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.

Two types of rock are common to the erosion resistant, largely forested ridges of the Highlands: diabase (basalt), and granitic gneiss and quartzite. The diabase areas create 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 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.

 

News

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Community Open House Addresses Trail Gap

On the evening of Monday, October 16th, members of the Tollgate Landing community met with AMC staff and representatives of Richland and Milford Townships to discuss the potential for a trail connection to a new park and Trumbauersville Elementary School. Read More

AMC Presents Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Pilot Project

On Friday, September 22, 2017 members of the Appalachian Mountain Club staff presented the results of its Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Pilot Project to project stakeholders. Read More

Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Project Kick Off

The Appalachian Mountain Club is conducting an assessment of land conservation opportunities to assist in the protection of a high quality trail experience through a GIS-based analysis of viewsheds along the Circuit Trails. Read More

Congress Proposes Legislation to Reauthorize Highlands Conservation Act

Federal support is key to the success of land conservation efforts. Legislation like the Highlands Conservation Act, originally passed in 2004, has been instrumental in preserving valuable resources throughout the Highlands region. While the original authorization has lapsed, efforts are underway in Congress to reauthorize this important program. Read More