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jugglerguy

Partridge Point, Alpena

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jugglerguy

I've just started looking for fossils around the Alpena area, where I live recently and thought I'd share a spot I just explored today. I bought my son the book, "Lake Huron Rock Picker's Guide" by Bruce Mueller and Kevin Gauthier and read that Partridge Point is a good place to find fossils. To get there, take US-23 to Partridge Point Road. If you enter on the south part of the road closest to Squaw Bay, it's 1.6 miles to a two-track road going to the beach. Although I drive a Jeep, I decided not to drive down the two-track because there was a very large ice covered puddle that I didn't think I'd make it through. It's just a short walk to the water. My daughter went off looking for a geocache in the area while my son and I went looking for fossils.

At first, we went toward Squaw Bay to the south and found lots of limestone, but very few fossils. As we worked our way to the north, toward Alpena, we found that almost every rock contained fossils. We found tons of crinoid stems. I didn't know what those were about two weeks ago, but they were everywhere and easy to recognize. At first I thought my son was showing me part of an old bolt though. We also found some shells, which I believe are called brachiopods and some coral. I didn't find any Petoskey stones though. We picked rocks just up from the water line and also where the old water line was. You can see where the water was before the Lake Huron water level dropped so low about 15 years ago. Everything is flat and then you'll see a small hill or berm. There may be better places to find fossils, but those are the places we found the most.

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jugglerguy

A couple more pictures:

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Auspex

Thanks for the report, and the pictures. That big, rocky beach looks like a lot of fun!

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piranha

Here is a LINK to an excellent paper on the Devonian trilobites of the Traverse Group of Michigan.

Alpena County and Partridge Point trilobites are detailed in the bulletin with collecting coordinates.

Attached is a nearly seven inch (6.92" :P) monster Dipleura dekayi collected from Partridge Point.

Hope you find one too! :D

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jugglerguy

I was just looking at that paper, Piranha. It refers to the bluffs along the shore of the point, but I saw nothing that even resembled a bluff. The trail went through a swamp and the old lake shore that I referred to is only about two or three feet high. Have you been to Partridge Point? Are there better places to look? I didn't get all the way around the part of the point where I could see houses, so maybe I need to go a bit farther north. The book about Lake Huron also mentioned that there was petrified palm tree wood somewhere on the point, but I really didn't know what I was looking for. I saw no giant trilobites either! I'll keep my eye out for them next time I go. I'd also like to find a crinoid head, but I'm not sure I'd recognize one if I saw it.

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piranha

We have members here from your neck of the woods that might be able to assist further. I have never been there to collect so just sharing this information with the hope you might find a few exciting trilobites. A Dipleura would be amazing but there are plenty of other trilobite possibilities in the general area of the Traverse Group. Good Luck in your search and please post any new fossil discoveries!

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astron

A couple more pictures:

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Nice report and wonderful hash plates and bryos, as well :rolleyes:

Thanks for sharing them and happy new year ;):)

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glacialerratic

The bluffs where the trilos were once collected are now private property, and have house perched atop them. :(

That's really a sweet spot. Try flipping over the rocks on the beach to find blastoids.

The DNR trolls that spot, though, and you can be cited for "natural resource destruction" if they catch you breaking up rocks with a hammer... best to leave your tools in your vehicle.

Crinus once showed me some amazing goniatites out of the Squaw Bay.

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crinus

Where the houses are is where the cliffs are. You cannot dig into the cliffs. That is private property. But the shore is public and nothing says that you cannot walk along the shore and pick up stuff that falls from the cliff. I walk the shore in the spring to see what falls out of the cliff. I have never seen a trilobite fall out but the large crinoids do come tumbling down and so does the occassional large Placoblastus. Just DO NOT take a hammer with you and no one will bother you. If you have a hammer with you look out for some very angry land owners. On a rare occassion, a large part of the clif can come falling down. On those occassions, I ask the owner of that section if they mind if I look through the stuff. Generally it is not a problem.

The north side of the point is Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Formation. The south side is Squaw Bay and the Squaw Bay formation. Completely different rock and fossils. The goniatites (look like ammonites) are abundant on the Squaw Bay side but they are found below the water. I haven't done it in years but during the summer months you would pull up rock from below the water line and split that. It is hard limestone and difficult to work. All the easy stuff has probably been picked over.

Here is one of those amazing goniatites that michigantim referred too. They can up to 3 inched in diameter as this one is. Many are in the one to two inch area.

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Edited by crinus

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sixgill pete

The plate in the first part of your post is awesome. Congratulations on some great finds!!!

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jugglerguy

If it's illegal to break rocks there with a hammer, is it ok to take rocks from the area?

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glacialerratic

Hi jugglerguy, yes, it is still okay to take rocks from Partridge Point, for your own personal collection.

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