Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Sideling Hill, Washington County

Return to Maryland geology tour index

One of the best rock exposures in Maryland and indeed in the entire northeastern United States is located approximately 6 miles west of Hancock in Washington County, where Interstate 68 cuts through Sideling Hill. Almost 810 feet of strata in a tightly folded syncline are exposed in this road cut. Although other exposures may surpass Sideling Hill in either thickness of exposed strata or in quality of geologic structure, few can equal its combination of both. This exposure is an excellent outdoor classroom where students of geology can observe and examine various sedimentary rock types, structural features, and geomorphic relationships.

Sideling Hill
Sideling Hill

The Maryland State Highways Administration permanently closed the Sideling Hill Visitor Center located on the eastern side of the hill; however, the parking lot, paved walkways, observation bridge and restrooms remain open. The Maryland Geological Survey regrets the loss of educational resources at this premier earth science site.

To learn about the geologic history and structure of Sideling Hill visit:
"The Geology of Sideling Hill"