Fossil Hunt at Caesar Creek

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Added by Dan Barr

While Ohio may lack the geographic geology of other states, its fossil record is one of the best in the world, with the Ordovician bedrock found at Caesar Creek State Park being the premier locale to hunt for fossils in the state.

The location of the fossil hunt is within the emergency spillway of the Caesar Creek Dam. Once there, simply look at the ground and at any rocks in the vicinity. It won't take long to find a variety of Ordovician fossils; Trilobites (Ohio's State Fossil), Horn Coral, Gastropods, Brachiopods, and Bryozoans are all plentiful, with rarer occurrences of Cephalopods and Crinoids.

NOTICE: The Emergency Spillway is managed by the Louisville District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, who allow for the collection of fossils, so long as you obtain a permit to do so. A collecting permit can be obtained from the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center for FREE just 0.6 miles down the road within the park to the west. Their only stipulations are that no tools be used to excavate, you do not climb on the cliffs of the spillway, do not remove any fossils lying outside the spillway itself, and that you not remove any rock that is bigger than the palm of your hand. 

For all the details and regulations that the US Corps of Engineers have about the fossil collecting at Caesar Creek, check out their website at the following link: http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/...

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🥇Top Contributor

9 months ago

Fossils Everywhere!

My wife and I visited thinking it may be difficult to find fossils, but at least encouraged a bit by online resources. On arrival, we were astounded to realize that literally every rock along the walls has multiple fossils! They were everywhere! We mostly found shell fossils, although we did see several other types with the coral fossil being my personal favorite. This time around we did not bother to gain a collecting permit, so we left without taking any home. Next time we visit perhaps we will get a permit and bring back out favorites!

Fun Hike

This place has so much more than just a fossil hunt or hike. There are parks, boating, a huge 13 mile hike around the entire lake. Plenty of fun for a very full day. The visitor center was very helpful and knowledgeable- so I'd start there and then start exploring.

Good Day Hike

Take the loop around the lake for a fun day hike. Search fossils. Walk to the Pioneer Village.

181 total saves

4.7/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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