IN State Park Series #5 LbNA # 20247
|Found By||??? |
|Last Update||Jan 12 2008 |
STATUS: OK, Checked by Placer 1-20-07
This state park is the only place on earth that has as large an area (220 acres) of exposed fossil reef dating from the Devonian Period, 350 million years ago. At that time, Indiana and Kentucky were covered with a warm shallow tropical sea that was located 20 degrees south of the Equator. Over the millennia, continental drift moved this land to its current location. Today the fossil reef extends from Louisville north to Indianapolis. However it is only exposed here and in a few limestone quarries in Indiana. This Jeffersonville Limestone is composed of the skeletal remains of marine organisms. From summer through fall when the flood gates on the river are closed, you can walk around on the reef and the fossils are so numerous that you canít help but step on them. But that will not damage them. More than 600 fossil species have been identified here. You will see brachiopods, bryozoans, trilobites, corals, crinoids, snails, and blastoids. The rest of the year the flood gates are open and the fossil beds are submerged. When visiting here, please be sure to make time to see the Interpretive Center. It is excellent. When our two boys were Webelos, my husband and I took the den to this park to fulfill a badge requirement. It was an interesting and fun day for scouts and parents alike. We camped out at Wyandotte Woods that night.
Chart your course from the spot that commemorates the beginning of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's 1803 expedition to map out an overland route to the Pacific Ocean. Walk in a generally eastward direction along a paved walkway and stop when you reach a monolithic marker. Take a compass bearing of 206 degrees and walk 10 paces. (1 pace = 2 steps). At the base of a two-trunk tree, there is a large cement block. Nestled in a nook, a new fossil species waits to be unearthed beneath a pile of rocks. Be careful, donít fall. Itís a long way down to the raging river!!
Please be sure to replace the box carefully and cover it completely with the rocks. Some stealth is required since this can be a busy area depending on the time of year.