Trains, Tracks and the Triassic World

Appalachian Mountain Club partnered with Lehigh University to produce an interpretive sign that explains local geology and prehistoric animal life in the Upper Bucks region.

In 2019 and 2020, AMC worked with Dr. Frank Pazzaglia, professor of Geology in Lehigh University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, to develop an interpretive sign project on the Upper Bucks Rail Trail.  The focus area is in northern Springfield Township, Bucks County, just south of the Lehigh County line in Coopersburg and the sign was installed at a rock outcrop location adjacent to the rail trail. Dr. Pazzaglia selected a student, Adam Patching, to design the sign content. The sign describes the local geology, including diabase, an igneous geologic formation which dates to the Triassic period nearly 200 million years ago. The sign also includes an image and a resin cast of a Grallator, a large dog-sized carnivore that lived in the area during the Triassic period. Actual Grallator tracts were excavated from the area in the 1980’s.  A QR code on the sign provides additional information about the geology of the area. AMC thanks Lehigh University, Dr. Pazzaglia, Adam Patching, and the Springfield Township staff and volunteers that contributed to this project.