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Desmond

Penn Dixie Site

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Desmond

This is a wonderful site for the simple reason that they don't mind big holes, in fact they love them!

I think the period is Devonian but was too busy swinging a sledge hammer to ask for more details on this trip =)

Here is their website

http://www.penndixie.org/

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Fossildude19

This is a great place to dig!

Staff are knowledgeable and friendly. Price was well worth what you can find.

One of the docents gave my son a nice rolled up Phacops trilo he found, cause my son hadn't found any yet!

He said, " You can't go all the way back to Connecticut, without a Trilobite!!":)

They also offered to let us stay, to dig past the closing time, we just had to move our car outside the gate! We didn't take them up on it, but it was nice they offered!

I really love this place.

Nice horn corals, brachiopods, and trilos to be found.

Highly recommend this to anyone in the Buffalo area!

5 stars,... 2 thumbs up, and 2 happy kids!

Edited by Fossildude19

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Auspex

So nice to find helpful and accommodating folks :)

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Darwin Ahoy

This is one of my possibilities for planning out a week long camping trip sometime this summer. I'd like to pitch myself near a good fossil or mineral site, and I keep thinking more and more about this one....

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Fossildude19

Well, this would be the place. In addition to Penn Dixie, there is a fossil museum nearby, (forget the name IF you ask at Penn Dixie they'll tell you about it) and many sites along Buffalo Creek , 18 Mile Creek, and Smoke Creek... and further east to Alden!

The major impediment is where to camp. :unsure:

There are plenty of State campgrounds, if you're tenting it and don't need electricity. Otherwise, the nearest RV friendly campgrounds are a bit of a haul.

If you end up choosing this as a destination, Anthony, ...PM me, ... and I'll give you some more detailed info! ;)

Edited by Fossildude19

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Darwin Ahoy

Thanks. It'd be the "roughing it" version of camping so that's all good. We've been getting more and more people out on medical leave at work lately, and I'm juggling so many people's jobs at this point...*sigh* hopefully it lets up soon enough before the weather starts getting colder. I need a vacation!

Edited by Anthony in NJ

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Fossildude19

Anthony,

Roger that! :(

I'm lucky enough to be going away this weekend, and 4th of July week.:)

Shoot me a PM if/when you get some time off, ...and want any extra info about that area.;)

Take care - hope things ease up for you at work! :unsure:

Regards,

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xonenine

Although Penn-Dixie has increased the Daily Rate from 6 to 7 dollars per day, it is still more than reasonable.

There are always friendly staff, and as has been said, they love big holes.The site has been collected for 20 yrs, and is mostly covered by overburden.Digging down 1 -2 feet yields great results, as well as just rummaging through the cast off.There's also a creek which yields amazing plates of brach, poly, crinoid, etc.

Operating Hours:May – October - Saturdays 9 AM to 4 PM & Sundays, 11 AM to 4 PM

Just mention if you might want to go, and your window(s) of opportunity.Carmine.:)

Edited by xonenine

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dalmanites14

what trilobites can you find there ;)

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Fossildude19

Try this Link.

Regards,

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RickNC

I'll be in NY this summer for about a week. I will be less than an hour from this site. I intend on fossil hunting while I am up that way and it seems this site is a good choice for adding some of these fossils to my collection. As you can see from my posts and location, this type of fossil hunting brings me way out of my element. Looks like I'll need rock hammers, pry bars, etc. These are tools that are not needed in the hunting I do here. I see digging down a couple feet is good which also applies here. Any other tips or info to make it worth my while? Thanks.

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Malcolmt

This is one of my possibilities for planning out a week long camping trip sometime this summer. I'd like to pitch myself near a good fossil or mineral site, and I keep thinking more and more about this one....

