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Volcano & Dinosaur Hike - Prince William Forest Park

  • 16 Mar 2024
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Triangle, VA


Registration is closed

5 miles, Level 4 rating. Suitable for intermediate hikers.  Join us on a walk back in time and learn about the processes responsible for building and shaping this wonderful park.


We will make our way to the North Valley Trail and follow it to Quantico Creek. The rocks laying in the creek are metamorphosed remnants of ocean sediments and volcanic flows. These are part of the Chopawamsic Formation from 25-57 million years ago. We might spy pinkish lines of quartz in the rocks that were formed at a much later date.

We continue alongside Quantico Creek as it transports and deposits it's load of sediment that has accumulated here during recent geologic time. This is a good example of a present-day processes at work and, given a few million years, will result in sedimentary rock. Can we see the flaky, shiny specks of mica found in the sand along the trail? 

We conclude at the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine, which operated from 1889 until 1920. Pyrite or "fool's gold," was valued for its high sulfur content and was used in the production of many items including glass, soap, leather, fertilizer, and gunpowder. As we rest on the benches and look at over the small stream and hillside, we view an area that, after decades of work, as come back to life. The leakage of sulfuric acid into the soil and stream was too acid to support life. Work began in 1998 to stabilize the area and to correct these harmful effects.   

As with all WWO hikes, there will be a leader and a sweep, and no one will be left behind.

After you complete your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional event details and start location.

There is limited space, so please register early. Although this hike is FREE for Premium Members, you do need to register. 

Washington Women Outdoors
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Washington, DC 20016

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