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Roadside Geology of Ohio

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Roadside Geology of Ohio
By Mark J. Camp
Mountain Press Publishing Company (2006)
Second Printing, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-87842-524-2

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - April 30, 2015

Roadside Geology of Ohio by Mark J. Camp is one of the many books in the fabulous Roadside Geology series. These books provide self-guided driving tours of the state or area that the book focuses on. In this case, the book focuses on the Buckeye State, i.e., Ohio.

Filled with maps and black and white illustrations, this is a must-have book for rockhounds and geology enthusiasts of every ilk who are in, or planning to visit, Ohio. The book begins with a concise and nontechnical overview of Ohio's geology and the geological process that shaped the state. Camp also includes information on common fossils, rocks, and minerals found throughout the states as well as some of the notable and unique geological features that Ohio is noted for.

The bulk of the text is given over to twenty-five driving tours that cover the full breadth of the state. These guides are organized by region, and they cover the Till Plains in Western Ohio, the Ohio Uplands and Allegheny Plateau, the Lakeshore, and the Ohio Valley. Each section begins with a brief overview of the regions geologic history, the predominant rock formations, and information about the regions natural resources and how they are used. When applicable, other relevant information is also included.

Building upon these foundations, Camp provides readers with precise directions for each drive, along with information on what you will see along the way, the history of the area you are driving through, and key points of interest along the way along with tips on sites that are worth getting out of the car to see or explore. Throughout, maps are included that not only detail the route but also which show the geology of the area you are traveling, along with annotations that detail the area's history or sites to see. Most of the driving routes follow main roads and highways, where it is often unsafe to pull over and explore the rock formations. However these maps also list some of the main secondary roads in the areas where it may be safer to pull over and take a closer look at some interesting rocks. Along the way, Camp also lists local mines and quarries that may be of interest, both to rock collectors and to those interested in the history of the region.

I recently used this guide while traveling from West Virginia to the Zanesville area in the Allegheny Plateau. I found the directions in this guide easy to follow, and very accurate. I especially liked that Camp includes 'side trips' for those wanting to get off the highway and stretch their legs. I also liked that in addition to noting the geological features along the drives, he also mentions fossil finds and fossil rich areas that you will pass along your way.

Not only is this a must-have guidebook for rockhounds, but outdoor enthusiasts, naturalist, historians, and paleontologists will find the Roadside Geology of Ohio to be invaluable. It will ably serve general travelers looking to explore a unique side of Ohio's countryside and history. From a parents point of view, it is a great book to have in the car when you have older kids with you. They can read you the directions and descriptions of the areas you are passing through, thereby not only keeping busy, but hopefully learning something along the way - including a greater appreciate for the fascinating world of geology. This guidebook is also ideal for those who may want to do some preplanning before embarking upon their journey through Ohio.

Related Reviews:

Ohio Rocks! A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Buckeye State, by Albert B. Dickas.
A delightful guide to fifty geological sites in Ohio, most of which are public access sites and which are family-friendly! Along the way you also learn about the geologic history of Ohio and you get to view some marvelous pictures of the sites you can visit throughout the state.

Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas, by Kevin G. Steward and Mary-Russell Roberson.
An outstanding field guide to the Carolinian geology that covers thirty-six different sites across the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain of both North and South Carolina.

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