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Durham Fossil Dig
Durham Fossil Dig

Fri, Jun 07


Durham Mine Trails

Durham Fossil Dig

Join us at the Durham Mine Trails to dig for Pennsylvanian plant fossils dating back to 320 to 300 million years ago!

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Time & Location

Jun 07, 2024, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Durham Mine Trails, Walker County, GA 30738, USA

About the event

The Durham Mine Trails, part of Lula Lake Land Trust's extensive network of protected properties, is one of the best places in Georgia to collect Pennsylvanian plant fossils, dating back approximately 320 to 300 million years ago. The area was once a coastal swamp forest populated by the giant ancestors of ferns, seed ferns, club mosses and horsetails. As these plants died, they accumulated in the stagnant waters of the swamp bottom, gradually turning into coal and fossil-rich shale. We will be collecting in the overgrown mine dumps from when the area was mined for coal. The best way to collect is to dig shale out, split it, and look for leaves and other plant fossils. We will have staff on hand to help participants.

Date: Friday, June 7th

Meeting Time: please arrive no later than 1:45pm EST at the Durham Mine Trails for check-in, introductions, and instruction. Please be on time. We will head out to the dig site by 2:00pm and collect until 4:00pm. If you have not arrived by 2:00pm EST you will be left behind.

Tools To Bring: We have a very limited selection of tools, so if you have the means to do so, please bring your own. Some necessary tools are: a geologists pick, or hammer, a 3 in. flat chisel to split the rock, a small gardening shovel to dig with, and a bucket to collect your specimens. You may also want to consider wearing gardening gloves since you will be digging in the dirt.

Driving Directions: GPS Coordinates: 34.86537636865632, -85.41903172482985 or click here for Google directions. From the intersection of GA 157 and Durham Rd, go west for about 0.5 miles to an open parking area on the right with an open gate.

Important Details

  • Fossil digs are only permitted through organized events by Lula Lake.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed.
  • The trip is a go unless rain is in the forecast for the day.
  • Site Description: the site is in a shaded wooded area. We will hike down a dirt road to the collecting site so there will be a hike of 1 mile each way. There are no restrooms there.
  • Bring: water and snacks. Also consider bug spray, ivy block (if you’re allergic to poison ivy.
  • Bee allegies: sometimes we see yellowjackets nesting in the ground in this area. If you are allergic to bee stings, please carry your own Epipen as we do not have them on site.
  • Attire: Wear comfortable sturdy shoes (hiking boots are perfect, tennis shoes are ok). Bring a hat. Consider bringing a change of clothes.

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