If you make it to Penn Dixie; plan to come up to the eurypterid quarry on the Friday. PM me if you want me to set it up as you get your plans together. You would need a passport or one of those enhances drivers licenses to get into Canada

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Malcolmt

I'll be in NY this summer for about a week. I will be less than an hour from this site. I intend on fossil hunting while I am up that way and it seems this site is a good choice for adding some of these fossils to my collection. As you can see from my posts and location, this type of fossil hunting brings me way out of my element. Looks like I'll need rock hammers, pry bars, etc. These are tools that are not needed in the hunting I do here. I see digging down a couple feet is good which also applies here. Any other tips or info to make it worth my while? Thanks.

Rick if you get near Penn Dixie and are interested in hunting the eurypterid quarry just across the border in Canada PM me and I will set it up. They only allow us in on Fridays though....

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MarleysGh0st

Rick,

Yes, you'll need a rock hammer and chisel, at least, but I found the volunteers at Penn Dixie very helpful when I visited, last year. They had a pry bar and helped me pry up a large slab for splitting, then they let me borrow a bigger hammer when the one I brought wasn't adequate for the job.

This thread that xonenine started in April gives an update of how they've prepared the site for this season. They really want all their visitors to have a productive hunt! :)

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/36435-penn-dixie-44-46/

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RickNC

Rick if you get near Penn Dixie and are interested in hunting the eurypterid quarry just across the border in Canada PM me and I will set it up. They only allow us in on Fridays though....

Thanks. Def going to visit Penn Dixie. I'd really like to add some of those type fossils to my collection. Seems like I will definitely find something good. I don't have a passport unfortunately but I'll look into it.

MarleysGh0st, thanks for that link. Pictures were great.

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Mediospirifer

My husband and I were hunting Penn-Dixie just last month. We had one rock hammer between us (which my husband made use of), while I focused on turning over loose pieces to see what I could find exposed. We were told that they had recently dug out the drainage ditch with a backhoe, and there were a lot of piles of rock lying around!

We started at the upper area in the pyrite bed, where we found several dozen Ambocoelia brachiopods, a few Tornoceras ammonites, several unidentified pelecypods, and some belemnite fragments, as well as pyrite nodules and what may be either crinoid stems or twiggy corals. All of these were very small--less than an inch! The brachiopods and ammonites in particular are around 1/4 inch across at the largest. They were lying loose on the surface, exposed by weathering, and very visible (dark brown) against the pale gray shale. I'd recommend bringing a lot of little plastic bags for collecting these.

In the main lower-level beds, we found lots of rugose horn corals (some of them geodized) and Eldredgeops rana (aka Phacops rana) trilobite pieces, including a few whole ones. There were also a few Greenops pieces. Brachiopods included Mediospirifer sp., Pseudoatrypa devoniana, and one Spinotrypa spinosa. We also found a chunk of Favosites coral, and a few belemnites, one of which has a nice pyritized golden sheen.

The age of the rocks we looked at are Devonian. Most of the site is Windom Shale.

Overall, a very fun trip. And, as Fossildude19 said above, they came around and told everyone that we could stay until dark if we wanted to, just park the cars outside the gate and walk back in. I think we were there for around 7-8 hours, and carried out at least 50 pounds of rocks.

My recommendations: This site does not have much in the way of facilities, just a couple of porto-pots and a pavilion, plus picnic tables. It's also very exposed. Wear a brimmed hat, bring lots of water, and sunblock! I also recommend a box of sandwich (or bead) bags and tissues for small finds. Also, if you park outside and re-enter, be aware that there was some poison ivy growing near the gate. It was easy enough to step around and over, but I'm glad that we saw (and recognized!) it.

Have fun!

Edited by Mediospirifer

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RickNC

My husband and I were hunting Penn-Dixie just last month. We had one rock hammer between us (which my husband made use of), while I focused on turning over loose pieces to see what I could find exposed. We were told that they had recently dug out the drainage ditch with a backhoe, and there were a lot of piles of rock lying around!

