“Rocks that ring like a bell”
Ringing Rocks are rocks that have the property of resonating like a bell when struck, such as the Musical Stones of Skiddaw in the English Lake District as well as the stones in Ringing Rocks Park, in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA and the Bell Rock Range of Western Australia. Ringing rocks are also known as sonorous rocks or lithophonic rocks, as used in idiophonic musical instruments called lithophones. Ringing Rocks Park is a county park in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania at 40.56316°N 75.12689°W. The ringing rocks in that area are diabase. In 1965, geologist Richard Faas of Lafayette College took a few of the rocks back to his lab for testing. He found that when the rocks were struck they created a series of tones at frequencies lower than the human ear can hear. An audible sound is only produced because these tones interact with each other. Although Faas's experiments explained the nature of the tones, they did not identify the specific physical mechanism in the rock which made them.
This is a great addition to any road trip for several reasons. First, while it was pretty far off of our route, the drive was beautiful. The stone structures in this area are quite nice to look at, and the open spaces and waterways provide a great scenic drive. Second, the park itself was a great time. The rocks themselves were fun to climb around on in order to find the best sound. Plus, the surrounding woods and trails provided a nice outlet to stretch our legs. There is also, supposedly, a waterfall. We did not make it out there as another patron told us it was dry, but maybe next time! A few tips: bring a hammer, and maybe even googles or sunglasses for little ones, as the rocks do throw off small pieces when you hit them. Also, make sure you are dressed appropriately. This is literally a field of rocks, and involves a lot of climbing and maneuvering.
While a beautiful park and a fascinating sight to behold, the rocks are a bit difficult to actually ring. I would definitely recommend the visit; though be prepared to be climbing all over thousands of rocks!
We had a lot of fun with the kids climbing around and ringing the rocks. We only had one hammer but even using other rocks to knock with worked pretty well. It was a good stop on the way and the surroundings when we drove in were very nice.
The whole family loved this odd off-the-path spot! Just don't forget to bring a hammer (we used a tire iron to ring the rocks)...
Bring a hammer. Easy hike.
Forgot a hammer, but even using a smaller rock works well! Wasn't too difficult to find the ringing rocks- we found several at varying ringing tones without venturing too far in. Be careful climbing around the rocks (uneven path since you have to maneuver yourself around large rocks), so wear the right shoes!
Stopped by last year! If you forget a hammer it seems that there's usually a few metal golf clubs left by the path to use.
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Ringing Rocks County Park
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
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