Natural History Society of Maryland
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Natural History Society of Maryland

Fossil Collecting from the Middle Devonian at Beltzville State Park, PA

  • 06 Nov 2021
  • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • PA 18235


The NHSM Fossil Club is inviting you to come fossil hunting in Pennsylvania looking for remnants of life from the Devonian. Experienced fossil hunters will be on hand to offer guidance and interpretation.

When Beltzville Dam was built in 1960s , the deep cut for the spillway exposed a window into the Middle Devonian sea that was Pennsylvania 350 million years ago. The shale along one side of the spillway is riddled with impressions of brachiopods, bryozoa, corals, crinoids, and trilobites. Although complete trilobites are rare, shed sections of Eldgedgeops rana, Pennsylvania’s State Fossil, are fairly common.

The collecting area is a flat, open field surrounded by walls that reach between ten and 30 feet. There is a paved parking area in the center of the field where people can park very close to where they are picking through the rock. There is limited shade, so bring plenty of water.

This site is great for collectors of all ages and levels. The wall is steep and unstable due to loose scree in some places, but fossils can be found easily by simply scanning through the loose rock while walking on flat ground. Some people may wish to use hammers and chisels/screw drivers to pry open treasures from the wall.

What to bring:

  • Sturdy, closed-toed shoes
  • Water
  • Aluminum foil to wrap small, fragile specimens
  • Collecting bucket
  • Hammer and chisel (optional)

10:ooAM – 4:00PM – you do not need to stay the entire time. Come when you can, leave when you need.

Beltzville State Park – PA –

2950 Pohopoco Drive
Lehighton, PA 18235-8905

Natural History Society of Maryland’s Fossil Club is a group of novice and more experienced collectors will meet to exchange knowledge and help with fossil identification, discuss fossil locations, as well as other fossil related topics. Monthly meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at the Natural History Society of Maryland. Due to COVID, NHSM is opening up this club meeting to all. Non-members are asked to donate $5. If you are a fossil enthusiast, please consider joining ( The Natural History Society of Maryland is a volunteer-led non-profit organization, so the fee you pay will go directly to support the programs, the nature collections, and the building that make this kind of nature education possible

The Natural History Society of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and contributions are tax-deductible.

The mission of the Natural History Society of Maryland is to foster stewardship of Maryland’s natural heritage by conserving its natural history collections, educating its citizenry, and inspiring its youth to pursue careers in the natural sciences.

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