Maryland Rocks and Minerals

Finding rocks and minerals in Maryland can be challenging.

A lot of the good hunting areas, where rocks and minerals may be found, are heavily vegetated.

The easternmost part of the state of Maryland, along the line of Baltimore and Washington, is coastal plain, back up by the Piedmont plateau composed of hard, crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks containing a variety of rocks and minerals, and giving away to the mountains and valleys of the Appalachians in the west, made up of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks with less interesting rocks and minerals.

Some gold was found there, but not enough to be profitable.

Many of the rocks in Maryland contain fossils of animals or plants. These include shark's teeth, shells, arthropods, and even dinosaurs. The first dinosaur fossil, reported in 1859, consisted of teeth recovered from an iron mine near Bladensburg. Since then, hundreds of bones, teeth, footprints and other remains have been found in Maryland. Dinosaur fossils are found in rocks in central Maryland.

The Calvert Cliffs in Maryland are a popular destination for rockhounding, the long stretch of shoreline is ideal for searching for fossils and other interesting rocks. Other great areas to go rockhounding include the Savage River State Forest, located in the north and northeastern part of Garrett County, where you can find moss agates, jasper, quartz, pyrite, garnet, and epidote; the Great Falls Park, located on the border of Montgomery County, Maryland, where you may find smoky quartz crystals, agates, jaspers, and fossils; and Days Cove Pit, in Baltimore County, where you may find fluorite, quartz, calcite, pyrite, fossils of trilobite, and various other minerals. Amethyst, tourmaline, and garnet have all been found here.

Also don't forget to look in quarries, such as Bluemont Quarry and Campbell Quarry, as well as in stream beds, near rivers and in gravel beds.

Before venturing out-do some research on where and what you can collect. Remember you must have permission to collect on private property.

See my page on Rockhounding Rules for general information on the rules of collecting rocks on various lands.