Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ringing Rocks Park, North Pottsgrove, PA

Pennsylvania is more than the Quaker State, its also the glacial state. During the last ice age the glaciers reached into the state, stopping near the border with Maryland. As a result of the coming and going of the glaciers PA has moraine fields such as Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park, and the oddity of ringing rocks. In some areas the rocks have such a high metal content that they produce a ringing sound when struck with a hammer.

The best known such park in PA is Ringing Rocks County Park in Bucks County, near the Delaware River. But there's a smaller scale example of these musical stones north of Pottstown, just off of PA Route 663. Heading north you turn right at a hilltop and park behind the Ringing Hills Fire Company and a roller rink. A few feet from the parking lot is a half acre of boulders. I ventured into the field on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a small hammer and began banging away. Yes, the stones do ring, or at least the ones that aren't partly buried do. The sound is more of a dull clang, but pitch varies from stone to stone and I wished my friend Sayre were here with his perfect pitch to tell me what I was hearing.

There is no website for Ringing Rocks Park, which is partly owned by North Pottsgrove Township and the fire company, but reports online indicated multiple hiking trails in the 64 acres. I found only one, a short walk through woods and rocks running downhill to Route 663. In addition to the trail and boulder field, there is a softball diamond, and two picnic pavilions. I enjoyed my short time there and my mile hike.

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At April 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM , Blogger Randy said...

Cool. Plan to go there tomorrow. I think though that you'll find the glaciers didn't come close to the Maryland line. In the Susquehanna I think some glacial rocks got washed nearly that far and in the easternmost part of the state they came down pretty far, but not to Maryland. It seems to be an often quoted myth.


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A Taste For The Woods: Ringing Rocks Park, North Pottsgrove, PA

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Ringing Rocks Park, North Pottsgrove, PA