The Marilla Bridge Reservoir Trail, part of the Tuna Valley trail system, was constructed with help from the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The one-mile trail winds through three newly constructed pedestrian bridges and past a historic 19th-century reservoir, while offering spectacular views of the surrounding forest.
“The scenery is wonderful,” said Sara Andrews, project coordinator for the Tuna Valley Trail Association (TVTA). “The reservoir is very pristine. It’s absolutely gorgeous, especially in the fall.”
Thanks to the trail’s flat grade and accessible crushed limestone surface, this gorgeous scenery can be enjoyed by everyone. Located just six miles from Bradford, the trail is a popular spot for bikers, walkers, joggers, and hikers. And the scenery attracts more than just trail users—when the water levels are high enough, the reservoir facilitates canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
“This trail is the start. We’re hoping to build more trails that will meet with the Allegheny National Forest, then link them back to Bradford,” Andrews said.
TVTA is already constructing, maintaining, and linking trails throughout the area. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is helping this initiative and has funded the development of the Crook Farm Trail portion of the Tuna Valley trail system. Upon the second phase of its completion, the Marilla Bridge loop will be three miles.
DCNR partially funded the first phase of trail construction with a $100,000 grant and the second phase with a $150,000 grant, both from the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The developments include the construction of trailhead facilities, a bridge, drainage systems, signage, landscaping, and ADA accessibility.
“The thing that sets the trail apart is that it brings people to this setting who normally wouldn’t be here. People get up and out and come to the trail,” said Andrews.