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Voth1

Planning Trip To Dallas Area

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Voth1    0
Voth1

Hey guys.

I'm thinking about taking a trip to the Dallas area to do some fossil hunting in the next week or so. I'm a newbie and have been searching the internet to learn how and where.

I'm from Lake Charles, LA. and I don't really know anything about Texas fossil locations other than what I've read, such as, Mineral Wells, North Suphur River,  Lake Benbrook, and a couple of others.

My daughter and I are interested in trying this to see if it's something that we will like. I used to dig arrowheads in LA. 30 years ago and I really did enjoy finding a nice one. As a couple of newbies, finding anything would be awesome! I thought that my first stop would be Mineral Wells since the internet makes it sound like I'm almost guaranteed to find something. Any advice for my first hunt will be much appreciated.

I will be pulling a camper along with me, so any campsite info. close to the fossil locations would be great also.

Thanks

Stephen 

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Fruitbat    386
Fruitbat

Stephen...

 

If you have decided on Mineral Wells Fossil Park then you might want to visit their web page at this link: Mineral Wells Fossil Park for collecting rules, etc.   The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department operates Lake Mineral Wells State Park (link) which is very pretty.  There are a number of other RV-type parks of varying quality scattered around the area.  

 

You don't need much in the way of collecting equipment at Mineral Wells (in fact, they don't allow big shovels, picks, or the like).  A small hand-held shovel or trowel is generally adequate along with something to hold your finds (I usually carry a rock hammer, a screwdriver and a pocketful of zip-loc baggies of various sizes for the smaller stuff).  Be sure to take plenty of water as we're still having a few days with temperatures in the mid-90s around here and there is no running water at the park.  Shade is non-existent there so some people like to bring along umbrellas. A good hat (with a brim) can come in handy to cut the glare a little. The last time I was there, there were a couple of Port-A-Pottys but those were the only sanitary facilities available.  You might want to bring your own toilet paper just in case.

 

-Joe

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Voth1    0
Voth1

Thanks Joe, I think I'm going to head that way next Monday. I've found several old gps locations for roadcuts in the Glenrose area. Do you think the road cuts are worth checking out or is it a big waste of gas and time to travel to the various cuts.? Remember, I don't know what I'm doing. lol.   What do you think about Ladonia Fossil Park and or the river areas?     

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RyanNREMTP    56
RyanNREMTP

I can second the fossil park in Mineral Wells.  I know you will find something there.  Plenty of gastros and crinoids there to be found.  Also if you are lucky trilobites as well.  I think the last time I was there I had a kitty litter bucket that I scooped some matrix into so I could search through it when I'm bored and can't get out.

 

Another location is Lake Jacksboro about 30 minutes north of Mineral Wells.  It's another good site to hit up as well.  Like Mineral Wells there is no shade.  Unlike Mineral Wells there is a long walk along the top of the dam to get to the collecting zone.

 

No clue about road cuts. I've never really used them.

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Fruitbat    386
Fruitbat

The road cuts between Glen Rose and Dallas can be VERY productive, especially the closer to Glen Rose you are.  I've gotten some really nice stuff out of them...like the intact clam (both valves in place) pictured below:

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RyanNREMPT is right about the Jackboro area...but the last time I was at the Lake Jacksboro spillway, access to the best collecting sites was blocked and some official-looking characters on horseback seemed to be patrolling around.  HOWEVER...you don't have to actually go to the Lake Jacksboro spillway to find fossils in that area.  Many of the roadcuts in the vicinity of Jackboro and Bridgeport are VERY fossiliferous (mostly Pennsylvanian crinoid stems and brachiopods) but you'll find some that are virtually barren too!  They key to the roadcuts around the Jacksboro/Bridgeport area is PERSISTENCE!

 

-Joe

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Voth1    0
Voth1

Thats a nice clam! I will check the road cuts. I think that I will start out by going to Dinosaur Valley Park in Glenrose to glean whatever information I can. I'd like to see the dinosaur tracks then work my way up to Mineral Wells, Jacksboro, and possibly the Ladonia area. I was using Google Earth and noticed that just west of Glenrose on 205 there is river access off of 1008. Would this be a good place to look? I'm planning to take Hwy. 205 to 56 (Paluxy Hwy.), then meander towards Mineral Wells. Per your recommendation, I'm planning to stop at road cuts and bridges. Are all exposed road cuts worth looking at or is there a minimum depth of cut that you prefer? Are you finding fossils on top of the ground in road cuts? I'm assuming that you don't dig at road cuts. 

Thanks again for the info. that you've provided.

Stephen

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