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Rockhounding in Central MD?


Adam86cucv

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I came across a blog talking about Mineral Hill near Liberty Reservoir in Carroll County and thought about taking my son out to look for some neat samples in the old mine dump piles since it's only 30 minutes away.  I was wondering if anyone else knew of other places in central Maryland or even the southern half of Adams county PA that are known for interesting rocks and minerals.  I know quarries let geological clubs collect on occasion.   Sorry if this needs moved to the rock & minerals section or geology section, I thought since I was interested in a specific location this would get better results.

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I've never been to mineral hill, despite it being only a short drive from my house in Carroll county. Unfortunately, central Maryland has been crushed and cooked during the jurrasic. The Gettysburg formation is famous for dinosaur footprint, some can be seen in paving stones on bridges in Gettysburg. Most collecting sites have been destroyed, but there is many places where the formation is exposed. One place in particular I'm trying to gain access to, which has I know to be good, I just can't legally hunt there yet. Until, this time, you will have to look for them. Four points Bridge has exposed shale under it, it has yet to produce much more than worm burrows for me. Union mills has lots of rhizoliths in its river bank, I assume these to be early Holocene in age, but no research has been done into this. The kinzer in york can produce trilobites and other Cambrian Fauna, and the new oxford in Thurmont has for me produced worm burrows (trolley trial, pm me for exact location) but is rumored (by Wikipedia) to have produced dinosaur remains. Frederick limestone and conococheague formation is cambrian and may produce trilobites as well as conodont teeth. Best places are to the east and west, mahantango near Hancock is about an hour from mineral hill to the west and Calvert cliffs/ flag ponds (as well as dinosaur park, but all find there go to the smithsonian) is to the east. If you would like to have more information on any of these, PM me. Good luck!

Oh, most forgot, be careful at mineral hill, arsenic levels are high in the soil!

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I'm good with just rock and mineral samples from the central md area since I live on the border of Carroll and Frederick Co.  I know to get to decent fossil sites it's 2-3 hour drive minimum.  My son is always picking up interesting looking rocks so if I can find local places to get out and dig in the rocks in between fossil hunting trips and find neat looking rocks he'll be happy.

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2 minutes ago, Adam86cucv said:

I'm good with just rock and mineral samples from the central md area since I live on the border of Carroll and Frederick Co.  I know to get to decent fossil sites it's 2-3 hour drive minimum.  My son is always picking up interesting looking rocks so if I can find local places to get out and dig in the rocks in between fossil hunting trips and find neat looking rocks he'll be happy.

I have heard of Gettysburg being a place with lots of crystals and such. 

Here's a geologic map of Carroll county, it should help. Fossils are rare, those rhizoliths are the only ones I know of, and I'm the only one who knows of them, but the new oxford and Gettysburg formations in the north east are a good place to look. Carroll county has a few igneous rocks that may produce interesting rocks, and tons of metamorphic rocks, mostly schist. I have found prices of quartz with large biotite crystals in Marburg formation (most of my yard contains this). I'm sorry I'm rambling, not to often a fossil hunter or rock hound visits my neck of the woods! I live near the border as well (I'm a few hundred yards from Howard and you could count on my hands the miles to Frederick and Montgomery). Good luck to you and your son!

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