Fossil Sites in the St. Louis Area

The purpose of this list is to provide beginning collectors with accessible and productive sites available in the St. Louis area that they can visit on their own. Always follow safety measures. Wear hard hats whenever appropriate, always wear eye protection and be very careful of traffic. We urge all collectors to follow good etiquette. Leave the site cleaner than when you arrived.

Fossil Sites

FentonBridge | Meramec River | Hwy 55

Fern Glen | Big Bend | Eureka | Deer Creek | Silex

Fenton Bridge
Take 270 to Highway 30 (Gravois) south. Take the 1st left to get on old Hwy 30. Proceed south on old highway 30. Cross bridge, follow street west parallel to river. Park under the new bridge. There are extensive fossils in exposed river bed rocks between bridges on slope near old bridge. Good during low water. Archimedes screws, crinoids, brachiopods and occasional trilobites. The Warsaw Formation- Mississipppian Age. Back to top of page

Meramec River Boat Ramp
From the old bridge in Fenton , follow road south east along the Meramec River past George Winter Park in St. Louis County. About a mile further is a boat ramp. Park near the boat ramp. Follow river bed to exposed rocks. You will find Archimedes screws and other bryzoa, crinoids, brachiopods. The Warsaw Formation - Mississippian Age. Back to top of page

Hwy. 55 Roadcut in Jefferson County
Go south on Highway 55, two tenths of a mile south of exit 186. The wide shelf halfway up the road cut is the top of a Maquoketa shale layer. About 8 inches down through the top you will find layers of shale containing graptolites, tiny saw blade shaped fossils. Split shale gently. Be sure to refill your holes. Maquoketa Shale-Ordovician Age. Back to top of page

Fern Glen Site
Take Hwy. 55 south to the Kimmswick exit. Left to Jeffco Blvd.(Hwys.61/67). Turn left. Proceed 1/4 mile to pink cliff on left. Evactinopera(a star shaped bryzoa, horn coral, brachiopods, and criniods can be found here. Look in loose dirt or wash them from mud. They are easier to see when wet. The Fern Glen-Mississippian Age. Back to top of page

Big Bend and 270
Take Big Bend to 270. There is no access from 270. Park on the southeast corner of the intersection. Cross the railroad tracks and proceed down the drainage ditch going towards 270. A fossiliferous layer in the rock ledge about chest high is on both sides of the ditch and contains sea urchin spines and plates and brachiopods. Caution! Loose boulders make for rough walking. Back to top of page

Take Hwy. 44 to Eureka exit. Take Hwy. W south past City Hall. Proceed to last rock cut before the river. Follow path to the ledge. Plentiful brachiopods, gastropods, cephalops and trilobite parts are found here. Easy collecting. Back to top of page

Deer Creek
Deer Creek runs through parts of St. Louis County. There is easy access from Kirkham Rd. just east of Elm Street in Webster Groves near Larson Park. Numerous corals are on slabs or have been weathered out and can be found in gravel bars. There are also fossiliferous chert nodules present. Be sure to wear protective eye wear such as goggles when breaking rocks, especially chert. Back to top of page

A visit to this site makes a good day trip. Take Hwy.70 west to Hwy.61. Take 61 north to Silex exit (about 25 miles) Follow State Road E towards Silex until you reach intersection State Road RA. There are broad low shelves of exposed rock of the Decorah Formation on all sides of the intersection. It contains numerous brachiopods,trilobite parts, some gastropods cephalopods and crinoids. There is very safe and easy access.In addition, if you follow RA to the wildlife area, the second creek you cross has fossiliferous cert nodules containing crystallized blastoids and crinoids. Be sure to wear eye protection when breaking chert. The Decorah Formation-Ordovician Age. Back to top of page

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