Take a Trip Back in Time and Go Fossil Hunting at These 10 Texas Spots
Paleontologists from the Perot Museum recently dug up fossil remains of a mosasaur, which swam Earth's waters approximately 80 million years ago, according to a story by the Houston Chronicle.
Reading of this recent news about the unearthing of a sea lizard (a really big sea lizard) brought in a flood of great memories of when I used to go fossil hunting with my dad.
Anytime we'd visit his old hometown of Gainesville, Texas, we'd drive over to areas of the Red River that were dry and would stroll the rocky riverbed looking for fossils. We'd mainly only find fossilized remains (or impressions) of marine critters called Trilobites, but the fun we had was immeasurable.
Even though it was the femur of a dinosaur, those Trilobites last existed about 250 million years ago. Could you imagine those things creeping out other animals back in the day right here in the Lone Star State?
Maybe you'd like to create memories like that with your family. Well, you've come to the right place, because there are plenty of rad places in Texas where you can hunt fossils, as you'll see below.
Ladonia Fossil Park | Ladonia, Texas
The Sulphur River isn't always flowing, so when the waters are low (like above) then head to the riverbed for some fossil hunting. RockSeeker.com reports that the primary fossils in this area are from the Cretaceous Period and shark teeth are some of the most common fossils found.
Dinosaur Valley State Park | Glen Rose, Texas
Well, if it has "dinosaur" in the name, then there better be fossils. Dinosaur Valley State Park is just east of Stephenville and, along with dinosaur tracks, you should have quite a bit of success finding smaller fossils here, too. However, the dino-footprints are the main attraction of this place.
Mineral Wells Fossil Park | Mineral Wells, Texas
Next time you get married and need "something old" then swing on over to Mineral Wells and do some hunting for 300+ million-year-old fossils, most of which come from the Pennsylvanian Period.
Garner State Park | Concan, Texas
Garner is one of my favorite places on this planet. The camping is great, the river is nice and refreshing, and the hikes are gorgeous. Not only can you do all that, but you can find fossils along the riverbed or on your hikes. Just take Old Baldy Trail and keep your eyes peeled for fossilized sea snails and coral.
However, since Garner is a state park, you can't take the fossils you find. So, hunt them, adore them, take a selfie with them, then leave them where you found them.
Waco Mammoth National Monument | Waco, Texas
What happened to the Mammoths after Texas was hit by an Ice Age? Well, you'll see exactly what happened when you visit Waco's Mammoth National Monument. There are quite a few activities for kids to take part in that include fossil hunting and digging. Best of all, Waco is in Central Texas, so it's incredibly easy to get to.
Other areas to go fossil hunting here in Texas include:
Post Oak Creek | Sherman, Texas
Shark teeth and bone fragments are the most common fossils you'll find here.
Being that much of Texas was under water millions of years ago, it shouldn't come as a surprise to find fossilized marine life, including snails, coral, and shark teeth.
The shores of Lake Whitney are great places to look for fossils. Some that you might find are gastropods, cephalopods, and more. Just remember, Lake Whitney State Park prohibits taking fossils from the park.
McFaddin Beach | High Island, Texas
You won't find dinosaur-era fossils, but you will find fossils, nonetheless.
Jacksboro Spillway | Jacksboro, Texas
The small town of Jacksboro sees fossil hunters frequently as many fossils in that area pre-date dinosaurs. Once again, hit the banks of the river and start hunting.