This post adapted from a press release by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural resources (DCNR).
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined Martic Township officials to dedicate the new Martic Forge Trestle Bridge and the closing of a major trail gap in Lancaster County.
“I am extremely pleased to be here today for a second time announcing a major accomplishment along the Enola Low Grade Trail,” Dunn said. “Trails are key connectors to new outdoor recreation opportunities, communities and experiences, which is why DCNR supports projects of this nature and prioritizes trail expansion across the commonwealth. We are grateful for municipalities like Martic Township that prioritize this type of project, as well as our partners at the county and state level. This is a collective success.”
The new bridge replaces the wooden bridge deck that was destroyed by fire in 2018 and reopens a continuous 20 mile stretch of the Enola Low Grade Trail from Manor Township through Quarryville. DCNR supported the project in 2019 with $1,127,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.
The Martic Forge restoration project also received four grants totaling $1.75 million through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Commonwealth Financing Authority in 2019 and 2021. These funds were used to make critical repairs and upgrades to the support structure of the previously fire-damaged Martic Forge Viaduct.
“Projects like this one improve communities and help make Pennsylvania a truly great place to work, live, and play,” said Mandy Book, DCED acting deputy secretary of Business Finance & Workforce Development. “Having this section of the trail open again will create additional outdoor activities for residents and visitors alike and will provide a boost for businesses and the area’s economy.”
DCNR has supported projects along the Enola Low Grade Trail over a number of years, including the bridge in New Providence and the Safe Harbor Trestle Bridge, which were celebrated at grand openings in June 2018 and June 2022 respectively.
The new Martic Forge Trestle Bridge helps close a second top 10 trail gap identified by DCNR this year. The other gap closed this year was the Safe Harbor Trestle Bridge.
“We are very excited to be in the position of finally opening this trestle and section of the trail in our townships. We hope that it becomes a popular destination for Lancaster County, for the region, and for the state. Based on public input and the feedback we’ve received, we think it will be a big success,” said Carl Drexel, Martic Township Supervisor.
More information on the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail (including some beautiful photographs) can be found at the Suquehanna Greenway Partnership website.