We started at the upper area in the pyrite bed, where we found several dozen Ambocoelia brachiopods, a few Tornoceras ammonites, several unidentified pelecypods, and some belemnite fragments, as well as pyrite nodules and what may be either crinoid stems or twiggy corals. All of these were very small--less than an inch! The brachiopods and ammonites in particular are around 1/4 inch across at the largest. They were lying loose on the surface, exposed by weathering, and very visible (dark brown) against the pale gray shale. I'd recommend bringing a lot of little plastic bags for collecting these.

In the main lower-level beds, we found lots of rugose horn corals (some of them geodized) and Eldredgeops rana (aka Phacops rana) trilobite pieces, including a few whole ones. There were also a few Greenops pieces. Brachiopods included Mediospirifer sp., Pseudoatrypa devoniana, and one Spinotrypa spinosa. We also found a chunk of Favosites coral, and a few belemnites, one of which has a nice pyritized golden sheen.

The age of the rocks we looked at are Devonian. Most of the site is Windom Shale.

Overall, a very fun trip. And, as Fossildude19 said above, they came around and told everyone that we could stay until dark if we wanted to, just park the cars outside the gate and walk back in. I think we were there for around 7-8 hours, and carried out at least 50 pounds of rocks.

My recommendations: This site does not have much in the way of facilities, just a couple of porto-pots and a pavilion, plus picnic tables. It's also very exposed. Wear a brimmed hat, bring lots of water, and sunblock! I also recommend a box of sandwich (or bead) bags and tissues for small finds. Also, if you park outside and re-enter, be aware that there was some poison ivy growing near the gate. It was easy enough to step around and over, but I'm glad that we saw (and recognized!) it.

Have fun!

What area is the pyrite bed? I was directed into the pit and told to dig out the hard shale at the bottom even though we found a lot more stuff in the softer shale above that.

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Mediospirifer

What area is the pyrite bed? I was directed into the pit and told to dig out the hard shale at the bottom even though we found a lot more stuff in the softer shale above that.

It's the highest elevation area at the site, comprised of what's probably the softest shale. We found it by asking at the pavilion for it specifically. The folks there were a little bit surprised that we were asking about it, but happily directed us. They also had a display of what could be found in the bed, with fossils glued to a printed page with ID information.

As you first walk into the site, approaching the pavilion from the gate, there's a paved path to the left that goes over a rise of soft, fragmented shale. That's the top of the pyrite bed--you want to walk along the slope below and to the right of the path. There are bronzy-colored fossils and nodules all over the surface (especially after a rain, I'm told), and it's very easy to fill a small bag without moving around much.

The spot with the highest concentration of fossils/nodules is at the bottom of the slope, where the ground starts to get muddy. That's where we found most of the belemnite pieces.

We tried digging to see what the concentration below the surface was like, but didn't find much that way.

If you walk from there towards the pit, keep your eyes open. We found several partial brachiopods (not yet ID'd but probably Mediospirifer) that appear to still be composed of the original shell material and were not in matrix, lying on top of the dirt. Just like picking up broken scallops at the beach...

Happy hunting!

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RickNC

It's the highest elevation area at the site, comprised of what's probably the softest shale. We found it by asking at the pavilion for it specifically. The folks there were a little bit surprised that we were asking about it, but happily directed us. They also had a display of what could be found in the bed, with fossils glued to a printed page with ID information.

As you first walk into the site, approaching the pavilion from the gate, there's a paved path to the left that goes over a rise of soft, fragmented shale. That's the top of the pyrite bed--you want to walk along the slope below and to the right of the path. There are bronzy-colored fossils and nodules all over the surface (especially after a rain, I'm told), and it's very easy to fill a small bag without moving around much.

The spot with the highest concentration of fossils/nodules is at the bottom of the slope, where the ground starts to get muddy. That's where we found most of the belemnite pieces.

We tried digging to see what the concentration below the surface was like, but didn't find much that way.

