Osbornedale State Park in Connecticut

Connecticut - Osbornedale State ParkOsbornedale State Park makes for the perfect vacation destination for geology enthusiasts. Several different types of rock are exposed in Osbornedale State Park. There are also quarries, geologic folds, and even mines that have been abandoned. Upon entering the park, guests will find a huge outcropping of schist. Schist is a form of metamorphic rock which has been exposed to pressure, hot fluids, and intense heat. Schist contains a large percentage of elongate and platy minerals, which can include things like amphibole and mica. Because schist has this large platy minerals percentage, it can easily be split into slabs and thin flakes. This particular outcropping of schist makes up a section of the park’s Carrington Pond Member. It is rusty, inter-laid, gray, and weathering. It also contains a bunch of quartz crystals, folds, and parallel fractures. The folds are formed from tensional stress permanently deforming and bending the rock.

As the park’s guests continue along the trail, they will find a quarry. This area belongs to Osbornedale’s Harrison Gneiss, which is dark gray and contains biotite, feldspar, and quartz. This gneiss shows features extensive folding. Gneiss is metamorphic rock of a very high grade which has been subjected to pressure and intense heat. It is easy to identify from the way that the dark and light minerals are separated. This gives the formation an interesting banded texture. It is usual for gneiss to consist mainly of granular, elongated, and platy minerals. The quarry shows evidence that rocks were removed during its active period.

The next sight that guests will find along the trail is a sudden change of Osbornedale State Park’s geology. The rocks change to basalt and go back to being gneiss. This transition comes from a dike, otherwise known as an igneous rock body that is similar to a sheet and cuts through layering. All the park’s dikes are feeder dikes. Two hundred million years ago, they helped to supply large flows of lava to Hartford Basin. Diabase composes this dike. Diabase is an igneous rock that is fine-grained and was rapidly cooled near the surface of the earth.

There are many things for visitors to Osbornedale State Park to do during their stays. One of the most popular activities is the Shoreline Bike and Boat Tour. This is a guided ride over the rolling hills of the coast combined with a forty-five minute boat ride that offers people the chance to see the Thimble Islands. Visitors who own their own bikes or safety equipment are encouraged to bring them. The park also offers custom tours. The minimum age for people taking this leisurely tour is sixteen. Bikes, helmets, guide, and boat tour are all included in this. People who are interested in taking the tour should visit www.CTBikeTours.com.

The location for Osborndale State Park is the hill country of Naugatuck Valley. It’s located.east of Housatonic River. Once, this land was covered by lush forests that made for great hunting grounds for the area’s Paugussett Indians. The first Europeans to settle in the area were fur traders of the seventeenth century. These settlers purchased lands from the Indians piece by piece for clothing, cooking utensils, and other items. It was common for the Indians to sell the same pieces of land many times over. The settlers cleared land and used it for farming. They also used its location on the river to turn it into a successful trading port. At one time, this port rivaled the harbor of New Haven. This settlement was originally Paugasset, but eventually changed to Derby, in honor of Derbyshire, England, the town from which many of the colonists hailed. After America’s Revolutionary War, lands in the park were mined for silver. The Osborne family, who earned their wealth from early industrial entrepreneurial endeavors in the valley, willed the land for the park to Connecticut’s people in 1956.

Osbornedale State Park is a fantastic place to visit. People who are interested in geology will be amazed by everything that the area offers. People who have only a passing interest in geology will gain great enjoyment from exploring the gorgeous Thimble Islands and other remarkable features of the area. Whether biking or admiring rock formations, Osbornedale State Park is a great place to get away.