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Hike the Rocks & Waterfalls of PA

Hike the Rocks & Waterfalls of PA 

Geology isn’t just about rocks. It’s also about how rocks change over time. Geology tells us an intricate story about the history of our earth and its landscape. We look to rocks today to see various climates throughout history, plate tectonics, and the history of life itself. 

The varied geology of Pennsylvania has plenty to explore. From a hike through Erie Bluffs State Park to Fall Run Park in Shaler to Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County we’ll explore it all with geologist Fred Zelt and Earth Science Excursions, LLC.

On all trips, we’ll require masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

KICK OFF: Western PA Geology Virtual Class

Wed, Feb 17, 6:30 – 7:30pm | VIRTUAL

Learn the basics of geology in a 1 hour virtual class about rocks! Dive into Pennsylvania Geology and Physiographic Provinces, paleoclimates, and get ready for the the upcoming excursion. Also learn what the heck these words even mean.

Rocks & Waterfalls: Fall Run Park

Sat, Feb 20, 12 – 2pm | HIKE


Learn to identify shale, sandstone, limestone and coal. See fossils of animals that lived 300 million years ago. If there is snow, we will see a winter wonderland!

This waterfall, the first in our series, demonstrates the three key ingredients of a good waterfall: a capping rock layer that is resistant to erosion, softer rock layers underneath, and a change in the watershed that caused a “knickpoint.”

Rocks & Waterfalls: Buttermilk Falls

Sat, Mar 6, 12 – 1pm | HIKE

Registration Full

Buttermilk Falls is a gem, one of the most beautiful small but tall waterfalls in southwestern Pennsylvania. Unlike most waterfalls, here it can be possible to see and hear the waterfall from behind.

A short walk from the parking area to the waterfall passes multiple levels of a long-abandoned quarry of the Homewood Sandstone. Learn the history of the Beaver Valley and the region through these geologic observations.

Rocks & Waterfalls: Ohiopyle

Sat, Mar 13, 10am – 4pm | HIKE


With waterfalls and the deepest gorge in Pennsylvania, Ohiopyle State Park provides opportunities to observe a variety of habitats together with three-dimensional exposures of the rock layer most responsible for shaping Laurel Highlands landscapes. These can be observed on an excursion to the most scenic natural features of the Park.

Rocks & Waterfalls: Erie Bluffs

Sat, Mar 27, 11am – 3pm | HIKE


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. Explore the bluffs, have lunch on the beach, and make an optional stop at a Local Maple Farm on the way home.

Meet Fred Zelt


Bethel Park Native
Certified League Cycling Instructor
Your volunteer leader for Rocks & Waterfalls Series with Venture Outdoors 

Fred Rocks 😉  

Phots are courtesy Fred Zelt – Earth Science Excursions, LLC

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