Mr. Williams' Geology Trail

The Mike Williams' geology trail was officially dedicated on October 18th. The goal of the Mr. Williams Geology Trail is to provide an outdoor educational resource for anyone who is interested, but in particular, in keeping with Mr. Williams’ legacy of excellence in science education. Interpretive signs explain local geological processes that formed the landscape features in the McInnis Canyons NCA that we all admire. The beginning of the trail is accessed through the City of Fruita’s Snooks Bottom parking area and the informative signs continue as the trail snakes its way up Opal Hill and Devil’s Canyon. The trail’s curriculum was written by Geologist Felicie Williams, author of the “Roadside Geology of Colorado” and “Roadside Geology of Utah” and wife of Mr. Williams. A dedicated and beloved science teacher at Fruita Monument High School, Mike was well known for his smile, his preference for brightly colored “Hawaiian” shirts, and his optimistic greeting of “It’s another beautiful day in paradise”; regardless of the weather outside! The trail is named in honor of Mike, who unexpectedly passed in 2007 while leading his Geology class on a field trip at Arches National Park. The trail’s signs feature a cartoon likeness of Mr. Williams, highlighting Mike’s awesome fashion sense and enthusiasm for science education. We encourage teachers to bring their classes to the trail for science field trips. As teachers become familiar with the trail and its curriculum we encourage them to share their lesson plans and experiences with other educators. The Geological information on the signs is detailed and extensive, but lessons could be tailored to any age group. This trail is the latest teaching resource located in the greater Fruita area. The Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey, Dinosaur Hill, and the Fruita Paleontological Area, are all located nearby. We can all honor the teaching legacy of Mr. Williams by encouraging young “Earth Scientists” (and older ones too!) to enjoy a hike, get dirty, and learn about the forces that have shaped our Earth.