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Geology Rocks! Field Trip: Crystals, Creatures and Caverns

May 11 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Geologic features are highlighted with colored lights at Coral Caverns

NOTICE: The bus trip is sold out. Email us to be added to the wait list: [email protected].

Annual geology bus trip with our ever-popular geologist, Jeri Jones of Jones Geological Services of Spring Grove, Pa.

Hosted by Buttonwood Nature Center, Home of The Institute, the trip is open to those age 8 and up.

Participants will visit an abandoned limestone quarry and venture into the beautiful Coral Caverns. Some walking will be required at both sites, but not extensive.

The first stop is an abandoned limestone quarry in New Paris, Pa., where the group can collect minerals and fossils. Steve Lindberg, professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown will join Jeri Jones as co-host. 

Known for its outstanding mineral specimens of calcite and flourite, the quarry also spans the boundary between the Silurian and Devonian geologic periods.

“Nice marine fossils are found in the upper level of the quarry, which can be collected,” Jones said.

Hard hats will be supplied. Climbing on the talus slopes is not allowed. 

The group will have their lunch at the quarry site. (Bring a bagged lunch, food will not be available)

The second stop is Coral Caverns in Manns Choice, Pa. Lindberg and Jones will set up two geologic exploration stations for participants to enjoy as tour groups rotate. Cavern tours last 30 minutes.

Participants should bring collecting gear—hammer, collecting bag or bucket, and newspaper to wrap specimens for protection. In addition, everyone should bring their own lunch, snacks and beverages. Cameras are welcome. Handouts will be provided.

A geologist for more than 30 years, Jones has conducted extensive research on Pennsylvania mining practices, authored several publications, and narrated a 3-part video series on regional geology known as “TimeWalk.” He has been on the faculties of several regional colleges.

The Institute is now Buttonwood Nature Center—if you are an Institute member, you are now a Buttonwood Nature Center member!

The trip will be via bus, provided, and pre-registration is required. Cost is $63 for members of Buttonwood/The Institute, and $68 for the general public. Open to those age 8 and up. Meeting place will be provided upon registration. 

This program is presented in partnership with the Franklin County Rock and Mineral Club, and underwritten in part by Marge Kiersz, Lucinda D. Potter, CPA, and SEK CPAs & Advisors.

Additional support provided by our Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; Marge Kiersz; Alma W. Oyer; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin.


May 11
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Buttonwood Nature Center–Home of The Institute
(717) 762-0373