Category: Field Trips & Events

Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip to West Pierrepont and Pitcairin, NY – July 21-23, 2017

Buffalo Geological Society July 21 trip to Valentine Mine, Harrisville, NY for Blue Calcite followed by visit to GardenScape Quarry in Gouverneur, NY for calcite crystals in marble.

Friday July 21 AM, 2017 9:00 AM entry:  Field trip to Valentine Mine, Harrisville, NY for blue calcite, wollastonite, prehnite, etc. Has now been confirmed. Hard Hats, steel toed shoes, eye protection, high visibility safety clothing required. Must be 18 years or older.  The mine address is 14009 Hermitage Rd., Harrisville, NY. I expect to leave the parking lot of the Clearview motel at 7:30 AM but folks may drive directly to the mine on their own.

Friday July 21, 2017 PM – Field trip to GardenScape Quarry, Gouverneur, NY has been cancelled and will replaced to Selleck Road instead.

Don Lapham needs to provide a list of attendees for Friday’s digs – please contact me to confirm you will be attending: or 716-481-6438 (if you haven’t already).

Sat. July 22, 2017 to Rose Road site, Pitcairn, NY. Mulitple metamorphic minerals to be found. No safety equipment required, but recommended; supervised children are welcome. $5 fee per person.  Meet in parking lot of Clearview Motel to leave at 8:00 AM. Park right at digging areas.

Sun. July 23, 2017 to Powers Farm, West Pierrepont, NY for black tourmaline. No safety equipment required, but recommended; supervised children are welcome.

$5 fee per person. Meet in parking lot of Clearview Motel to leave at 8:00 AM. Hike trail to collecting site.

Clearview Motel in Gouverneur, NY for base camp. 315-287-2800

Friday and Saturday’s sites will contain fluorescent specimens – both long wave and short wave lamps are helpful (and a black tarp to shield the sunlight). All sites may require a wheeled cart or dragging sled to move specimens to your car. Sunday’s trip is a short hike to the collecting area. Saturday and Sunday’s sites could require digging in soil as well as breaking rock – shovels and picks may be helpful.


Field Trip to Open House at Dolomite Quarry – Walworth, NY – October 8-9, 2016

Field Trip to Open House at Dolomite Products Quarry in Walworth, NY on October 8-9.  Open House to community so no club membership is necessary but safety gear is required. Also, bring rain gear based on forecast.

Please arrive by 6:30 AM to sign paperwork and attend safety lecture. We will enter the quarry at 7:00 AM. Late arrivals are permitted. Please stop in at maintenance garage to sign in and hear safety information. We must leave the quarry before 3 PM. Sunday we must leave before 11 AM. 

Hard hats, steel toed shoes, eye protection, and long pants are required. Gloves are recommended. Supervised children with sturdy shoes are permitted. Gas powered saws and drills are allowed.A hydraulic jackhammer is usually provided by the quarry to break large boulders.

Expect to find crystals of Fluorite, Calcite, Dolomite, Selenite, Sphalerite and possibly Celestite, also few fossils have been found.

The quarry is located at 1200 Atlantic Avenue, Walworth, NY just east of Rochester, NY. Take the NYS Thruway (90) East to exit 46 for Rte 390 North. Take exit 15 to merge with Rte 590 North. Take exit 7 for NY-286/Browncroft Blvd. Make Right onto Browncroft and head East. Pass through town of Penfield. Browncroft will become Atlantic.  Make left turn onto Tiffany Rd. The quarry entrance is on the right after the turn. Drive in to the maintenance garage and park.

Buffalo Geological Field Trip to Marmora and Madoc – October 15-16, 2016

Buffalo Geological Field Trip to Marmora and Madoc is October 15-16.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016: Various Mines in the Kingston to Madoc area of southern Ontario, Canada.

Visit the Canadian Wollastonite Mine in Seely’s Bay Ontario the morning  then later in the morning traverse to a marble mine-quarry in Tweed, Ontario to collect blue marble and amazonite pegmatite. Later in the afternoon we will visit a quarry in Madoc, Ontario to visit a quarry with green marble, jade, and tremolite crystals. There is no restriction on the amount of attendees for Saturday, but only 24 may attend Sunday at Marmora. Power tools may be used at the Tweed and Madoc sites. The Tweed quarry may require a 400 meter walk in, but we are trying to negotiate drive in. All other sites are drive in.

