Perhaps you watched “Jurassic Park” a few too many times or you’ve just always had a fascination with fossils. Either way, you’re always searching for a way to indulge the amateur archeologist within you. Museums provide some insight into archeology and fossils, but nothing is more exciting than finding the preserved remains of plants and animals on your own. If you’re searching for a place to uncover the treasures of former geological eras, head to these public fossil hunting sites throughout the USA.
USA Fossil Hunting Site #1
Caesar Creek State Park – Waynesville, Ohio
Although Ohio may lack the geological sites of other states, Caesar Creek State Park is an excellent choice to find fossils dating back to the Ordovician era over 440 million years ago. During this era, several strange species roamed the area, giving you the opportunity to find the fossils of various brachiopods, gastropods, or trilobites — the Ohio state fossil. Make sure to grab a fossil collection permit from the park’s visitor center before you start your search.
Fossil Hunting Site #2
Although Westmoreland State Park covers over 1,300 acres, the 1.5-mile stretch along the Potomac River provides an unprecedented chance to get your hands on fossils from the Miocene Era. Fossilized whale bones, crocodile teeth, porpoise teeth, and parts of stingrays are all found here, but the gold medal prize is a tooth from a megalodon. These gigantic creatures related to the shark family measured up to 60 feet long with teeth the size of your hand. Find one of these teeth, and you’ve hit the fossil-hunting jackpot.
Fossil Site #3
Open from late April until early October, Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve gives you ample chances to find fossils for just $10 a person. Ranked as the top fossil park in the country, Penn Dixie allows you to unearth fossils from the Middle Devonian era. Some of the most common fossils include trilobites, prehistoric crabs, ancient mollusks, and petrified wood. With the age of creatures ranging as far back as 300 million years, you can take home a part of history.
Fossil Hunting Location #4
Florissant Fossil Quarry is one of the rare public fossil hunting sites that provides tools and instruction as you dig. With these experts and tools at your disposal, you have a far greater chance of discovering bird, insect, and plant fossils. Thick layers of shale showcase creatures from several different eras while also giving you a wide breadth of creatures to discover. The price is $10 per person.
Fossil Site #5
If you want even more adventure on your fossil hunt, head to the Peace River in Florida. Using snorkeling gear, you can dive under the water to find bones from mastodons and camels, as well as shark teeth and even an occasional megalodon tooth. A permit is required to find take anything out of the area, so make sure to grab one before you hit the water.
No matter where you decide to unleash your archeological desires, you’ll hopefully find a fossil to add to your private collection. At London Coin Galleries in Newport Beach, we specialize in numismatic coins and beyond. Our Orange County gallery is filled with fossils from around the world along with many other unique finds.