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Rocks & Waterfalls – Erie Bluffs State Park
June 17, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm$30.00
Welcome to Rocks & Waterfalls!
This trip will explore Erie Bluffs State Park in PA (NOT in Ohio) and is the only location that does NOT feature a waterfall. This trip is co-led by Earth Science Excursions, LLC.
Participants will park in the Main Parking Lot, check in with trip leaders, and receive a safety briefing and Park map. We will then walk to the lakeshore beach at the mouth of Duck Run. A compass may be helpful; there are a lot of mountain bike trails that can be confused with the mapped hiking trails. We will have lunch at the beach, observe rocks, and then hike back to the parking lot. If time permits, we will drive to Raccoon Park.
Overview: With hiking trails on public land including access to the lake shore, Erie Bluffs State Park is an excellent venue for gaining first-hand experience with geology and nature. Habitats within the Park include savannah, forest, stream, lakeshore bluff and beach. Cobbles on lake beaches derived from glacial deposits in lakeshore bluffs include a wide variety of rock types allowing participants to learn rock type identification in an outdoor setting. There are granites and gneisses that were transported from Canada by glaciers, sandstones, and limestones with marine macrofossils. Within the Park there is an ancient sandy beach ridge well above the current level of Lake Erie. Glacial deposits in lakeshore bluff outcrops, Lake Plain beach ridges and terraces shaped by changes in lake level reinforce concepts of changes in climate and the imprint of climate change on landscapes. Landscape evidence of changes in lake level in and near Erie Bluffs provides a learn-by-seeing opportunity for participants to gain knowledge of the natural history of the Great Lakes.
This hike is moderately strenuous and requires adequate balance. We will be walking for as much as four miles on hiking paths on both flat and uneven ground, including a 70-foot tall hill. We will walk down and back up the 70-foot tall hill. We will also be walking on a sandy and rocky beach at the base of a lakeshore bluff. We will cross a small stream at least twice. We will be away from the vehicles for as much as five hours. The vehicles will be driving and parking on pavement and gravel.
The Erie Bluffs parking area may or may not have an unlocked port-a-potty.
- Comfortable, sturdy boots for walking on uneven ground and depending on conditions on ice, in mud or snow. We will need to cross a stream, and it will help if your boots are able to withstand a few inches of water briefly.
- A sturdy walking stick
- Hard hats or helmets are required at the bases of bluffs.
- Lunch and water
- Check the weather forecast; please wear weather-appropriate clothing that can get dirty and that will allow you to be comfortable in the outdoors for as long as 5 hours.
- In season there is poison ivy along trails we will be walking so wear high socks and long pants.
Smart phone, camera. Identification guides; notebook or sketch pad and pencil.