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Legal fern collecting sites?

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Hello PA Residents! In a Virginia collector and always admired the amazing ferns I see people posting from there. I have a few myself, but none I have actually collected personally. I'll be in PA very briefly next week and have time to go to one or two sites. But I am finding a lot pieces of info and none is to recent. I want to make sure we visit a still legal site to collect from that can get some results. I don't need the finds of the year, I just want to find my own fern fossil so any site will do even if all I can find are smaller pieces.


I saw someone mention Hancock Road, but advised to contact owners. If they are open to collectors does anyone have there info they can PM me?


I've also read about abandoned strip mines. Uncharted territory for me. Are those ok to collect from? If so can anyone name one to check out?


Saw mention about a "Carbondale" area near a school in another post but there didn't seem to be any follow up on what if anything they found.


Any help would be great, don't know when I'll get a chance to be up there again so I figured you guys might be able to steer me in the right direction. Last time I just tried to drive around looking for sites I never found a thing.

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Unfortunately, the St. Clair fossil site ( East Hancock St./Burma Rd /1006) is closed to collecting, except by school groups (students must be present.) It is owned by the Reading Anthracite Company, and they patrol the area and will arrest and charge people found with fossils or fossil collecting. :(  Another site lost to commercial greed.  You might ask at the Walmart or Home Depot if you can look around there...


St Clair.jpg



Carbondale PA is fairly overgrown, but there are still some fossils to be found. I have heard you can park at the school on the weekends, and hike up to the old spoil piles. 





Also, I've heard that some people stop at the spoil piles still visible in the area around Carbondale and Mayfield. 


carbondale 2.jpg




Keep in mind, this is all hearsay from people posting on here. 

Do a search for Carbondale here on the Forum, for further info.

Good Luck. 



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Jeffrey P

I've been to Carbondale three times. The last time was over two years ago. I go to the area that is above (north) of the apartment development north of the school. There is a dirt road that veers to the left that you can park along. Calamites bark is very abundant at the site, but you're also guaranteed to find at least a few ferns in the black and brown shale. One forum member found a dragonfly nymph there a few years ago. It is the same formation as the St. Clair site but the fern fossils don't stand out as much. It is a small outcrop but worth a day of exploring.

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In case anyone is still looking for sites:



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