Fossil Hunting Day Trips in the DC metro area
April 30, 2007 1:29 PM   Subscribe

DC area fossil hunting day trip - I'm trying to set one up for several families with children between 5 and 9. We live in NoVA, but we're willing to drive a few hours if we have to.

We'd like it to be cheap, and we would definitely like to be able to keep the things that we find. Does such a thing exist around here?
posted by Irontom to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a kiddie, we went fossil hunting at Calvert Cliffs State Park. It sounds like it might be a long walk for a 5-year-old, though.

(On the same trip, we toured the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power reactor. In retrospect, that seems like an odd field trip.)
posted by craichead at 1:50 PM on April 30, 2007

Seconding Calvert Cliffs.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:51 PM on April 30, 2007

Calvert Cliffs also has a beaver dam (or at least it did a year and a half ago) that should be fun for kids to see. When we paid the entry fee they actually warned us about it (it resulted in several trails flooding), so whoever is working the entry will probably know if it is still there.
posted by exogenous at 3:07 PM on April 30, 2007

George Washington's Birthplace or Westmoreland State Park are the places to go if you want to hunt for sharks' teeth. And, it's not that far from DC.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:35 PM on April 30, 2007

(also, you can find other things there as well. Great places to visit, and you can get a history lesson in as well.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:36 PM on April 30, 2007

Or you could get in touch with this guy.
posted by landedjentry at 6:37 PM on April 30, 2007

Many municipal beaches on the Chesapeake Bay are great places to find whales teeth, sand dollars, and (most thrillingly) sharks teeth.

It's a no-brainer to recognize them once you've seen the common shapes. A few minutes of looking yourself in the line of detrius on the shore will show the children what to look for. Then you can sit back in the shade with the cooler and chill as they run up intermittently to boast of what they found. Keep a ziplock for each of them, as they're easy to drop and lose. Bonus points if you find a guide to identifying the different species. Double bonus points if you can keep everyone from getting sunburn. Triple bonus points if you can keep them from poking the washed-up jellyfish with a stick.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:22 AM on May 1, 2007

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