Sunday Oct. 16, 2016: Aecon Quarry, Marmora, Ontario, Canada Dig.

  • Limited to 24 attendees.16 years of age or older.
  • Must preregister with Don Lapham.
  • Access will be 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Please meet at the Mine entrance at 8:30 AM. No late arrivals. There will be a check in check out system.
  • Hard Hats, Steel toed boots (covering above the ankle), eye protection, and orange, green or yellow reflective safety vests are required. Gloves are also highly recommended. Don Lapham has now been certified in First Aid/CPR/AED but if you have similar certification, please bring it with you to support.
  • Pants must extend to the ankles covering both legs. LONG PANTS ONLY.
  • A completed roster is to be submitted ahead of time and will be cross referenced to the waiver that is required to be signed upon entering the site on the day of the visit.
  • Photo ID will be required as confirmation of attendance.
  • Each member must provide proof of current BGS membership (please contact Don Lapham if you do not have your Buffalo Club membership card)
  • The use of power tools & micro-blasters is NOT permitted.
  • Aecon allows the collection of specimens in accordance with the generally accepted procedures and practice of Hobby Mineral Collecting only. Acceptable uses for samples collected are for display and exchange only. Aecon is committed to education and will deny access to those who sell specimens for a profit.
  • No trailers or excessive quantities of minerals will be allowed to be collected.
  • As a thank you to Aecon for the privilege of collecting and taking material from this site an entry donation (CN$10 per collector) shall be collected. A check (made payable to the Bancroft Gem & Mineral Club) for the total amount of each visit donation shall be sent to the Bancroft Gem & Mineral Club Museum.
  • Bring drinks and lunch. All garbage generated during the visit must be removed from the site.
  • Expect to find a plethora of minerals including: garnet, epidote, pyrite, quartz, calcite, actinolite, magnetite, etc.




Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip to Flamboro Canada – September 16, 2016

Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip to Dufferin Aggregates Quarry in Flamboro Canada is September 16 at 8am. Escorted in and out of quarry so no late arrivals and will be exiting as a groups. All day to collect.

Located at 685 Brock Road, Dundas, Ontario,  Canada

Orange or Yellow Fluorescent Safety Vest or Shirt required. Hard hats, steel toed shoes, eye protection, long pants are required, gloves recommended. Gas power tools and saw are not allowed. Must be 18 or older. Food and drinks are recommended.

There will be a blast while we are on site at Noon. We must leave the quarry during this event. We will return once it is safe. There will not be collecting on the blast (normally a blast is very dusty and crystals hard to see anyway). They will be actively excavating the blast once it is safe anyway. Collecting is in stacked boulders on quarry floor; always lots to find there. We may stay till 3 or 4PM.

Expect to find sphalerite, fluorite, marcastite, galena, dolomite, selenite and calcite.

Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip- LaFarge Quarry – Niagara, NY – August 27, 2016

Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip to LaFarge Quarry in Niagara, NY on August 27 at 7:30am. Entry at 8am. No late arrivals, but you can leave at any time. Must exit quarry by noon.

The quarry is located at 8875 Quarry Rd, Niagara, NY just north of the intersection of Lockport Rd. and Miller Rd. The quarry entrance is at the end of Quarry Rd. Please drive in to the parking area before the office building.

Hard hats, steel toed shoes, Reflective safety vest or shirt, eye protection, and long pants are required. Gloves are recommended. Must be 18 years old or older.

Expect to find crystals of Calcite, Dolomite, Selenite, Fluorite, Sphalerite; also few fossils have been found.

Questions, please contact Don Lapham at 716-438-3794 or 716-481-6438 24 hours before the dig.

Buffalo Geological Society Picnic- September 17, 2016- Williamsville, NY

The Buffalo Geological Society Picnic is September 17, 2016 at the North Forest Pavilion in Williamsville behind Tops on Main Street. It is a potluck but the club provides hot dogs, rolls and soft drinks.

It starts around 12:30, and we eat around 4pm. Bring a dish to share and your own cups, plates, silverware, table cloth. You can bring minerals and fossils to show, swap or sell and share great stories.

The Tops address is 5274 Main Street and Union in Williamsville- the BGS Picnic 2016 in on Forest just north of Main Street.


