Things to Do

Free Fossil Finding (and Keeping) at Mineral Wells Fossil Park

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At a cost of zero dollars (you read that right), your family can dig for fossils that are 300 million years old at Mineral Wells Fossil Park and you can keep what you find (again, you read that right). Open daily, from sunrise to sunset, the park is attracting visitors from across the U.S., finding some rather fascinating pieces.

“One of the most interesting things found in the Mineral Wells Fossil Park has been shark’s teeth. Sharks of the Pennsylvanian Era were different from today’s sharks, as they were plant eaters and their teeth were blunt, not sharp as you’d expect. They are rare finds, but they have been found,” explained park representative Ninfa Flewitt. Additional finds at the park include trilobites (also known as water bugs) which can occasionally be found almost 100 percent intact.

Free Fossil Finding (and Keeping) at Mineral Wells Fossil Park

Photo: Facebook/The FOSSIL Project

As many amazing finds go, the discovery of fossils at Mineral Wells Fossil Park was purely by accident, or fate, or a mixture of both. Erosion which took place over a period of twenty years at the city of Mineral Wells landfill borrow pit was the cause for the unearthing, and following that, the city, together with the Dallas Paleontological Society and the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce, worked to develop that park. According to the park’s website, fossils that document ancient sea life in the area can be found at the site, including primitive sharks, urchins, oysters and clams, and species of plants. Listed as one of only a handful of parks throughout America in which visitors can keep the fossils they find, Mineral Wells Fossil Park is a unique place to visit here in Texas. Those that visit are encouraged to bring knee pads for crawling around as well as small, zip-lock-type bags in order to keep their fossils.