Even in urban areas, there are places worthy of exploration. Habitats and ecosystems know no bounds. The Dunmore Reservoir No. 1 is such a place. The reservoir is near I-84 and US 6 and is located between Dunmore and Moosic Mountain. The reservoir is owned by the Pennsylvania American Water Company, which allowed public access and a trail to be built around the reservoir a few years ago. Hopefully, the generosity of the company will extend to other reservoirs and lands.
You can reach the reservoir via Dunham Drive or Tigue Street, off of I-84. We visited on a humid, overcast day; traffic rumbled through the trees. An easy path meandered through the woods as the reservoir glistened through the trees. We saw a few deer run through the woods. The trail is not really blazed, but is easy to follow. When it is blazed, there are yellow placards on the trees. The trail generally keeps some distance from the shore, but it is easy to reach the water via side trails. Other unofficial trails intersect, but the main trail is usually obvious.
The woods were mostly oaks and other hardwoods, with ferns and lowbush blueberries.
We passed a massive oak tree and followed a side trail down to the waters edge where there were some picnic tables. The clear water featured scores of bluegills.
The trail went along the far end of the reservoir where there was sphagnum moss and more blueberries. We crossed a wet area along a boardwalk and soon thereafter, a rock hop across a stream. The trail went closer to the shore, offering some nice views of the reservoir.
We soon reached the dam where there was an elderly man sitting on a bench, enjoying the view over the water. He asked how our walk was, and we said it was a nice trail. He smiled as his white hair danced in the breeze. He seemed to take great pride in our response.
The trail went below the dam and then climbed back up to where we parked. This trail is realtively easy and is a good hike for kids, although there are short climbs where the trail goes below the dam. Most people seemed to park at the gated end of Tigue Street, although there is also a parking area on a side road off of Dunham Drive.
Nearby are Barney’s Ledges and more of the Moosic Mountain Barrens, said to be the largest barrens of their kind in the eastern United States. I hope to explore more of these places in the future.
The location of the reservoir.