Jump to content
MaximusTN

Tips for Fossil Hunting at W.M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park in Frankstown, MS

Recommended Posts

MaximusTN

Hello, 

After having lived in this area for my entire life, I just recently learned about the W.M. Cretaceous Fossil Park in Frankstown, MS. I have read pretty much everything I can find online including videos on YouTube. Without giving away your secrets, would you be able to give me some general places to look once I get down to 20 Mile Creek from the parking area (i.e. north of the parking area, south of the parking area)? Are there fossils up and down the creek or just in front of the outcropping that can be seen from the road? Were the teeth naturally present in the creek or did they wash in to the creek once the outcropping was exposed and then washed downstream from the origin?

 

I am heading down there soon with a shovel and sand sifter and specifically looking for shark teeth. I have read about recent success even after 20+ years. Who would have thought that there would be shark teeth in Northeast MS? However, I quickly learned of MS being covered mostly in water many, many years ago. 

 

Any tips or insight you can share would be most appreciative?

 

Thank you, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
-AnThOnY-

Right there by the parking area will be your best bet. You can travel upstream or downstream 30 yards or so and still be productive. The teeth erode directly from the walls of the creek and 'blind' mining directly into the wall is also productive. Most people tend to sift the creek bed however, focusing around the large concretions that are in the middle of the creek.

 

It is nowhere near as productive as it used to be when first discovered, but it still yields good finds of shark, ray and mosasaur. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JohnBrewer

I have absolutely no idea of the location or how far from you vehicle you need to travel but for me some of the most important things are water, food and fully charged communication. Make sure you show us your finds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rockhounding_USA

I spent about 3.5 hours there in the fall of 2017. Here is a short video field trip report about the location and where to look:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheBugMan

With regard to "blind mining" at the Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park in Frankstown: 1. We have lost three feet of edge of the Park side of the Creek since its dedication in 1995.  This is discouraged because it causes erosion problems for the Park.  2. The bluff across the creek is private property.  There is a tenant of the owner living behind the bluff.  There are some very large trees at the bluff's edge.  I am sure Mr. Davis doesn't mind if you search through the gravel and sand washed up at the bottom of the bluff, but trespass at your own risk.  3. Knowledge is your best fossil-hunting tool.  Shark teeth are common and I have found more interesting fossils in the piles of spoils gravel eft on thte concretions. 4. Speaking of the concretions.  They are one of the more photogenic features of the Park.  Whacking on them is a waste of time, as they mostly consist of incomplete and broken shell fragments.  Also they are State property.

 

Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park is one of the most accessible and generous fossil collecting sites in the US. We are in the process of improving the interpretation and amenities at the Park in preparation for its 25th anniversity in 2020.  We have hosted collectors from coast-to-coast.  And look forward to extending our hospitality to new and return visitors.

 

Doug Fleury, Chair

Fossil Park Project Committee  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FossilDAWG

Doug,

Thanks for your generous and timely insights into the sustainable use of the park.

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TNCollector

Your best bet is to collect at the base of the concretions directly at the entrance of the park. The gravel and heavier stuff tends to congregate there. And yes, please don’t dig into the cliffs, it causes them to collapse and is a lot of work for very little reward. The bluff is mostly Coffee sand formation with very little fossil material in it.

 

The site is not nearly as good as it used to be. But you can still find a few fossils there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dhebert1

Is anyone familiar with the corresponding water level at the park to that of the nearest river gauge for Twenty Mile Creek at Guntown, MS?  I'm considering an approximate 3.5 hr drive and would like to know if it will be shin/knee deep or neck deep before making the journey. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheBugMan

There is no gauge at Guntown.  Twenty-Mile Creek has been down during April, 2020, even after some rain.

 

The watershed for the Creek is north towards Booneville, MS, the County Seat.  A good rain after a dry spell usually subsides in a day.  A period of heavy rain usually clears after tow or three days.  Watching the weather for a week to ten days before should give you some idea.

 

When you go to the Fossil Park, you will probably meet the Fossil Park Ambassadors, a retired couple.  They should be able to tell you about conditions for future trips.    

 

Doug Fleury, Chairman, Fossil Park Project Committee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jazzrocks

It's never been higher than my waist and I've been right after rain too. Usually between ankle deep and up to mid thighs. You can avoid the deeper middle if you need to. Good luck!

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.

×