Handbook of Geotourism
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Handbook of Geotourism

Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

Ross Dowling and David Newsome present an original, substantial and much-needed contribution to the field which will further our understanding of geotourism in theory and practice. This Handbook defines, characterises and explores the subject through a range of international perspectives and case studies, identifying geotourism as a rapidly emerging form of urban and regional sustainable development.
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Chapter 14: Generating interest in geotourism near urban areas through integration with historical sites: Iron Mine Trail, Sterling Forest, New York, USA

Alexander Gates


The Iron Mine Trail integrates geotourism with a historic site to enhance interest and relevance. The Sterling Forest area was the site of extensive magnetite deposits and mining as well as an iron smelter complex. The smelter produced iron that was important to the American Revolutionary War efforts, including production of the famous Great Chain that was strung across the Hudson River. Two dioramas in the Sterling Forest Visitor Center show: (1) the earlier smelter complex operation, and (2) the later mining operation. Visitors are invited to hike a short trail to observe the remaining parts of the two operations at full scale. The sites contain interpretive signs explaining the process of smelting iron, the Lake Mine operations and mining types, the severe environmental impact of mining and smelting, and the natural recovery of the area. Attendance is moderate and increasing steadily.

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