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Rowan Lytle April 20, 2011 09:51PM
Does anyone know anybody who once may have collected in the Hurd State Park quarries? I would like to know what it may have produced before a permit was needed to collect on state land.
Harold Moritz (2) April 28, 2011 08:33PM
Hi Rowan:
Very, very little has been written about this locality that I can find. I don't have anything from there so I haven't even updated the text on the mindat page. I've never even seen a specimen from there, so I image it isnt a very good locality. Ryerson's "Rockhound's Guide to Connecticut", which some libraries have, says this: "Albite, autunite, chrysoberyl, columbite, and manganapatite are reported from this locality." I'm EXTREMELY skeptical of the chrysoberyl - there is ONLY one confirmed place in Haddam for this mineral and that's it. Probably just regular beryl. Dick Schooner's very comprehensive "MINERALOGY OF THE PORTLAND-EAST HAMPTON-MIDDLETOWN-HADDAM AREA IN CONNECTICUT" says nothing other than how to get there. There's even less in his Mineralogy of Connecticut. I can't even find anything on the history of the quarries. Maybe you can check with the East Hampton historians?
Mickey Marks April 28, 2011 11:19PM
I wonder if this is what we used to call the "State Forest Quarries" many years ago. If so, I explored the area and brought back zilch. During the years that I lived in Connecticut up until 1985, there were absolutely no problems with collecting in the state forests, and we never had to seek permits. Technically, collecting was not allowed in the state parks, but there again, as far as I know, no one ever sought a permit. However, quarries on private property were a different story, and we always asked permission from the property owners.
Mark Gottlieb April 28, 2011 11:57PM
I collected there once in the mid 1980s. Found some gemmy orange garnets in matirix, but they were small; biggest was maybe 3 mm.
David Bernstein April 29, 2011 10:47PM
Just responding to what Mickey wrote, it's my understanding this quarry is different then the State Forest quarries. I have a reference somewhere that made the distinction and that there was nothing spectacular to be found.
Mickey Marks April 29, 2011 11:32PM
After bringing up a map of Hurd State Park at, I agree that this is definitely not one of the "State Forest Quarries". I don't see a quarry on the map, and searching Google maps, I can't find one there either. Januzzi does not list a quarry there, but Januzzi may pre-date the establishment of the park. I wonder if the quarry (if it still exists) goes by any other name.
David Bernstein April 30, 2011 12:19AM
There is a Quarry there, Mickey. I was very close to it several months ago and was going to just take a look, but I became distracted.

It's on my to do list, just to take a picture and add some detail to the locality page.

I do have a description of where it is but since no collecting is allowed, it hardly makes sense to post it.
Fred E. Davis April 30, 2011 02:01AM
I've collected several times, but after all the effort, there wasn't much to take home. The most interesting minerals I found were tiny monazite-(Ce) crystals in the gneiss, but it's tough to find them. The snapshot below is one that's about 1 mm maximum width, stuck with tack to the head of a brass pin.

open | download - HP-Mon-Ce.jpg (187.4 KB)
Harold Moritz (2) May 02, 2011 02:11AM
Hurd Park goes back to the 1930s at least I believe and there are 3 adjacent quarries behind the pavillion. NOT the same as the State Forest Quarries which are much, much better. I'll put some coordinates in tomorrow. The DEP started the whole permit requirements in the late 80s or early 90s, hard to remember now, and still lets us go to only 3 places.
Rowan Lytle May 03, 2011 09:49PM
Thanks guys!
There are three quarries, two large ones (for a pegmatite) an 1 small. I hike in the area a lot, so I usualy grab a few rocks with garnet in them to bring home. It doesn't look like a pegmatite that would contain beryl, and I have never seen any in the numerous times I have explored.
Sam Cordero, Jr. May 03, 2011 11:59PM
Yep, tough collecting. Only thing I ever found was a weathered Beryl. I'll have to check my list (I'm at work), but I think that's it. Still a nice hike, pleasant and tranquil. Good luck Rowan.
Harold Moritz (2) May 04, 2011 03:25PM
Just a reminder, at this time, collecting anything from Hurd Park is illegal and could result in felony trespass charges if caught. Looking is OK, picking up is not. I don't like it either but I didn't make the rules.
Phillip Inkel March 08, 2012 12:53AM
Well guys this whole thing about the state prohibiting rock and mineral collecting or any activity relating to the study of geology just does not sit well with me. It troubles me and gives me stress. I am gong to have to look into this but I believe the practice and law of interfering with the rights of exploration and collecting, especially on land intended for the public is against the U,S and Connecticut Constitutions. I was just at Hurd park today with two of my boys a 6 year old and a 10 year old whom both have a passion for searching for and collecting rocks and minerals. I wish we could of reported some kind of good information for all of us to share here at Mindat about the minerals at Hurd Park but unfortunately due to current Connecticut law and the fear of serious repercussions my children and I are prohibited from rock collecting at Hurd Park. It is suppresssion of knowledge and exploration and interference in education. There is just something not right about that law and practice. Perhaps we should petition for a repeal of the law that is unconstituional and flys in the face of 200 plus years of American liberty.
Rowan Lytle March 10, 2012 01:25AM
Some CT collectors are trying to get more quarries open to collecting, including Hurd. I am personally against the law, but it is supposed to keep plant life and animals safe. I will admit, I have occasionally dug in such places, but I always leave the place as similar as I can to what it was before I got there. Please try to keep the few locales that are open, open. We don't want to loose them too!

-Rowan Lytle

Food, Water, Shelter, Fire, Minerals.
Rick Sinclair April 17, 2012 11:44AM
The major reason the State DEP started restricting sites was because of wholesale destruction of the environment in sensitive areas. Several cases come to mind.
1. There was a quartz locality where large plates were found and people got greedy; destroyed all the trees growing in the area and leaving huge pits and a lot of erosion. The DEP spent a couple hundred thousand dollars to restore the area and to stop it from happening again closed and fenced it off.
2. The "tourmaline" ledges in Bethel CT were the source of large double terminated crystals found below the ledges where springs had weathered them out of the surrounding matrix. That area was immediately above a swampy area and the resulting pits and erosion destroyed the wetland area. Again a major restoration project.
3. The property at Case Quarries was purchased by the state for conservation and they saw the amount of hard rock mining at the quartz ledges for beryl and didn't want that area destroyed like these other areas.
4. Several sites on private property have been closed for the same environmental destruction. (Can anyone honestly say they would welcome 10 foot deep holes and dead trees all over an area of their property? I know I wouldn't )
I have been an avid mineral collector all my life, an active member of several clubs and have held most officer positions at one time or another. I have also been a life long conservationist and I truly believe the two ARE compatible.
I was active when the State first started the regulations now in place and remember the outcry it caused. Again if we as collectors were a little more responsible about filling in holes and not destroying the plants and trees growing in an area there would be more sites open. Collecting on public /State property is one thing but when it degrades it into a wasteland of deep pits and erosion I think the State has every right to step in and stop the destruction. After all these lands belong to ALL the people in the State not just collectors. We CAN collect in an environmentally friendly manner. It's simply a matter of taking the little bit of extra time to do it .
If you dig a deep pit back fill it afterwards. If you are up hill from a wetland make sure you don't leave all the loose soil and rock to wash down into the wetland the next time it rains. Never undermine tree roots. Never block a stream and don't strip moss and lichens off exposed rock . (The major reason the Kyanite locality on the Steep Rock Assoc. property is closed)
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