Delaware mineralogical society

A Delaware 501(c)(3) non-profit earth-science educational organization


Chestnut Ridge, Bath County, VA

Minerals: Quartz Crystals

Field Trip Report (with photos) by Rebecca Henry

Field Trip Crystal photos by Dave Lines

This is an announcement for a field collecting trip to Chestnut Ridge, Virginia on March 24, 2018.

We have been invited by Dave Lines of the Southern Maryland Rock and Mineral Club to join them on this trip. We will be limited to perhaps a half-dozen or so participants. I will make a list based on a first-to-respond basis.

Please read the following carefully. This is NOT a normal field trip. It is EXTREMELY PHYSICALLY DEMANDING, and it’s a fair way from home.

I received the following message from Dave Lines:

Official Field Trip of the Southern Maryland Rock and Mineral Club to Chestnut Ridge, bath, County, VA for Quartz Crystals (loose and clusters) --- Possible Joint Trip with 2 other clubs – max of 30 people. (quartz crystals are plentiful – everyone will find them). Trip Leader = Dave Lines

Date: Sat, March 24, 2018

Meeting Time/Location: 8:00 a.m. at Burger King on South Side of U.S Rt 250 (west) (physical address is “1034 Richmond Rd., Staunton, VA 24401”)

Food/Drinks: Individual responsibility --- recommend bring lunch, snacks, bottled water

Topography: Very steep climb to site over loose rocks/leaves/logs up a mountain for about a mile. Crystals in 2 locations --- ½ way and near top (2,700’ elevation). Travel by foot only. Trip leader will mark a trail (pretty much straight up) with surveyor’s tape so you can climb at your own pace.

Tools: Rock hammer, 4 pound hammer, safety glasses (for eye protection), garden scratcher, 5 gallon bucket/backpack (for your rocks), old newspaper to wrap/protect your specimens. Optional: fold-up Army shovel & small screen to sift dirt.

Clothing: light winter clothing, brown cotton gloves, ball cap, sturdy footwear (good hiking boots with ankle support and deep tread). Recommend coveralls or old clothes while collecting so you can change back into clean clothes before your ride home. It can be chilly, so cheap cotton gloves with tips of index finger and thumb cut off (to pick up xls) are very helpful. A cheap plastic roll-up poncho is always good insurance.

Special remarks: No restroom facilities

SAFETY NOTE: -- this is a fairly difficult trip. You must be in good physical condition --- i.e., able to hike 2+ miles with your equipment (and return with specimens). *** If you have serious physical ailments, don’t go. Note to “first timers” – yes, this is a long trip and a physically challenging climb; yes, kids can go; yes, you can find some crystals along the way to the top.

Approx Timeline: 8 am, meet at Burger King and caravan to Chestnut Ridge; 9 am – Arrive at parking area at foot of mountain; 9-11 am, Climb mountain; 11 am to 3 or 4 pm, Find Crystals; 4-5 pm, Descend mountain; 5-10 pm, Drive home

Directions: Use a Virginia state map --- from Southern MD, I-95 to I-295 (W) to I-64 (W) to I-81 (N) to Exit 222. Take U.S. 250 west approx 1 mile. Meet at Burger King on left (1034 Richmond Rd., Staunton, VA).

Fatigue/Rest: You might consider staying overnight at a motel in Staunton.

Weather: ** Snow cover / predicted bad weather such as snow, rain and/or all-day below freezing temperatures could cause this trip to be cancelled.

Trip Sign-up: Send email message to Tom Pankratz ( I will confirm receipt of your message and tell you where you are on the list.

From Tom: Dave sent me photos a year ago of their finds at this site: a lot of clear quartz crystals both single and in clusters. I recall they were pretty clean. Go to the following website to see Dave’s trip report from last year (with pictures):

--Tom Pankratz, Vice-President of Fieldtrips