Description: Below is a list of park guides (“Trail of Geology”) published by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey. This series consists of nontechnical booklets and pamphlets for selected Pennsylvania state parks. The reports describe geologic features found in the parks; most of the guides include a geologic map of the park area. More detailed bibliographic information for each park guide is given in the Survey’s list of publications, Pennsylvania Geological Publications.
Disclaimer: Each user is responsible for the appropriate application of Pennsylvania Geological Survey reports and data as explained in our official disclaimer.
Related Publications: There are several other “trail guides” outside of the park guide series. Those with links are available from the bureau’s website:
- Rocks and Ruins of the “Upper Grand”—An Illustrated Trail Guide to the Geology and Historical Archeology of Lehigh Gorge State Park was published by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey as an open-file report (OF 98–03).
- Geology of Point State Park was a pamphlet prepared by the University of Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Geological Society. It does not have a date of publication indicated but was probably prepared in the mid to late 1970s.
- The booklet From Rails to Trails to Rocks—Geology of the Garrett-to-Rockwood Section of the Allegheny Highlands Trail was prepared by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey in cooperation with the Somerset County Rails-to-Trails Association and the Somerset County Parks and Recreation Board. It covers diverse geologic topics (formation of rock units, structure and age of rocks, types of fossils, and more) along a 7-mile section of the Allegheny Highlands Trail in Somerset County.
- Geology of Nottingham County Park, was published by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey as Open-File Report 98–12. (The park is located in Chester County, Pa.)
Availability: All of the titles in the list below are active links that will take you to PDFs of the park guides. (Please note that park-contact and bureau-organization information were updated on these PDF images.) Many of the park guides were printed on colored, oversized sheets of paper that were folded into pamphlets. Print-friendly versions of all of the park guides (prepared on white, letter-size pages and saved as PDF files) can be obtained through the Pennsylvania Geological Survey’s interactive geologic map.
Several of the guides are still in print and may be ordered from the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. The titles of in-print park guides are followed by a link to ordering instructions, where you should follow the instructions for free publications.
The published printed copies of park guides can be borrowed from the Survey library or possibly from one of our repository libraries. If you are not near one of these libraries, you can go to a local library and ask the librarian to arrange an interlibrary loan.
Moraine and McConnells Mill State Parks, Butler and Lawrence Counties—Glacial lakes and drainage changes
Ricketts Glen State Park, Luzerne, Sullivan, and Columbia Counties—The rocks, the Glens, and the falls
Caledonia and Pine Grove Furnace State Parks, Cumberland, Adams, and Franklin Counties— Geologic features and iron ore industry