Attention: We have a new website and a new name - please visit us at www.gmsvp.org As of October 18, 2015 this site will no longer be updated.
Local Places of Interest (Non-Members) By: Sara Beth Phillips GMSVP Field Trip Coordinator If you are visiting the area and want to venture off onto some side trips relating to geology and mineralogy, here is a list of a few suggestions. You do not need to be a member of the club to take part in these activities they are open to the public.
#1) Cornwallis’s Cave – Water Street, Yorktown, VA – (Sandstone Cave) No admission fees – open all year round; 15 minute free parking Cornwallis’s cave, located along the water front, is reported to have been the hiding place of Cornwallis during the siege at Yorktown during the Revolutionary War in 1781.
#2) Fantasy – 10117 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23605 Store that sells rock and mineral samples, as well as other interesting items. Open Monday to Saturday 10:30am to 7:00pm; closed on Sunday
#3) Stick Stone & Bone – 1675 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185 Store that sells rock and mineral samples, as well as other interesting items. Open 12:00pm to 4:00pm daily
#4) York River State Park – 9801 York River Park Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23188 The park is known for its rare and delicate estuarine environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a rich habitat for marine and plant life. It is on the York River and is designated as a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The pristine environment offers clues to a rich natural and cultural history and hosts fossil beds and Colonial and Native American artifacts. Programs, activities and visitor center displays focus on the history, use, wildlife and preservation of the York River and its marshes. More than 30 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails allow visitors to explore the marsh, river shoreline and forests. A boat ramp, fresh and salt water fishing spots, a fishing pier, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and seasonal boat and recreational equipment rentals are available. (source: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/york-river.shtml#general_information)
#5) Chippokes Plantation State Park – 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry, Virginia Just across the James River from historic Jamestown in beautiful Surry County, Chippokes Plantation is one of the oldest continually farmed plantations in the country. A working farm since 1619, the park offers modern recreational activities and a glimpse of life in a bygone era. Visitors tour the historic area with its antebellum mansion and outbuildings, stroll through formal gardens, and view antique equipment at the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum. A campground and four overnight cabins allow visitors to stay on the historic grounds. The park has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a visitor center with a gift shop. It also provides opportunities to bike, hike, ride horseback and picnic. Chippokes Plantation also offers wedding packages and meeting facilities. (source: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/chippokes-plantation.shtml#general_information)
#6) Merchants Millpond State Park – 176 Millpond Road, Gatesville, NC 27938 An "enchanted forest," primitive species of fish relatively unchanged over millions of years, towering bald cypress trees with massive trunks, luxuriant growths of Spanish moss - this is Merchants Millpond State Park. Here, coastal pond and southern swamp forest mingle, creating one of North Carolina's rarest ecological communities. Together with upland forests, these environments create a haven for wildlife and humanity alike. (source: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/memi/main.php)
Upcoming 2015 GMSVP Field Trips:
Below are scheduled 2015 field trips as we kick into gear. These trips are for GMSVP MEMBERS ONLY.
GMSVP Field Trips:
Severe weather or another crisis out of our control may result in the canceling or rescheduling of any field trip. If there is any question, please call the trip coordinator, Sara Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm.
#1) Field Trip—Miocene and Pliocene Fossil Collection along the James River (near Surry, VA) Please let Sara Phillips (SPhillips@ecslimited.com) know by no later than October 16th, if you would like to attend this field trip . Date: Saturday, October 31st Time: 9 AM until dark Note: Suggest you check the tide schedule. Location: Pipsico Boy Scout Camp Reservation, 57 Pipsico Road, Spring Grove, Virginia The Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association (M.A.G.M.A.) has invited GMSVP to participate in another field trip at the Pipsico Boy Scout Camp Reservation near Surry, VA. Collecting will only be allowed on Saturday, October 31st. Fees: $5.00 per person to collect or tent camp Cabin Rental: $75 Cabinette Rental: $20 Information on Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association (M.A.G.M.A.): http://www.wncrocks.com/magma/magma%20history.htm
Below is information on the type of field equipment and supplies you may need for a field trip. Check with the Field Trip coordinator on what you may need before each trip. Also ask if there is an age limit if you have young children that plan on participating.
Typical Field Equipment and Supplies List:
hard hat (sometimes required) * see hard hat safety note below
steel toed work boots (sometimes required)
safety goggles (sometimes required)
crack hammer and chisel
plastic bucket (for big samples)
small containers (for small samples)
tissue paper (to wrap delicate specimens)
water and snacks
* Hard Hat Note: The hard hat must not be five years old or older. The stamp under the brim indicates the month and year that it was manufactured.
If you know of an interesting field location or a good collecting site, please do not hesitate to contact the clubs Field Trip coordinator Sara Phillips at email@example.com. We are open to any new ideas or locations.
Surry Fossil Trip June 2015 On June 13th, 2015 GMSVP joined members from the Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association (M.A.G.M.A.) to look for fossils from the early Miocene to early Pliocene geologic periods along the banks of the James River at the Pipsico Scout Reservation in Surry, VA. Check out page 4 of the June 2015 Newsletter for a great article on the history of this area.
2014 Field Trips
Surry Fossil Trip November 2014
November 15th, 2014 a group of club members went on a field trip to hunt for fossils along the James River near Surry, VA. The GMSVP joined two other clubs on this trip and below are pictures capturing the event. Check out page 8 in the December 2014 newsletter located on our Newsletter page, for a great story and additional pictures taken during this adventure.
Morefield Gem Mine November 2014 The Morefield Gem Mine in Amelia, VA was opened to the public for a short time in November 2014. Several members of the club took advantage of this offer and spent the day digging in the dirt. The December 2014 newsletter has an article on page 11 about the Morefield Gem Mine with additional pictures.
Willis Mountain Kyanite Mine September 2014 Several members of the club journeyed out to Dillwyn, VA to the Willis Mountain Kyanite Mine. This trip was open to multiple clubs. It was a beautiful day for rock hounding and there was so much to take in. Check out Page 3 of the October 2014 Newsletter for an article on the Willis Mountain trip.
Vulcan Trip June 2014
Many members ventured out to the Vulcan Materials Dale Quarry in Chester, VA on June 7th, 2014. Review the "vulcan_materials_dale_quarry_may_2014.pdf" document below for pictures of this event.
Members of the GMSVP gathered to go rock hounding in the Rose River, riverbed on June 14, 2014. Our July 2014 Newsletter captures a great article on the events of this day.
Aurora Fossil Festival May 2014
The Aurora Fossil festival is open to the public, you don't have to be a member of a club to attend. On May 23rd, 2014 several of our club members attended this annual event. Check out the article on page 5 in our June 2014 Newsletter.