Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio
Located in southeast Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park is developed in a terrain underlain by Mississippian siliciclastics, the most spectacular of which is the Blackhand Sandstone. The sandstone forms huge cliffs, narrow, deeply incised valleys and some beautiful waterfalls. There are miles and miles of hiking trails, a state park lodge and rental cabins. The Blackhand was deposited in lower delta plain to delta front environments. There are some flat-pebble conglomerates that were probably deposited in massive offshore-bar environments. The trail through Old Man’s Cave valley is a sedimentologist’s dream come true.
The Keweenaw Peninsula juts into Lake Superior in the northernmost area of the state. It is formed of Middle Proterozoic volcanic and sedimentary rocks and sits on the southern flank of the Lake Superior Syncline at the northwestern end of the mid-continent rift system. The basalts and conglomerates contain native copper, making the peninsula the site of a large copper mining industry from the 1840s to the late 20th century. Specimens of native copper, agates, and other collectible minerals can still be found. While on the peninsula, visitors should stop at the Seaman Mineral Museum located on the campus of Michigan Technological University.
Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota
Lee Dund works at the Illinois Geological Survey but likes to venture north once in a while to Jay Cooke State Park. “The gorge at Thomson Dam is awesome! Plenty of hiking trails,” Dund says.
Phone: 218/384-4610 Web: www.dnr.state.mn.us/parks_and_recreation/state_parks/jay_cooke/index.html
Falls of the Ohio State Park is in Jeffersonville, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ken., and a mile within I-65. From the Visitors Center, take a complimentary tour of the exposed fossil beds (no collecting is allowed). Phone: 812/280-9970. Web: www.fallsoftheohio.org