Iowa Nature January 12, 2018
The Epic Park In Iowa Where You Can Take Home 365-Million-Year-Old Fossils
Did you know that during the Devonian Period, 365 million years ago, Iowa was an ocean? There are so many places throughout the state where you can find fossil beds and remnants of our prehistoric past. One place is particularly fascinating: the Fossil and Prairie Center in Rockford, where you can explore miles and miles of trails, hunt for fossils, discover abandoned buildings and learn all about Iowa’a fossil and dinosaur history.
The Fossil and Prairie Center is located in Floyd County at 1227 215th St., Rockford, Iowa 50468.
For decades, the land that is now the Fossil and Prairie Center was the Rockford Brick and Tile Company.
As you explore the park, you'll stumble upon the abandoned kilns and buildings left by Rockford Tile.
There are miles and miles of trails to explore, with no path leading you to the same place.
And fossils are everywhere! Most of the ones you'll find are marine invertebrates from a shallow sea environment.
Fossil hunting is encouraged! You might find fossils from colony corals, brachiopods, gastropods, cephalopods and more.
Be sure to bring something to carry your treasures! Plastic bags are likely to rip, so bring a small bucket or plastic jug. You won't need any tools either — fossils are right on the surface.
Within the park, you'll find a fascinating museum of fossil history. Plan some time to learn about the land you walk through!
The Park is open from Sunrise to Sunset, year-round. When it's snow covered, or after a heavy rain, fossil hunting will be much harder! The Museum & Center is open weekends in May, September & October from 1 to 4 p.m. and Memorial Day through Labor Day from 1 to 4 p.m. daily.
You can learn more about fossil hunting at the Fossil and Prairie Center
right here. I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough of the fascinating history of this state! If you’re planning your spring hikes, you might want to check out our historic trails: These 10 Iowa Hiking Trails Lead To Some Incredible Pieces Of History