Authority closes part of Ghost Town Trail due to safety concerns, repairs

Feb. 27—VINTONDALE, Pa. — The Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority has announced that continued deterioration along the Rexis Branch of the Ghost Town Trail, coming from Blacklick Creek, has prompted the closure of a section of the trail.

A two-mile section of the Rexis Branch from Red Mill Road to the Route 422 underpass has been closed since Feb. 22.

According to Cliff Kitner, authority executive director, erosion started last year and a fence had been placed for safety, but the erosion initially did not impact the trail.

"We knew it was getting bad when 100 foot pine trees were falling into the river," Kitner said.

He said that after the authority's staff's last visit to the area, a decision was made to close the portion of trail ahead of the stream-bank repairs.

"We just found, knowing that we will probably end up getting the project started within a week or so, that it's better just to close it and keep trail users off and hope nothing crazy happens in the meantime," he said.

The authority had been working with the conservation district to write grants for the repairs, which Kitner said were denied and prompted the authority to look at other funding sources.

Earlier this year, the repairs were estimated at $32,000, but Kitner said that while a cost for the current repairs is not in, internal estimates are over three times the initial cost.

Grants are currently being written in anticipation of any repairs needed from equipment being brought onto the trail, Kitner said.

The trail is tentatively closed until the end of March, but Kitner said the trail is closed until the end of repairs, which is only expected to last several days and could open sooner.