Day 229: Fossil Hunting at Calvert Cliffs State Park

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, take a day to enjoy the outdoors and go fossil hunting at the Calvert Cliffs State Park!  This awesome park has a sandy beach, unique fossils, recycled tire playground, a freshwater and tidal marshland, and 13 miles of hiking trails.  The massive cliffs where the park gets its name from line the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for thirty miles in Calvert County and were formed over 15 million years ago when all of Southern Maryland was covered by a warm, shallow sea.  When the sea receded 20-25 million years ago, marking the end of the Miocene period, cliffs were exposed and began eroding.  Today these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species Including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes!

To search for fossils, you will have to hike 2 miles from the parking lot, along an unimproved trail to the cliffs/beach area.  Can you believe that over 600 species of fossils have been identified from these cliffs?!?  The most common fossils you’ll find are shark teeth from all sorts of species.  Visitors may hunt for fossils on the open beach area and keep what they find, but be sure to leave some history behind for others to find and enjoy!

So make a day of it, bring a picnic lunch, some fishing poles, and the family dog and get to know the wild history of Southern Maryland through fossils!

Where: Calvert Cliffs State Park, 9500 H. G. Trueman Road, Lusby, Maryland

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Price: $5 per vehicle ($7 per out of state vehicle)

Photo courtesy of Bottlesplus on Flickr

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