LaFarge Quarry Open House – August 6, 2016- Lockport NY

LaFarge Quarry Open House is August 6 from 10am to 2pm at 400 Hinman Road. FREE. Visitors will be taken by bus to view the quarry and blasting sites. Great fun.

Also, here is excerpts from the Buffalo News Article. Read the entire article.

The existing quarry yields 1.5 million to 2 million tons of stone a year, but only about a two years’ supply is left, according to operations director Tony Distefano. That estimate includes the so-called Murphy property: 9.1 acres on the north side of Hinman Road, for which the City of Lockport granted mining permission earlier this year.

The existing quarry, which has been in business for more than 70 years, originally was known as Frontier Stone, but it was sold and resold a few times. Lafarge took over the 300-acre property when it acquired Redlands Quarry in 1997. The latter name still is being used by Lafarge in its filings with the DEC.

The new quarry may last as long as 50 years, Galdenzi said. Distefano said about two years after it’s open, the primary stone crusher will be shifted to the new site, but a covered conveyor will be built over the road to move the stone to the processing equipment at the old quarry.

Although asphalt is the main product made from stone at Lafarge’s quarry, the quarry has other uses. Last week, trailers were hauling giant boulders away for use in a breakwall project in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

A driver secures some large rocks destined for use in a breakwall project in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

Photos from Buffalo Geological Society Trip to LaFarge Quarry in Lockport, NY- July 2016

Photos from Buffalo Geological Society Trip to LaFarge Quarry in Lockport, NY- July.

Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip to Rose and Seleck Roads – August 12-14, 2016

BGS Field Trip on August 12-14, 2016 to  Rose Road in Pictarin, NY. and Selleck Road inWest Pierrepont. Possible stop at Friday morning at the Valentine Mine, Harrisville, NY on Friday Aug. 12 (to be confirmed).

Finds have included fluorescent scapolite, diopside, blue calcite, actinolite, tourmaline and mica. Good hunting. $5 per person. Stay in Clearview Motel in Gouverneur, NY  at 315-287-2800 or chain motels in  Fort Drum or Watertown.

We will dig all day at both localities (two days at Rose Rd.). Collecting is on outcrops and in trenches. Shovels, picks, hammers and bars are needed. Bring food and drink. If we get access to the Valentine Mine, it will be a short stop of about 1 hour.

This is John Sander and Pam Biddlecombe on the hunt for fluorescents.

John and Pam on the hunt

Buffalo Geological Society Field Trip to National Limestone – September 9-10, 2016

BGS Field Trip is Septmeber 9-10, 2016 to National Limestone Quarry, Mount Pleasant Hills, PA. Meet at 8:30am, enter at 9:00 AM dig all day one or both days.

Sledge hammers, rock hammers, chisels, pry bars, etc are recommended as this is hard rock breaking. Do not bring carpenter hammers as they can shatter. We will drive into the quarry. We will be digging in both an operating quarry and in the woods behind the quarry (access to the operating quarry will depend on their work schedule and may not occur until late Friday or Saturday). Excellent Wavellite is found in the woods behind the quarry. Digging in the woods also requires pick and shovel work. We are working here two days to dig deeper into the wavellite layer in hopes of finding some nicer quality specimens.

Hard hat, steel toed shoes, eye protection, gasoline saws are permitted with safety gear. Bring lunch, water, insect repellant. Expect to find calcite, strontiatnite, wavellite, quartz, a few fossils. Mt. Pleasant Mills is approximately 4 hours and 18 minutes from Buffalo.

The quarry is located at 217 Quarry Rd, Mount Pleasant Mills, PA. The quarry entrance is just south of the intersection of Millrace Rd. and Heister Valley Rd. Arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 AM for safety talk, we will enter the quarry at 9 AM. Supervised children are permitted.

Late arrivals are permitted but you must sign in. You may leave at any time. We may stay all day both days. Bring drinks and food. Please bring a mineral or fossil specimen to donate to the quarry manager who is also a rock collector.

We may chip in about $20 each to pay for an excavator if one is available.

Motels in Selinsgrove or Shamokin Dam, PA may be difficult to find as this is also Susquehanna University Open House. Suggest looking in Lewisburg or even Williamsport for vacancies