Fossil Hunting in MN
Last summer, my fiance and I went on a fossil hunting expedition and had a fantastic time doing it. It’s something we’ll be doing more of in the future.
Most of the fossil hunting sites in MN are in ditches or road cuts. Digging in the ditch on the side of a road may not exactly be the glamorous expedition you had in mind when you first considered hunting for fossils, but that’s were they are. Take it or leave it.
But, don’t let the undignified nature of the hunt discourage you, the fossils in the area are from the Ordovician period, so they are 440 to 480 million years old. Not too bad for something you can find on the side of a road.
Our first fossil hunting expedition was in Goodhue county, off of Highway 56 just north of a town called Wangs (according to the map, at least. We never did figure out exactly were Wangs was. My theory is that it is one of those haunted towns that appears only at night).
Here’s a link to a very handy document on MN fossil collecting from Winona State University. It gives directions to a few good locations, and will help you identify what you find. There is some outdated information in the file, though: the site near Cannon Falls, on County 25 Blvd doesn’t seem to be accessible anymore.