September 20, 2011

Rocks Along the Storybook Trail

Since the Massanutten Storybook Trail is designed to educate visitors about the geology of the Massanutten Mountain, I feel it's appropriate to post some photos with rocks in them. You can see lichen growing on ancient boulders here, and you can even see a tree growing out of a crack in the rocks.

Layers of shale, sandstone, and limestone were once sediment in shallow seas here. They were folded and jumbled when the Appalachian Mountains were formed between 480 million and 300 million years ago. There's a book by local author William Melson called Geology Explained: Virginia's Fort Valley And Massanutten Mountains [link goes to listing on Amazon].

We saw at least three sets of steps going uphill from the trail, mysteriously leading to small clearings with no obvious purpose. I assume these were constructed by the CCC — they look old enough and appear similar to other CCC projects. (The very first CCC camp was established near here in 1933.) Whether the steps once went to campsites or cabins or something else, I don't know.

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