Jump to content
The007Fossil

Where To Go For Fossil Hunting Around Alpena, Michigan?

Recommended Posts

The007Fossil

Hello, I am new to this site but I have been fossil-hunting in michigan for a pretty long time.
I've travelled up to Alpena for fossil-hunting multiple times in the past, but I've only really visited Rockport Quarry (and a few other sites, which I probably won't return to). I've been researching the area lately and I've been trying to locate places where I could go if I wanted to find a larger variety of fossils... In Rockport Quarry I've found crinoid stems, corals, and brachiopods, but not much else- I would particularly love to find ammonites, trilobites, and complete crinoids-- that would be a dream come true.

I'm going with a friend to the regioin soon, so I was wondering if there were any places where I could find things like this... I understand that Patridge Point might contain trilobites, although the cliffs are private property... If anyone knows of any places where I could find such fossils, such information would be much appreciated!!

Additionally, I've been looking into information about the strata and local formations, and I've been wondering what the Genshaw formation, Ferron Point, and Bell shale might contain (and where I might be able to find exposures of rock with fossils for the taking).

Forgive me if I do not know the difference between formations or actual locations, but in my readings I've also found that the "Four Mile Dam" and "Newton River" might be places with particularly fossilferous rock- I do not know if these are actual places or simply formations.

Information as to where fossils might be would be much appreciated, especially about trilobites :DDD

Thank you very much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fossilcrazy

If you look up on the internet "Paleo Joe"; I recommend you contact him. Joe lives in Midland, MI and has been taking people around the Alpena area for many years now. I enjoyed his field trips and I'm rather jaded when it comes to Devonian field trips. Happy Hunting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crinus

Download this book from Deep Blue (University of Michigan). The back of the book has maps and over 100 localities for fossils in Alpena and Presque Isle counties. A lot are old and over grown but a lot are still accessible. The ones you mentioned will be listed.

Bell shale outcrops in the Rockport Quarry. You have probably walked on it.

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/48601

crinus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The007Fossil

Hello, thank you! I have met with Paleo Joe many times before, he's pretty awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The007Fossil

Would you have any reccommendations for places to visit, crinus?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crinus

Partridge Point is one of the best but these days if you go there, no tools. First the owners of the cliffs will get upset. Legally you can pick up anything on the beach along the cliffs and but if you have tools, look out for the property owners. They get very upset. At the point, if you have tools DNR will ticket you. Squaw Bay side of Partridge point is where the "ammonites" come from. Again, it could be a problem with the DNR. Too much digging over the years.

I always like the ditch at the radio station across from Evergreen Cemetery but last year the road commission filled it in about half way. It may still produce but not like before.

If you know Joe (Paleo Joe) (some people think I am Paleo Joe because I am also Joe and have the same initials) he can get into some of the area quarries other than Rockport. I think you can still get into Northern Aggregates on your own but it would have to be a weekday when they are not blasting. Our Ann Arbor club has an upcoming field trip in September and we will be going to LaFarge as well as Northern Aggregates. I really don't care for the LaFarge part because the quarry severely limits where you go. I also heard that the Northern Aggregates bioherm was blasted away and so it may not be as good. If you get it, the bioherm was at the southeast end of the quarry. LOTS of crinoids. buckets a few years back.

I haven't been to many of the other sites in years. You should use the book and check them out. Four mile dam was always good. It is a place and formation. Should be on the maps in the book I mentioned. Also Norway Point (locality and formation) was good but I think it is a parking lot now.

The Bell shale in Rockport always produces stuff. You just have to get on your hands and knees. Most of the stuff is very small and weathering out of the shale dump piles. You should be able to see the dump piles as you are walking north into the quarry. The gray mud is Bell Shale. You will see it before you get to the actual quarry. I will see if I can find the spot on google and add it to this topic.

crinus aka Joe K but not PaleoJoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crinus

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Rockport+Michigan&hl=en&ll=45.202965,-83.387893&spn=0.004067,0.009645&geocode=+&hq=Rockport&hnear=Michigan&t=k&fll=45.203132,-83.388602&fspn=0.004075,0.009645&z=17

This is the google map. Since I could not put a pointer I made the actual spot centered. Walk along that road from the parking lot. Gray piles that look like mud is Bell shale. As you walk along the road you will see a low spot (couple of feet at the most). This is the Bell shale in place. You will hit this before you get to the dump piles

The road you want to be on goes pretty much from SE to NW.

