Stop 10: Towering Cliffs



High cliffs of Berea Sandstone

Here is the view that always elicits a spontaneous “Wow!” from first-time visitors to Stebbins Gulch. This is the best exposure of the Berea Sandstone along Stebbins Run. By now we’ve progressed to just west of the big waterfall, which is just beyond the right border of this photo. Despite the massive, monolithic appearance of this outcrop, the layers that make up this cliff show a lot of variation that affects the topography and scenery as we continue up the creek. The Berea Sandstone is one of the most famous — and most quarried — geologic formations in the United States. Nicknamed “The Grit,” it was well known to early settlers as excellent material for fashioning millstones, thanks to the abrasive nature of the angular grains of hard quartz that make up the rock. The thickest beds show a remarkably uniform grain in all directions, making it an excellent dimension stone for construction.
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