AAA Editor Notes
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is 2.5 mi. s. off SR 4 Somersville Rd. exit. The preserve's 6,286 acres are a haven for hikers, picnickers and those who enjoy nature and a chance to explore the region's mining past. Five coal mining towns prospered here in the late 1800s; in the 1920s underground mining for sand replaced coal mining. A cemetery is virtually all that remains of those communities.
The Greathouse Visitor Center, in a 1920s underground chamber, was the original opening into the sand mine. It now has exhibits about the sand mine and the lives of the coal miners and brochures about the park's facilities and hiking trails. A tour through the Hazel-Atlas Mine lets participants see how the sand was mined to make glass objects. The preserve has 65 miles of trails through grasslands, woodlands and forests.
Note: At press time the Greathouse Visitor Center was closed for construction; phone for updates.
Pet friendly (call for restrictions/fees.). Recreational activities are permitted. Camping is permitted. Picnicking is permitted. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.