Texas park lets you dig for 300-million-year-old fossils for free

If you find a fossil — you can keep it!

Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce

MINERAL WELLS, Texas – Did you know there’s a Texas state park that lets you dig for fossils and keep what you find?

Texas’ Mineral Wells Fossil Park lets visitors dig for 300-million-year-old fossils.

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Mineral Wells Fossil Park is one of the few parks in the U.S. where visitors can keep what they find. View photos of some of the fossils found at the park here.

The park, located at 2375 Indian Creek Road in Mineral Wells, is a bit of a drive from downtown San Antonio at four and a half hours so you’ll likely want to find somewhere to stay for a night or two.

The park is open daily from dawn to dusk and draws visitors from all over the country.

“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,” park representative Ninfa Flewitt previously told KSAT.

The Pennsylvanian era, for reference, started around 318 million years ago.

Amateur archaeologists can also find trilobites, or water bugs, which she explained can sometimes be found mostly intact.

The park’s website says 20 years of erosion at the city of Mineral Wells landfill borrow pit led to the revelation of fossils at the site.

Fossil hunters are encouraged to bring small, zip-close bags to hold their fossils and knee pads if they plan on crawling around.