Rockhounding and Highway Construction

September 03, 2005


Provided by: Jeffrey K. Wagner, Bowling Green (OH) State Univ.
Summary authors & editors: Jeffrey K. Wagner

This past June, I traveled to an area of the Canadian shield in western Haliburton County in Ontario, Canada. In this area, Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks are exposed at the surface and often contain fascinating minerals. I traveled here to visit a number of road cuts on Highway 35, between Norland and Minden, that are listed in Ann P. Sabina’s guide, "Rocks and Minerals for the Collector--Bancroft-Parry Sound Area and Southern Ontario," published by the Geological Survey of Canada in 1986. As I was driving along Highway 35 on a Thursday, I noticed that many of the road cuts were inaccessible due to active construction, but I returned and collected that Saturday, when no construction was occurring. Huge quantities of freshly blasted rock fragments of all sizes were easily available at several road cut sites, and I was able to obtain some interesting specimens. Shown above is a mostly gray and pink-orange calcite, which fluoresces nicely under ultraviolet light. Construction on Highway 35 will continue throughout the summer, providing excellent weekend collecting for local rockhounds as well as for those people traveling through the area.

Technical details: Photographs taken with a Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera. The location shown is a view facing south along the west side of Highway 35 just north of Sandy Bay Road (visible in background.) GPS coordinates: 44° 52.824’ N, 78° 44.791’ W.

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