Edited by crinus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FruityJudy9210

Does anyone have any more recent information about Rockport or other public accessible areas?  I am not finding much information in my general searches online and really looking for Michigan locations to fossil hunt. Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crinus
On 7/11/2018 at 9:14 AM, FruityJudy9210 said:

Does anyone have any more recent information about Rockport or other public accessible areas?  I am not finding much information in my general searches online and really looking for Michigan locations to fossil hunt. Thanks in advance!

What exactly do you need to know about the Rockport Quarry.  It is a DNR site that allows you to collect fossils.

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FruityJudy9210

Hi Joe, what I have read about it indicates there isn’t much direction of where to look. I have read about “cliffs” that are now private property and that it is a mile or so from the parking area, but not having been there I was hoping for something more specific on where to be looking. If they are just kind of “everywhere “ then I will just keep my eyes peeled. Lol. I will be there next month. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crinus
10 hours ago, FruityJudy9210 said:

Hi Joe, what I have read about it indicates there isn’t much direction of where to look. I have read about “cliffs” that are now private property and that it is a mile or so from the parking area, but not having been there I was hoping for something more specific on where to be looking. If they are just kind of “everywhere “ then I will just keep my eyes peeled. Lol. I will be there next month. 

There are definitely fossils everywhere in the quarry.  It just depends on which formation you want to look in.  Bell Shale is outside the actual quarry and you will see piles of it along the path to the quarry  (45°12'7.74"N  83°23'12.39"W )  These are Google Earth coordinates for where you will see Bell Shale +/- 100 feet in all directions.  I look for crinoids and blastoids there.  From this point if you go west over the berm you will be in the actual quarry.  This is Rockport Quarry Limestone.  There you will find all sorts of corals, bryozoans, brachiopods etc,etc.  Fossils will be on every rock you see.  You may even find fish armor or even teeth.  Trilobites will be extremely rare in this area. 

 

The cliffs at partridge point ( 45° 0'33.39"N  83°25'58.51"W) are private property but the beach is open to everyone, if you can get there. Unfortunately the water is so high it will be a difficult walk.  Even getting to the parking area will be difficult as the road is in poor shape.  I was told last week that another person had bottomed out trying to get there. 

 

The ditch ( 45° 4'0.43"N  83°28'20.63"W) at the radio station is another place to look.  Mostly corals and  brachiopods.  The occasional blastoid but these are quite rare.  Unfortunately the ditch was partially filled in most of the good stuff was buried.  There also are fossils right across the main street.

 

If you download the book I mentioned earlier in this topic, there are well over 100 localities listed.  Most are gone or over grown but many are still there.  Almost all are small exposures. It is all a matter of hit or miss.  I usually spend time driving around looking for construction to find new exposures. 

 

FYI - Michigan is not great for fossil collecting.  They are actually very difficult to find in this state. The UP has a lot more than the LP.  You should try the fossil park at Paulding, Ohio  41°11'35.05"N  84°37'52.18"W.  You will not see anything on Google Earth as this is a fairly new site.  Don't bother with the fossil park at Sylvania, Ohio.  Too many restrictions.

Otherwise you have to travel to find fossils.

 

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The007Fossil

@FruityJudy9210 @crinus

 

Hey,

 

I just got done quickly speaking with PaleoJoe about Rockport, if you are still interested in going there. I've been there many times in the past few years and Paleo informed me that if you're at all interested in bony fish fossils, you can look near the back of the quarry. There some of the formations have a bit more carbon in them and look darker or black. Supposedly you can find fragments of bony fish. Unfortunately, none of their cartilage or fine structure has probably stuck around, so the fossils you find might end up just looking like weird blue rocks. I've found a couple of small fragments up there, but nothing good enough to be identifiable.

 

Then again, I've never really looked for bony fish in particular, and I didn't know that darker formations might have some. So hopefully this info helps.

 

Good hunting,

Foss

 

Edited by The007Fossil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FruityJudy9210

Sorry for the delay getting back to you.  Thanks for that information! I am definitely going, I will be there in a couple weeks and will wander that way to see what I can find.  What I can't figure out is if I can use tools at all there, you don't happen to know for sure, do you?  I am going to assume not, unless I find out otherwise. :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The007Fossil

@FruityJudy9210

 

I'm pretty sure it's fine to use tools at Rockport. When I went with Paleo everyone was using them, and I don't think you need special clearance. If there is some special rule, I was never told about it. Just make sure you don't lose your tools there, it's easy for them to get lost.

 

Best,

Foss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×