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Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve
Hamburg, NY

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2024 Dates

Late April - mid-June  & 
Labor Day - mid-October


Late June - Labor Day

Mon-Sat 9am-4:30pm 


Penn Dixie Private Expeditions

All Ages

Participation is subject to availability and is at the full discretion of the dig location. Prices and dates dates subject to change. All Terms + Conditions apply.

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About Penn Dixie Fossil Park

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve is one of the best-known fossil parks in the United States. It’s located close to Niagara Falls and is home to a seemingly inexhaustible and well-preserved supply of 380-million year old Devonian age fossils from an ancient coral reef.


This is an extremely fossil-rich location and visitors can collect and keep whatever fossils they find.  

Fossils found: Trilobites, rugose and tabulate corals, brachiopods, and crinoids 

Period: Middle Devonian

Formation: Ludlowville & Moscow Formation

All the digs featured on Ancient Odysseys are non-profits and rely upon visitors and donations to continue their important scientific work. Please consider donating if you would like to support this organization's mission. All donations are tax deductible.

What to Expect on a Visit to Penn Dixie

Trilobites Penn Dixie.jpg

Penn Dixie is a one-day entry site that offers two different experiences for fossil-hunters. The park is open rain or shine, and is only canceled if there is lightning.


One day entry

  • $12 for kids; $15 for adults

For those who want to try their luck and go at their own pace,  there is a general admission entry. Short, guided introductory tours leave every 30 minutes. Basic fossil hunting tools are provided.

Private Expeditions​​

  • $65 for kids; $75 for adults

For an exclusive experience, private expeditions are available for small groups of 2 – 10 people who are interested in experiencing fossil hunting in the true style of field paleontology. Your guide — a knowledgeable and experienced member of our staff — will take you on a journey through our 54-acre park in search of a range of fossils.


During the two-hour guided private expedition, you’ll visit our most prolific spots where you’re guaranteed to find fossils — all of which you can keep for your collection. Your guide will also take you to some unexpected places in search of more exotic fossils, including armored fish and the legendary “golden” trilobite. After the guided portion, you can remain on site for as long as you like to continue collecting at your leisure.

  • Two-hour professionally guided expedition

  • Tool and bucket rental for collecting

  • One complimentary copy of ‘Field Guide to the Devonian Paleontology of New York’ by Karl A. Wilson for the group to keep and use to ID the fossils they find at Penn Dixie.

What to Bring on a Visit to Penn Dixie

Paleontology field tools

All the tools needed for fossil-hunting will be provided, but you will need to dress appropriately for work in the quarry. Closed shoes will protect your feet from sharp rocks and sunglasses or goggles will protect eyes. Dress in layers for weather changes and protect yourself from the sun with  sunscreen and shade hats (e.g., fedoras or pith helmets) to protect.


Of note: There is no running water on site, but there are portable toilets available for visitors’ use. There are a few pavilions with picnic tables available on a “first come, first serve” basis.

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An interview with Dr. Holly Schreiber | Associate Director | Penn Dixie Fossil Park

  1. What makes your site significant?
    Penn Dixie Fossil Park is the #1 fossil park in the United States. It is a significant paleontological site due to its extremely well-preserved, abundant, and diverse Devonian-aged marine fossils. The sheer abundance of fossils at Penn Dixie allows all visitors to dig for, and keep, their own fossils. Furthermore, Penn Dixie is unique because of its accessibility – all ages and backgrounds can learn about fossils, Devonian-age marine life, and Earth’s history in an easy-to-access former quarry. 

  2. What has been most surprising about your discoveries at this location?
    The most surprising aspect of Penn Dixie Fossil Park is the abundance and diversity of fossils. Several species of coral and crinoids, over a dozen species of brachiopods, and multiple species of trilobites. It’s a true slice of the Devonian.

  3. What are your current research objectives at your site? 
    Penn Dixie’s primary objective is to promote the hands-on study of natural sciences both at the fossil park and out in the community.

  4. What was most important or rewarding find at this site?
    The most rewarding experience is to see visitors, especially children, get excited about paleontology and science. Penn Dixie helps foster a love of learning and discovery in any generation.

Other Nearby Activities


Penn Dixie is located in the far north of New York State, bordering Canada. 

Among the many other things to do that are close by:

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