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Guide to Fossil Hunting in Northern Ohio, including Fossil Park


Guide to Fossil Hunting in Northern Ohio, including Fossil Park

Sylvania Weather

Northern Ohio Fossils

The Fossil Park Area; Sylvania, Lucas Co., OH

~ 370 - 400 Million Years Old
Middle Devonian
Silica Formation

This is your place for Devonian fossil hunting, including Trilobites and Brachiopods!

This shows fossil hunters hunting in the Hanson quarry. This quarry is now closed to collectors. As one can see, the Silica formation is nicely exposed.

This is a quarry at Paulding that exposes the Silica shale fossils. This quarry is also now closed to collecting.

Brachiopods are by far the most common fossil. They come in many different shapes and sizes.

Why Are There Fossils Here? About the Silica Formation Fossils

In the middle Devonian, a vast sea covered Ohio. The sea floor was very muddy, creating a remarkable place for fossilization to occur. The Silica Formation in northwest Ohio represents this marine environment from the middle Devonian; it leaves a well-preserved and abundant fossil record. The preservation of these Devonian fossils are among the best in the world. In this formation, one can find the abundant remains of early fish, corals, brachiopods, echinoderms, and trilobites (especially Eldredgeops - formerly Phacops). These exquisitely preserved fossils are found in soft gray shale and quickly weather free from matrix.

The Silica formation is only accessible through quarries in the area. However, access to these quarries is restricted, the Hanson quarry provides spoil from the Silica formation for a Fossil Park in the area, where people are welcomed to collect.

Location: Where are the fossils: About Fossil Park

Fossil Park in Ohio

Fossil Park

Fossils at Fossil Park, Ohio

5675 Centennial Road, Slvania, OH 43560

GPS Coordinates: 41° 42.8" N, 83° 44.6" W

Fossil Park is directly across the road from the Mayberry Square Plaza

Go to the address above and not to the Main Olander Park address, Olander Park is not near the Fossil Park

Google Map of Fossil Park in Ohio

About the Park
A few employees of the Hanson Quarry came up with an idea to allow the public access to these famous Devonian collecting grounds. They came up with an idea that eventually became Fossil Park!

Fossil Park is open to the public.
In the park, truckloads of Silica Shale from nearby quarries are dumped into a few large areas, where the public can simply hand split the shale, and find the same fossils one can find in the quarries.

Visitors are guaranteed to find brachiopods and corals from the ancient Devonian reef. The more dedicated collectors can find parts of Trilobites and sometimes even whole ones.

The Fossil Park is a GREAT place to bring kids!


Fossil Park is open DAILY from the 1st weekend in April to the 2nd weekend in November
Read the Fossil Park sign in the image below for more information.

Fossil Park is only staffed on the Weekends during the spring and summer months.

Admission: FREE


  • The park has two dig sites and a trail around the quarry. It is also staffed with knowledgable people that will help identify your finds.

  • Families and Groups find lots of fossils, mainly brachiopods and corals.

  • No tools are allowed to split the shale. If you want to split, get a larger rock and pound the smaller rock with it, like a caveman!

  • Fossil Park Rules Sign in Ohio - Devonian Fossils

    View a Sample of Fossils Found in the Silica Formation:

    If you plan on collecting Devonian fossils in Ohio, click the image below to go to the fossils that can be found.

    Recommended Fossil Collecting Equipment:

    No equipment is allowed in Fossil Park. A box and towels are recommended to store the fossils you find.

    Although they have shade, restrooms, and water, it still can get VERY hot in the summer. Dress appropriately and bring items such as a hat, sunscreen, extra water, and a snack.

    Recommended Books for Fossils of Ohio:

    Fossils of Ohio (Bulletin 70)
    By Rodney M. Feldmann (ed)
    Copyright 1996
    State of Ohio Div. of Geological Survey

    This book is a MUST for anyone collecting in Ohio or nearby Devonian formations. It has detailed descriptions and images of 100's of fossils one can find throughout Ohio, including the Cincinnati Arch. It can be ordered through the link above.

    A Sea without Fish: Life in the Ordovician Sea of the Cincinnati Region (Life of the Past)
    Life of the Past series: Richard Arnold Davis, David L. Meyer
    Copyright 2009, Indiana University Press

    This book gives a comprehensive view of life in the Ordovician seas. This wonderful introduction to the geology and paleontology of life in Ohio 450 million years ago is full of illustrations. If you have ever wondered what exactly the Ordovician of Ohio and the surrounding states looked like, this is your window!

    Ohio Rocks!
    By Albert B. Dickas
    The author, a personal acquaintance of mine, is a Geologist that grew up in Ohio. His book is filled with beautiful pictures and wonderful information about Ohio's most interesting geologic sites. He does a great job writing these type of books. I recommend this book for anyone who lives in or is curious about Ohio's interesting geologic past.

    Recommended Fossil Clubs in the Area

    Dry Dredgers

    The Dry Dredgers is a Cincinnati based fossil club. Their club and website is a wonderful resource on fossils of ohio. They take regular field trips around the Cincinnati region.!

    North Coast Fossil Club

    This is another great fossil club based out of Cleveland. They also take regular field trips to fossil sites in and around Ohio.

    About the Author

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