The samples along this Tour Pathway are mainly samples of gold ore, all of Precambrian age. This is a good place to see the variety of rock types that host such ores, as well as to illustrate how difficult it is to find visible gold. Much of the gold contained in these ores is locked up with the pyrite mineralisation, commonly as minute grains along tiny fractures in the pyrite crystals. All of the gold exhibits are listed as a “Metallic Ore” followed by the number ‘1’ (‘MO#1’).
This tour begins at the South East entrance to RockWalk Park, located at the corner of Latchford and Probyn streets in the Haileybury portion of Temiskaming Shores.
Tour #2: Heavy Metal (non-gold metallic ore exhibits)
This tour begins at the north-east corner of the park, the closest point to the dormitory…
At this point, you’re ready to leave the Metallic Ore section, and move into the section on Non-Metallic Ores. They come from Eastern Canada (Labrador to Ontario). The Non-Metallic Ores, in general, tend to be less spectacular than many of their Metallic cousins. However, they are in big demand and supply many of the raw materials so essential in today’s society. As you have already seen, some pedestals are empty along the route, and this is to give room for expansion as new samples become available. Please note that these samples are on both sides of the trail! (They were randomly placed over time, so number codes also appear random…some to the left and some to the right.)
Once again, you should cross the path to take up the trail from where you left off before. This time, you’re about to see a suite of rocks that make up a representative cross-section (or slice) through the rock-types present in this region. The rocks are arranged from the youngest to the oldest, so as you move south, you’re passing from one rock-type to the next oldest rock-type of the area. Signs are on the North side of each Exhibit. Their age is represented by ‘Ma’ or ‘Ga’ that scientifically stands for “Millions (or Billions) of years.
Tour #6: The Inca Trail of Unusual Geological Structures
You are now at the South-West ‘gate’ of RockWalk Park, that leads out to the west end of Probyn Street. A bus stand/shelter is located here. For visitors coming into the park from this location, there are several choices of direction to take. The right path leads back up the route you have just come from, but also diverts to the South-East entrance at the corner of Probyn and Latchford Streets. Along this path is the “Yellow Brick Road” where the exhibits of gold ore are located.
The remainder of the row is devoted to Prospecting Guides & Stains. These are signs that prospectors can look for in the bush, as a guide to the possible presence of mineralisation. In many cases, such guides are brightly coloured stains due to surface weathering. The mineralisation, itself, may be difficult to pick out from the surrounding host rock. However, the coloured stain (or ‘bloom’) will serve to draw attention to it, as though it had been emphasized with a highlighter pen.
Tour #8: The Courtyard: Gems, Semi-Precious Stone, Decorative Stone, Fluorescent Mineral Varieties
On the west side of the ‘Inca Trail’ (this section of the main RockWalk path), opposite the Prospectors tour, is an open area with various samples scattered around the site. This is our ‘Gem Garden’. The samples present to date don’t rank among the world’s most precious gems by any means, but they do serve to illustrate the beauty and colour of semi-precious materials, as well as the colour due to fluorescence under short wave ultraviolet light…at night.
Tour #10: The Water Trail: Ocean Remnants
The remaining exhibits are incomplete, but there is a row of fossiliferous material for you to inspect – between the Coober Pedy mound and the driveway. The host rock is mainly Silurian and Ordovician limestone from this area and from the Milton Quarry on the Niagara Escarpment west of Toronto, and the principal fossil types include coral, crinoid stems, and various types of shellfish.
Tour #11: The Path Within: Bowen's Reaction Series
There is also a row of igneous rocks on display immediately adjacent to the driveway, and near the NW entrance to the RockWalk path. These samples are meant to show the variation in igneous rocks due to their stage of development (e.g. in relation to Bowen’s Reaction Series). Generally the most ‘mafic’ of these specimens is at the entrance to the Park, and the composition gets progressively more ‘felsic’ as you move into the Park.
Norman L. Bowen (1887-1956) was a Canadian Geologist and a pioneer in “petrology”…the experimental study of the origin and chemical composition of rocks. Educated at Queen’s University, he spent most of his research career at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C.
This completes the guide for now. We hope you have been able to answer some of your questions. If you would like to learn more, please consult our website at http://www.temiskamingriftvalley.ca
Haileybury School of Mines Geology instructor Paul Bateman knew where to find the exhibits, based on years of field tours provided to HSM students. Graham Gambles (HSM Mining Technologist 1973) and many volunteers guided the loaders and transports to the right locations, then set the exhibits on their pedestals in the Park and added signage.
This guide was written and prepared by Paul Bateman, with helpful input from Graham Gambles and Chris Bremner. Any errors or omissions reflect the advances made in geology research since the millennium!
Our thanks to our original and on-going supporters:
- Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology
- City of Temiskaming Shores and Staff
- Alumni and Staff of Northern College Haileybury Campus
- Millennium Corporation of Canada
- All Federal & Provincial Funding agencies who have provided years of support
- Our regional elected representatives, at all levels of government
- The Business Community of Temiskaming District
- The volunteers who have been part of the RockWalk Park Board of Directors
- The students of Northern College, Haileybury Campus
- The residents of South Temiskaming, who bring friends and families to RockWalk!
- Bryan Lassi (student in geophysics at the University of Manitoba) who translated the document to French.