from the volunteer FD.
Next 4 miles take you thru Saltsburg, past the community park and into a trail cover by trees (for the most part).
At Elders run, you make a left hand turn up the hill. This is the Dick Mayer section of trail, which is about 1 mile of "up" on mostly hard packed dirt, then 1 mile down-whee. The climb is vigorous and be ready to gear down, some small sections are pretty steep-the wife had to walk the bike a little bit. This section is combo of hard packed dirt and crushed limestone gravel. It will jolt you a bit if you dont watch out for exposed rocks, ruts, etc. I would not want to do this trail after wet weather
Once you get to the state park and Conemaugh Dam, lots to do and see. Dam overlook, dam itself, the park, people in the park etc.
Leaving the park you go down an asphalt road (pretty steep) and back up around to the bridge which takes you across the Conemaugh River. You will come to the barricaded Bow Ridge tunnel. You need to head left and up again to the Bow Ridge section of the trail. pretty steep again, very low gears, and long. Loose gravel too, so again not amenable to wet weather travel. again, the Bow Ridge section is about a mile uphill, and then a mile down to a very steep switchback that ends with steps which take you to the other end of the Bow Ridge tunnel)closed). From there you ahve about 5 miles of flat across bridges spanning the Conemaugh (first bridge surface not in good shape, will jar you pretty good) and secluded valleys between.
The trail is fun because it is different, and scenery a good mix of small city, forest, hills, a state park, the dam, steps, bridges, etc. You have to walk the bike for some sections, depending on your experience level biking.
Easy Ride on crushed stone. Trail is very flat from Clearfield to Curwensville. However, begins to climb uphill from Curwensville to Grampian. Several bridges crossing the Allegheny River and a few creeks. Most of this trail is through the woods and is shaded.
Not that hard of a trail not sure why people say it's not a good trail did 24.11 miles of it start to finish and then back to the start A+++ in my book
My wife and I started at the Muleshoe trailhead parking area. It is a pretty steep and rough climb to the trail. I tried to ride my MTN bike up but didn't make it. More my fault than the bike. My wife walked her bike up. Once on top the trial was wide and in fairly good shape. On some of the steeper grades the trail had washed out and there was a lot of lose limestone so if you have road tires be careful. We made it down to where the hiking trail and the bike trail meet up and it is all macamdem on this stretch. We turned around there and the grade up was not that bad at all. My wife stuck to the trail but I rode off to the sides with the MTN bike and that added some adventure to the climb back up. We didn't see any wild life but there was sign a bear had walked through some of the upper trail. I bought my wife an electric and she wants to go back up and try it again. Maybe we will see some wildlife then. I am replacing the road tires with trail tires though for a safer ride. If your in the area the trail is worth doing.
From end to end this is a quality rail trail. There is so much scenery and great history of mining in Pennsylvania along this trail. No matter how you break it up, you won't be disappointed.
We started in Clearfield. We drove past the parking lot at first and then found it. The first mile in was with traffic off to our right but when we entered the shade the trail veered left away from the road. It is an easy ride, with lots of scenic views of the river. We only had time to do the first 5 miles but we are looking forward to doing the last 5 and it appears that part of the trail is more remote.
I road the trail up and back. The trail connects on the western side and has parking on the Easter side. Very remote with some sites but not many bridges and no tunnels. Very shaded. Luckily I blew a tire with 1 Mile to go. There are no bike shops on the trail
Started in Vinton and biked to Ebensburg. The right time of year to spot Tiger Swallowtails, Monarchs and the great Spangled Frittary.
Positive is that the trail is paved which makes the riding easy. Downside is that for the most part it parallels a four lane highway, so the scenery consists of trucks and cars flying by at 60 mph. Not really to my liking.
This past Friday my buddy and I rode the main branch of the Ghost Town Trail from Black Lick to Ebensburg and back. We ended up with a 65.5 mile ride - a metric century plus. The trail was in excellent condition and most parts were GAP level quality. Saylor Park in Black Lick was easy to find and has a large parking lot. The trail climbs over 1100’ to Ebensburg but does so in spurts. You’ll have climbs then long stretches of essentially flat trail and then more climbs. The last section to Ebensburg is a constant climb. Most climbs are 1% but the climb from Vintondale to Nanty-Glo is 2%.
The trail has as many or possibly more benches than I’ve seen on any trail - plenty of places to rest. There are also several covered pavilions/ gazebos and several restroom facilities also. We stopped at the one at Vintondale on our return leg and it had an outdoor drinking fountain which was good for getting some water to wipe/cool down with on a hot day. There are several historical sites and markers along the way also.
In Ebensburg we found a nice shaded bench beside the ball field for lunch and afterwards rode to the end of the trail. You could see work on extending the trail was taking place and when we got a trail specific map later we saw that two different forks of the trail will extend eastward from Ebensburg. From the ball field it is an easy ride up the road to a Sheetz if you need supplies or to a local brewery - Lloyd Street Brewing.
Now for the elephant in the room - Black Lick Creek. As some have noted, the creek is severely impacted by acid mine drainage (AMD). At Black Lick it doesn’t look as bad since the stream gorge is narrower and the stream is flowing with some speed and has little cascades. Later on, especially between Dilltown and Vintondale (which is an essentially flat section) it is very orange and not scenic at all. After Vintondale the creek splits and the main branch of the Ghost Town Trail follows the South Branch of Blacklick Creek which is clear water and fairly scenic. Since we were riding in July with full leafage the stream was somewhat obscured and didn’t detract at all.
Riding in July was pretty warm. We started at 8:15AM and the temp was 73° but by afternoon it was 86°-87°. However, since Ebensburg is much higher we had a nice breeze there that was welcome.
All-in-all, the Ghost Town Trail was a great trail and is a nice route for a metric century if you don’t mind a bit of a climb.
Note that in the 1 star review by Trailbunny last Sept it appears they were confused on how to rank things because the review certainly does not sound like a 1 star. I believe they meant to choose 5 stars. I also did not have any issues like they mentioned at MM4 - in fact we had no problem at any point following the trail. At one point in Nanty-Glo you do ride through a parking lot but there are arrows indicating the path.
An old road that still has motor vehicles using it that they now call a trail. Can be dangerous.
Decent trail in the middle but the ends leave a lot to desire. Shame that there isn't a local group to do some work as the whole trail is fairly level.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!