MARYSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — The Nature Conservancy will open its newest nature preserve this weekend in Perry County.
Cove Mountain Preserve features 353 acres of deciduous forest and central Appalachian ridge, nestled on the north side of Marysville. The property was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in February as part of its Working Woodlands program, aimed at preserving natural habitat along the Kittatinny Ridge corridor. The ridge is considered a major flyway for more than 150 species of songbirds and birds of prey.
“Since February, we have opened up two trails,” said Josh Parrish of The Nature Conservancy. “There’s a lower trail and an upper trail. The lower trail goes to a viewpoint overlooking the Susquehanna River. The upper trail is still a work in progress.”
Decades ago, the section of mountain was owned by a railroad company before being sold to a Marysville businessman. The property was acquired from the Beers estate by Nature Conservancy in February.
“We acquired the property for a number of reasons; obviously for nature, but also for people,” said Parrish. “It is very accessible. It’s easy to get to. It’s here for people to enjoy.”
There are interesting finds throughout the preserve, including unique rock outcrops, an abundance of Paw Paw trees and known habitat for the protected Allegheny Woodrat.
Cove Mountain Preserve will be open to the public during daylight hours and welcomes passive recreational activities including hiking and hunting in accordance with Pennsylvania Game Commission laws. Dogs are allowed on the property but must be leashed at all times.
A ribbon cutting will happen at the property on Saturday, Sept. 23 beginning at 1 p.m. and will include refreshments and guided hikes.