Geology

The Pennsylvania Highlands are the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  The irregular ridges and deep valleys of this unique landscape feature common themes that reflect the region’s geology, which in turn has influenced local history and land use.

Although the geology of the Highlands is complex, two types of rock are common to the erosion resistant, largely forested ridges: diabase (basalt), and granitic gneiss and quartzite. The diabase areas in particular have created natural limitations for agriculture and land development. As a result these areas feature large contiguous woodlands such as Hopewell Big Woods and Unami Hills.

The high iron content found in the gneiss and quartzite rock ridges provided the raw material for the region’s industrial legacy of iron and steel. This legacy is reflected in the names of towns, historic sites and parks found throughout all thirteen counties of the Pennsylvania Highlands region: places such as Durham Furnace, Coventry Forge, Hopewell Furnace, Johanna Furnace, Cornwall Furnace, and Pine Forge Furnace. The unique combination of forests, rocky hills, historic sites, industrial towns, and fertile limestone valleys makes for a compelling story to be told through interpretive signage and online tools, enhancing the experience of trail users.

Geology
Geology
Geology
Geology
Geology
Geology

News

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New Park Construction to Begin Near DCNR Trail Gap

Construction of a new community park is set to begin this summer in Richland Township, Bucks County. Read More

Public Weighs in on Trails in Unami Hills

On  May 11, 2017, the Natural Lands Trust held a Public Meeting at the Upper Salford Township Building to discuss the Fulshaw Craeg Preserve. Read More

Highlands Trail Stewards Volunteer in Richland Township

The volunteer Pennsylvania Highlands Trail Stewards installed directional signage on the PHTN in the Quakertown area. Read More

West Rockhill Talks PHTN

The West Rockhill Township Spring 2017 Newsletter includes a great article on the progress of the Pennsylvania Highlands Trail Network in upper Bucks County. Read More