Why are some roads red?

Ever notice that some roads are red? The color is determined by the aggregate used to build them. Most roads are black or grey because most rock aggregate is black/grey. Rock from quarries like the Kemptown quarry gives roads a reddish color.

The Kemptown quarry’s granite looks red from a distance but up close it is actually a mixture of red, orange and grey. That is because it contains a high percentage of orthoclase feldspar which is red/orange in color.

Stone from the Kemptown quarry, in Colchester County, was also used in the rock garden at Dalhousie’s agricultural campus in Truro. The rock garden was built in 2002 and covers over half an acre. Six hundred tons of Kemptown granite were used to build it.

The rock garden and the others on the agricultural campus are tourist attractions. The rock garden also offers an opportunity for students to learn about unusual plants and how to create effective habitats in which to grow them.

Dalhousie Agricultural campus rock garden.

Kemptown Quarry.