GEOLOGICAL SITES OF NEW YORK

LESTER PARK: A Gem of New York Geology

You can walk on a 490 million year-old tropical sea floor just northeast of Saratoga, New York. Lester Park, an outdoor exhibit, was donated to the Museum in 1914 as a "Scientific Reservation."

Lester Park lies on both sides of Lester Park Road off New York Rte. 9J and U.S. 29. It is marked by a blue and yellow State Education Department sign. The site has “teach-yourself” panels that explain the shallow sea floor and ancient stromatolite fossils on the east side of the road LP-1-2), the old lime kiln from the early 1900s on the west side of the road (LP-3-7), and the old Hoyt quarry (LP-8-13) at the end of a path just 50 yards west of Lester Park Road.

The fossils you'll see at Lester Park are called stromatolites ("layered rocks"). They were constructed by "blue-green algae" on a shallow sea floor that is now exposed. While they were growing, New York and the eastern US lay south of the equator. The stromatolites at Lester Park were the first described in North America and remain a valuable teaching aid for college and university classes nationwide.

Look and learn, but do not collect any rocks, plants, or animals. No reservations necessary, just stop by this free exhibit.


Directions to Lester Park:

mapFrom downtown Saratoga Springs take 9N west. Take a left on Middle Grove Road. Then take a left on Lester Park Road (also known as Petrified Gardens Road). Continue for about 500 feet.

 


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The New York State Geological Survey (NYSGS) is a bureau of
the New York State Museum in the New York State Education Department.
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