Not far past Woodlawn Beach State Park (heading from the city) sits Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Preserve. Incredibly, there are tons of city dwellers who are not aware of this park, because Tifft Nature Preserve is conveniently located right over The Skyway. But for WNY fossil hunters, there’s nothing like Penn Dixie (a former cement quarry in Hamburg).
Ranked as the #1 fossil park in the U.S. in a 2011 scientific study.
Penn Dixie’s 2018 fossil hunting season kicks off* on Saturday, April 21, which is the same day that the site is hosting an Earth Day Cleanup, from 10am to 2pm. Visitors/volunteers are welcome to walk the 54 acre park, while picking up some litter along the way. It’s the least that we can do for the prehistoric playground, which provides us with plenty of activities including fossil collecting, astronomy programs, and nature tours. All ages are welcome. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Volunteers may sign up by emailing Dr. Phil Stokes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penn Dixie welcomes science enthusiasts from around the globe to uncover trilobites, brachiopods, crinoids, and corals that lived in a shallow ocean 380 million years ago.
During the spring, visitors can fossil hunt from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays. Visitors are welcome to bring their own gear or rent equipment from the park.
Full information about hours and rates can be found at penndixie.org/hours-and-rates.
Lead image: Photo of a baby trilobite found by a Penn Dixie guest in June 2017