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/...

Pack List

  • Fossil Hunting Permit from Visitor Center
  • Water Bottle
  • Daypack 
  • Camera
  • Fossil ID Guide Book
Show More
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Camp at Morgan's Riverside Campground

110 Saves

Hike to Cedar Cliff Falls

299 Saves

Hike the North Rim of the Little Miami River

115 Saves