Pennsylvania Collecting Sites!
We are going to continually add to this page as new information is obtained. Please let us know about your favorite sites in Pennsylvania. We will be happy to post it here for all to enjoy!
As with all collecting localities, you should have permission to collect at the localities listed below. Many are on private property. If you are not certain, ask! We cannot guarantee that the information presented here is totally accurate, or that all sites are open for collection.
Please be considerate of others and remember to leave any site in the same condition that you found it. Fill in any holes you may have dug, do not litter and be careful!
Jeri Jones, consulting geologist for Codorus Stone Supply Company quarry in Emigsville, PA has contributed an enormous amount of the information supplied below. Penn Minerals owes Jeri a debt of gratitude for his efforts to make this a worthwhile page!
Collecting Sites in Pennsylvania
CONSTITUTION - Rt. 851 on Maryland Line - in fields in the area are nice rutile crystals, many that are twinned together. Since site is located in cultivated fields, collecting can only be conducted during non-crop times. Rutile, garnet, kyanite, magnetite and gold have been panned from a small stream located on Gross Road. Permission must be granted from the owner.
ROSSVILLE ROAD CUT - about 1 mile north of Rossville, which is about 15 miles north of York on Rt. 74 - found in 1974 as part of a road expansion, azurite and malachite coatings on the hornfels have been a favorite to many collectors. To obtain these specimens some heavy hammering is now required as the "excavation" is now about 3 feet back into the road cut. Surprisingly, opal hyalite is found on some the hornfels, only seen under black light appearing as a pale green color. At the southern portion of this road cut micro-sized heulandite, stilbite and chabazite crystals can be found.
MUD LAKE/GRUBB LAKE, SILVER SPRINGS, LANCASTER CO. - located between Columbia and Mountville near lronville, an abandoned iron mine is now one of the most popular collecting sites for "iron geodes" or "bombs." Minerals identified from here are goethite, hematite, kaolinite, lepidocrocite, magnetite, pyrolusite and quartz. Grubb Lake can be accessed from Rt. 23 near Silver Springs. Turn south onto Hempfield Road and go around two right-angle turns. Turn right onto small stone driveway leading back to Grubb Lake. Park near fenced-in building. Best collecting is located to the south of the driveway across from the building on the mine dumps. Property is owned by Mountville Borough and permission must be obtained to collect here.
VALLEY QUARRY - GETTYSBURG - has been a popular collecting site for years producing various copper minerals and zeolites. Although presently, zeolites have become somewhat rare, a nice suite of copper minerals are being found. Bornite, chalcocite, chrysocolla and a trace of native copper have been seen. Other species include epidote, andradite, chabazite, chalcopyrite, djurleite, stilbite and heulandite. Quarry is open for collecting to groups and clubs by appointment only. Contact the quarry superintendent (717) 334-3165. Quarry is located along Rt. 97, about 0.5 mile west of Rt. 15.
VALLEY QUARRY - FAIRFIELD - Located along Rt. 116 about 10 miles south of Gettysburg, this quarry is very similar to their Gettysburg site mentioned above. Quarry is open for collecting to groups and clubs by appointment only.
MECKLEYS QUARRY - MANDATA, PA - Northumberland Co., - undoubtedly the best location in PA for celestine. Many pieces have removed from here with museum-quality crystals. Collecting for clubs by appointment only. Call Ted Keck 570-758-3340. There is an open house for all collectors the day after Winfield in September.
PROSPECT PARK - Located SW of Philadelphia at the Morton Homestead on Rte 420 off exit 9 of US 95, this is a popular site for Kyanite. To the right of the parking lot there is a small stream feeding Darby Creek, and again over rte 420 near the gas station. Nice Kyanite blades can be collected by using a trowel and sifting the mud. The best material is obtained by carefully breaking the Quartzite with a 4lb sledge. Also readily available are large orthoclase feldspar crystals in the boulders lining the stream
GOLD!! Since 1975, gold has been rediscovered in many of the streams in southeastern Pennsylvania. In York County gold can be found in the stream near Dillsburg, Wellsville, Rossville, Grantham and also in the Delta area, bordered by Muddy Run to the north, Constitution to the west and the Susquehanna River to the east. In Lancaster County, Peters Creek west of Quarryville and Rt. 272 is one of the best producing streams in the area. In Southern Lancaster County gold has been found in streams around Peach Bottom and Muddy Run Park . Remember, these streams are on private property and permission to pan them needs to be granted by the landowners.
FOSSILS COLLECTING LOCALITIES IN S.E. PA.
YORK HAVEN - Triassic petrified wood site located near York Haven. In several cultivated fields north of town, nice samples of petrified wood are regularly found. In a long railroad exposure along the Susquehanna River near Brunnees Island south of town, fern fossils have been collected from the Triassic sandstone.
JOLIETTE, SCHUYLKILL CO., PA - Pennsylvanian-aged petrified wood and fern fossils from the anthracite coal mines. From Interstate 81, take Exit 107 (Tower City) and proceed west on Rt. 209 into Joliette. At cross roads, turn right and proceed past a fire hall on left. Travel about 0.75 mile to gravel road on right and park at the chained driveway. Permission is not needed to collect on the property. Other dumps along the unchained road belong to Summit Coal Company with no permission needed to access. Abundant fossils in both the shale and sandstone.
ST.CLAIR, SCHUYLKILL CO., PA - another fern fossil site and probably the best such site in the country. This site produces the ferns that are coated with a thin white mineral that highlights the ferns. Every large geological museum in the nation has samples from this locality and yes, they are still plentiful with a bit of digging and luck. Site is located about 5 miles north of St. Clair and is rather hard to find unless you have a copy of "Fossil Collecting in PA" or go with someone who has been there. THIS SITE HAS BEEN CLOSED TO COLLECTING. PENNSYLVANIA ANTHRACITE NO LONGER ALLOWS ANYONE ON THE PROPERTY DUE TO LIABILITY CONCERNS.
LOCUST LANE, WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY- A new site discovered in the last two years where Cambrian trilobites have been collected from the Kinzers Formation. Trilobites have been recovered from the shale exposed here. To access this road cut from North George Street, travel north on North George Street (Rt.181) from Exit 10 of I-83. Proceed through first traffic light and go about 0.3 miles. Turn left onto Sycamore Lane. Go three blocks and turn right onto Clearbrook Blvd. Go to "T" intersection and turn left onto Locust Lane. Cross the Interstate 83 bridge and park on left.
Many Thanks to Jeri Jones for supplying much of the information on SE PA collecting sites. Jeri is the Program Coordinator for York County Parks and the consulting Geologist for the Codorus Quarry. He also runs many field trips and a Gold Panning Seminar! You can e-mail Jeri: JLJ276@aol.com