Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
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The Bear Mountain Trailside Museum

Bear Mountain is the most famous mountain in the New York City vicinity. Jutting up from sea level at the Hudson River with a myriad of hiking trails, this location has been an important scenic destination for over a hundred years. Bear Mountain State Park encompasses Bear Mountain and the surrounding highlands and contains many tourist-friendly attractions including a scenic lake, observation tower, skating rink, carousel, pool, and an historic inn. It also hosts seasonal events such as the weekly antique car show throughout the summer and Oktoberfest in the fall. 


One of Bear Mountain's main attractions is the zoo. While very small when compared to most zoos, its collection is exclusively limited to local animals of the region. The zoo is also unique for its natural and woodsy feel, as well as pretty scenery and good views. Located within the zoo are several museum rooms containing historical artifacts and natural history items. One of these museums is the geology museum. The geology museum is located directly behind the Bear Mountain Bridge, and is housed in a musty one room stone structure that is easily missed. 


This geology museum contains a small representation of local minerals from the Hudson Highland / Ramapo Mountains region of New York. The local rock in the vicinity of the Museum is Precambrian metamorphic rock, with gneiss, granites, and some localized skarns and marbles. The mineralogy of the region is somewhat similar to the St. Lawrence County region of upstate New York and the Grenville Province of Canada. 


This region was also home to a booming iron mining industry, with a large number of abandoned iron mines dating back to the 1700 and 1800's. Some of the better-known mines include the Forest of Dean, Hasenclever, Hogencamp, Pine Swamp, Greenwood, O'neal, and Sterling Mines. All these mines are long abandoned and overgrown, though many are still accessible within state parks along hiking trails. 


Not much in terms of mineral specimens was ever recovered from these mines. The iron ore was mostly Magnetite, but in massive or crudely crystallized form. These mines only occasionally produced collector specimens, though other locations such as road cuts and dams produced several more specimen findings. Aside from Magnetite, other minerals include Diopside, Scapolite, Hornblende (including the rare Potassic-fluoro-hastingsite which is not found anywhere else in the world), Graphite, Biotite (including very large books), and Pyrhottite.

 

While the museum's collection of local minerals is fairly small, it is an interesting collection whose likes are rarely represented in collections. The exhibits are definitely old and dated, but they are nevertheless worthwhile for a visit. If you are visiting New York, definitely make a visit to Bear Mountain to enjoy the scenery and the zoo, and don't miss this little museum within the zoo.


Here are some of the individual minerals in the exhibitClick the pictures below for a larger version pop-up.

 

Anthony's Nose and the Bear Mountain Bridge from the Zoo View of Anthony's Nose and the Bear Mountain Bridge from the Zoo


Geology Museum at the Bear Mountain Zoo Geology Museum at the Bear Mountain Zoo


Mineral Exhibit of Minerals of the Bear Mountain Area Mineral Exhibit of Minerals of the Bear Mountain Area


Giant Mastodon Skull Found in the Vicinity Giant Mastodon Skull Found in the Vicinity


Calcite & Diopside Route 6 Woodbury NY Salmon Calcite & Diopside, Route 6, Woodbury, Orange Co, NY


Diopside Brooks Hollow Woodbury NY Diopside Crystal Cluster, Brooks Hollow, Woodbury, Orange Co, NY


Meionite Route 6 Woodbury NY Meionite Crystal, Route 6, Woodbury, Orange Co, NY


Meionite Bear Mountain Stony Point NY Meionite Crystal, Bear Mountain, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Quartz on Calcite Anthony's Nose Cortlandt NY Quartz on Calcite, Anthony's Nose, Cortlandt, Westchester Co, NY


Analcime Dirubbo Quarry Peekskill Westchester Co NY Analcime, Dirubbo Quarry, Peekskill, Westchester Co, NY


Calcite Tompkins Cove, Stony Point, NY Calcite, Tompkins Cove, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Meionite Iona Island Stony Point NY Crude Meionite Crystal, Iona Island, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Hedenbergite Crystals Iona Island Stony Point NY Hedenbergite Crystal Cluster, Iona Island, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Pyrrhotite Route 6 Woodbury NY Pyrrhotite Crystal Mass, Route 6, Woodbury, Orange Co, NY


Large Feldspar Crystal Bear Mountain Stony Point NY Feldspar crystal (probably Microcline), Bear Mountain, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Graphite Bear Mountain Stony Point NY Graphite Flaky Mass, Bear Mountain, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Biotite Mica Beechy Bottom Stony Point NY Large Biotite mica Book, Beechy Bottom, Stony Point, Rockland Co, NY


Calcite West Nyack New York Spiky Calcite Crystal Cluster, West Nyack, Rockland Co, NY
(Only the photo of this is in the museum, not the actual specimen)


Magnetite Monroe New York Octahedral Magnetite Crystals, Monroe, Orange Co, NY
(Only the photo of this is in the museum, not the actual specimen)


New Sulfide Minerals Added

We have been working on finishing the sulfide group of minerals (and sulfosalts sub-group) so that all the important ones are indexed with detailed information and pictures. While there are always more to add, all the standard and important members are now indexed in our database.

Here are the recent sulfide minerals added:

We will now commence with the oxides and add the important ones that are missing, as well as refresh the existing content and add new pictures to them.