Carbondale had an area, site of former strip mining, that still had piles and heaps of shale and slate that contained fern fossils. American Geode has the good fortune of discovering this site back in 2015 and recovered many fern fossils for our clients in academia, for our collector clients and for donation to the gem, mineral and fossil societies to which American Geode belongs.
American Geode are very sad to report that this fern fossil site is now CLOSED and OFF-LIMITS. We returned to the site and saw a large sign declaring that this was a Pennsylvania State Mine Reclamation Project, and as we walked around, we saw no more hills, no pilings, no mounds. Everything was razed. The site was closed, off limits, we could see the tracks from heavy equipment that bull-dozed over the pilings and fossil mounds; this fern fossil site is gone. We took some photos of the now desolate and closed Carbondale fern fossil site, and American Geode still has some of these fossils in our inventory available for studying or purchase:
Name: Fern Fossils and Tree Branches
Fern Species: Alethopteris
Location: Carbondale, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Time: Pennsylvanian Sub-period, 320-290 million years old
American Geode visited Hyner View State Park during the American Geode rockhounding and fossil hunting trip to Renovo, Pennsylvania and the world famous fossil locale of Red Hill. We were told that Hyner View State Park had the best sunset in the area, so we raced up a very winding road to the top of the mountain to witness one of the great sunsets. The photos speak for themselves, but we need to explain what the platform is that is visible in some of the photos. Due to the freedom of Pennsylvania laws governing outdoors activity, and the self-responsibility that the PA law requires, people go hang gliding off that platform. Per Pennsylvania law, unless you have been invited on to someone’s property, you are liable for yourself. Unless you are under the invitation of a property owner, even if you trespass on someone’s property, and get hurt, the owner of the property is not liable; you are liable. As a result of this, there is much more freedom allowed in Pennsylvania on public lands, as the state is not liable, and you are fully responsible for your safety and well-being. This brings many hang gliders to Hyner View State Park for hang gliding. We were told that someone goes up there with their hang glide, and then they have a friend drive down to meet and rendez-vous with them when they land at the bottom.
The laws of personal responsibility apply to rockhounding as well. One can rockhound along a state road outcrop. As long as the outcrop is not private property, you can rockhound. You are not allowed to rockhound or pull over along national highways however. This is a very important distinction to make because I-80 and I-81 are full of large outcrops, but they are off-limits since the highway is national. This is why American Geode was able to fossil hunt along old Route 15, along the outcrop that is Red Hill and in infamous ghost town Centralia.
American Geode recommends each rockhound to plan their excursions in advance, exercise safety with goggles and protective clothing and gear, and to ensure that you do not trespass on private property. American Geode can provide guidelines from our rockhounding and fossil hunting trips, but American Geode are not legal experts.
Hyner View State Park was full of trails, and a a great place for cooking out. A family could bring a picnic, tools, charcoal, burgers and dogs for grilling out and take advantage of the permanent grills up there at the top of the mountain.
When rockhounding near Renovo, or fossil hunting at world famous Red Hill, American Geodes recommends a drive to Hyner View State Park for one of the world’s great sunsets, and maybe some hang gliders!