Directions: Rt. 859 crosses the Virginia Creeper Trail at the small bridge over Green Cove Creek. There is a small parking area just on the left (west) side at the far end of the bridge over the Creek. It is possible to tightly park 5 or 6 vehicles here (this corresponds to spot 13 on the stop 4 map). For large groups of people, we suggest continuing south down the road to where Rt. 726 crosses the Virginia Creeper Trail (near spot 1 on the map). There is room to park perhaps one or two vehicles there. The vehicles can unload people and then shuttle back to the northern parking spot. The group will then walk from spot 1 to spot 13 on the "rail-converted-to-trail" Virginia Creeper Trail . The walk is approximately 1.25 miles on flat ground.
Taken from the KONNAROCK, VA 1:24,000 scale map, 1959, Photorevised 1970 and 1978; and Grayson, TN-NC-VA 1:24,000 scale map, 1959, Photoinspected 1976
Stop Preview: This stop is an excellent example of "walking through time" (this is stuff that H.G. Wells would dig!). We will begin in the lower Mount Rogers Formation, cross into the Konnarock Formation, and then the Unicoi Formation. We will cross a fault (the Catface Fault) which cuts off the lower part of the Konnarock and the main rhyolite sequence of the upper Mount Rogers Formation making the geologic section incomplete. However, we will see enough here to get a true feel for how the environment and tectonic setting changed. The walk from the south end to the north end of the outcrop will span nearly 200 million years!!! And no time machine required!

The map below show the spots of note along the Virginia Creeper Trail. For easy navigation, the spots are hot linked to questions.

Okay, below are the questions and text for each of the spots in this stop. If it's just text, then keep on reading and continue on to the next spot. If it's a question, though, take time and ponder. Then, click the "Answer" link to take you to the correct answer and additional info!
Note the texture of the rock. Is it sedimentary or igneous? Take a look at the grains. What are they composed of? What are their shapes. Answer


Close up of the rock at spot 1 showing the texture of the grains. Many grains are colorless and translucent that look a little glassy (not as visible on the photo). The photo emphasizes the white grains (they have a less translucent appearance and they contain cleavage planes that make them look blocky) and the larger reddish grains that are actually fine grained rock fragments of volcanic material.
Link to more of Stop 4
Road Log Road map of field trip area Geologic column Geologic map