Ghost Town Trail extension

Cliff Kitner, executive director of Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority, speaks Thursday about the impact new trails are having on the region at the grand opening of a two-mile extension on Ghost Town Trail near Revloc.

REVLOC – The Ghost Town Trail is two miles closer to being the first continuous rail-trail loop nationwide.

On Thursday, members of the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a two-mile extension of the Ghost Town Trail past Revloc and recognized community partners who helped make it happen.

“We really worked collaboratively to get this done and provide something positive for the community,” said Cliff Kitner, executive director of the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority.

Along with the authority, Kitner recognized the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission, Cambria County’s commissioners and planning commission for the teamwork that allowed the $141,000 project to be completed by Ray I. Winters & Sons.

Luke Lockard was also recognized at Thursday’s ceremony for more than 20 hours of work to complete a 50-foot walking bridge along the newest two-mile stretch as his Eagle Scout project.

Lockard, who finished the bridge in July, said he plans to prepare a plaque for the bridge to honor his grandfathers.

Mike Kane, president of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, said the nonprofit organization has received $250,000 in recent years to put into local trails, projects he said have leveraged millions of dollars.

“We’re becoming a trail town,” he said. “We’re becoming a trail community.”

President Cambria County Commissioner Tom Chernisky called the authority board “champions of our trails,” who were engaged in the process of expanding and connecting existing trails.

“Trails are helping build a better future,” Chernisky said. “It’s important we never take these experiences for granted.”

The authority now has 5.5 miles left to connect the Ghost Town Trail in Cambria Township near the Route 219 overpass and complete its 32-mile and 16-mile loops, which will make it the first continuous rail-trail loop in the nation.

Last year, the authority held a ribbon-cutting on the first phase of the loop, a $1.2 million, 7.5-mile extension at the Vic Miller Road trailhead.

Kitner said he just submitted an application for a $3 million grant to complete the loops.

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.