White Rocks, Cumberland County


Pinnacle of Antietam Quartzite along White Rocks Ridge.        Atop White Rocks loolking southeast toward the core of South Mountain.

Views of White Rocks, Cumberland County. Photos by staff geologist, Jim Shaulis.

Location: Cumberland County, Dillsburg and Mechanicsburg quadrangles. Along the north rim of South Mountain, about four miles west of Dillsburg; approximately 40º 7' latitude and 77º 7' longitude.

Size: Approximately 20 acres along White Rocks ridge.

Geology: The feature consists of a 600 million year old pinnacled ridge of Antietam quartzite. The outcrop represents the northernmost terminus of the Appalachian Blue Ridge, a tectonic and physiographic province that extends from northwestern Georgia. Because of the special nature of rock bedding and jointing displayed in the quartzite outcrops, it is considered to be an excellent geologic educational site.

View of the Great Valley from White Rocks.

View of the Great Valley from White Rocks. Blue Mountain is in the distance. Merged staff photos.

Heritage value: Site is scenic and educational. White Rocks provides a commanding view of the Great Valley physiographic province to the northwest and the core of the South Mountain section to the southeast.

Heritage status: Site is potentially threatened because of land use changes in adjacent, privately-owned land.

How to get there: White Rocks can be accessed from the Appalachian Trail, or by parking along Kuhn Road and ascending the ridge to the west. See the map below. Park along the road about 0.85 miles south of the intersection of Creek Road and Kuhn Road. Creek Road is accessed from Route 74 near the Conodoguinet Creek and Route 74.

Map showing the location of White Rocks.

Facilities: None

References: Burton, S. E., and Sanford, R. S., 1949, Investigation of Boiling Springs manganese–iron deposits, Cumberland County, PA, United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 4436, 12 p.

Root, S. I., 1978, Geology and mineral resources of the Carlisle and Mechanicsburg quadrangles, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 4th ser., Atlas 138ab.
 

For information regarding geologic features and PNHP, contact Jim Shaulis of the Pennsylvania Geological Survey at 717–702–2037.