If you walk from there towards the pit, keep your eyes open. We found several partial brachiopods (not yet ID'd but probably Mediospirifer) that appear to still be composed of the original shell material and were not in matrix, lying on top of the dirt. Just like picking up broken scallops at the beach...

Happy hunting!

Got your message too late but I did find the area. I didn't find anything in that stuff except for a few broken trilos. I was hoping for an ammonite but no luck.

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Mediospirifer

Got your message too late but I did find the area. I didn't find anything in that stuff except for a few broken trilos. I was hoping for an ammonite but no luck.

Huh. I'm sorry to hear that. I wonder if the area's been picked over since I was last there? We were finding nodules and tiny brachiopods everywhere in that area, with occasional other things mixed in. One thing we didn't find there was trilobites! They were down near/in the pit.

The pyritized pieces are small--I don't think we found anything larger than an inch, and our biggest ammonite wasn't much larger than 1/4".

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RickNC

I bet I was doing it wrong then. The area looked untouched to me. I bet I was too high. I was looking through the lighter colored shale. It didn't feel right. I was going to ask but the people working were tied up with a kids day camp. Next time!

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Mediospirifer

Next time you go, look to the left (west) from the parking lot area. There's a paved path in that direction that goes over a small rise after a bit of a walk. You want to walk parallel to the path on the right, along the slope. There are several small rainwater channels that lead to a flattish, somewhat muddy (if it's wet) area. We were finding things all over that slope, especially in the muddy area, just lying on the surface.

The area does look fairly untouched. Most visitors go to the pit to dig, and the pyrite bed is quite a ways from there. Plus, digging there isn't really worth the effort! It's soft shale and easy to dig, but the fossils in the matrix are fairly sparse. We saw lots of footprints, but not much sign of digging--and I'll bet that the diggings we created got camouflaged by the next rain!

I doubt you were too high, unless you were on the left side of the path. You may have been too close to the parking lot.

Good luck next time! I hope you found some good specimens in the main pit, and didn't waste too much time in the wrong place! And I hope you enjoyed the day, regardless of your hunting luck.

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RickNC

Next time you go, look to the left (west) from the parking lot area. There's a paved path in that direction that goes over a small rise after a bit of a walk. You want to walk parallel to the path on the right, along the slope. There are several small rainwater channels that lead to a flattish, somewhat muddy (if it's wet) area. We were finding things all over that slope, especially in the muddy area, just lying on the surface.

The area does look fairly untouched. Most visitors go to the pit to dig, and the pyrite bed is quite a ways from there. Plus, digging there isn't really worth the effort! It's soft shale and easy to dig, but the fossils in the matrix are fairly sparse. We saw lots of footprints, but not much sign of digging--and I'll bet that the diggings we created got camouflaged by the next rain!

I doubt you were too high, unless you were on the left side of the path. You may have been too close to the parking lot.

Good luck next time! I hope you found some good specimens in the main pit, and didn't waste too much time in the wrong place! And I hope you enjoyed the day, regardless of your hunting luck.

That's where I was except I was in those flat rocks off of the sidewalk higher up than the muddy area. I started near the fence and walked to about halfway to the parking lot. I spent about an hour or so over there. Sounds like I should have walked down closer to the main pit.

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Mediospirifer

That's where I was except I was in those flat rocks off of the sidewalk higher up than the muddy area. I started near the fence and walked to about halfway to the parking lot. I spent about an hour or so over there. Sounds like I should have walked down closer to the main pit.

Possibly you should have been closer to the fence. I don't remember any flat rocks in the area, just tiny fragmented shale pieces in the size range of an inch or smaller, cut through with runoff channels. I wasn't right next to the path, though, but I also wasn't far from it, just a few yards north. I think I was closer to the fence than the parking lot, but I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the fence. I was looking at the path and the land contours.

I guess the best suggestion I can make is to ask someone at the welcome tent next time you go. They were able to point to it while telling us how to find it. Good luck!

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