Guided Florida Fossil Trips
Disney, it ain't!
WE OFFER TWO TYPES OF TRIPS: WALK-IN OR KAYAK
WALK-IN TRIPS: Location - Peace River, between Arcadia and Wauchula, FL. Fairly easy for people of moderate health or better. We may walk up to 1000 or so feet from our vehicles and climb down a steep bank. Sometimes there are public restrooms nearby, sometimes not. We collect with a shovel and screen. Adults - $75, Children 6 to 12 - $50. Not recommended for 5 or younger. Parents must be with kids at all times. Searching for sharks teeth, plus mammal and reptile bones and teeth.
KAYAK TRIPS: Location - Peace River, between Arcadia and Wauchula, FL. Fairly easy for people of moderate health or better. We may paddle up to a mile or two from our vehicles. We collect with a shovel and screen. Adults - $100, Children 6 to 12 - $65. Not recommended for 5 and under. Children must be with parents at all times and wear a life jacket. Searching for sharks teeth, plus mammal and reptile bones and teeth. NOTE: This trip is not available as often as the walk-in trip. We don't paddle when the fossil sites are too deep to stand in, or the water is too shallow to paddle, or certain holidays when we get too many requests for the Walk-in trip to also do a kayak trip.
MEETING TIME AND LOCATION: We usually meet at 10 a.m. and wind down around 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. Where we collect depends on how much or little rain we get. We may wait to announce where we're meeting until the night before the trip, so we can take advantage of the most up-to-date weather and water conditions. After you book your trip, we may be able to give you a general idea where we will meet. But for the exact location, plan on calling us around 7 p.m. the night before at 239-368-3252.
NO HYPE ZONE: If you are primarily looking for that trophy fossil, whether it's a large mammoth or megalodon tooth, or a giant sloth claw core, we do occasionally find such paleo goodies. But most of the time, we find small sharks teeth, pieces of mammoth teeth, partial horse, bison and llama teeth and turtle shell pieces. Like anything worthwhile in life, successful fossil hunting depends on a little luck and skill, but mostly a lot of perisistence.
Trophy fossils don't usually leap into your screen on your first outing. They're just not that common. But going back again and again increases your chances. Think of us primarily as an educational trip to get you started and find some cool stuff while you're at it. We do not search out a brand new location every time we go out. There are only so many "new" spots out there. Instead, we try to find fairly decent sites and continue to collect there as methodically as possible for as long as a site is productive. Of course that means you won't be the first person to work the site. But if you're adventurous and patient, you should do just fine.
The Peace River is state-owned and you must have a fossil permit, although our permit covers you on our trip. Creek sites are privately owned and you should not trespass there without permission. Participants can keep what they find, unless they come up with something new or unusual to science. Then we ask that you donate it to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
We DO NOT COLLECT NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS. Our Peace River sites are on state property, which means artifact collecting is illegal. If you find an artifact (Native American projectile point, flakes, pottery, etc.), you will be instructed to throw it back in the river.
As guides, we show you where to look, how to look, and how to preserve your finds for another million years. To prepare, you might consider purchasing one of the books we have authored: "MEGALODON: Hunting the Hunter", "FOSSILING IN FLORIDA", or "Giants in the Storm". A signed copy can be purchased from us on our trips or web site.
RESERVATION INFORMATION: We would appreciate it if you would make reservations as soon as you know your schedule. We ask for a credit card number to hold your reservation, processing Visa and Master Card. It would help if you would give us more than one day in which you're available. Once you book your trip, we cannot offer you a refund. However, we will gladly reschedule as long as we have the alternative date you request available. If an impending storm forces us to cancel, we will offer a refund.
WHAT TO WEAR: We suggest you wear old tennis shoes that can get wet, shorts, extra dry clothes for later, a hat, lots of sunscreen, lunch and drinks in a small cooler. Also, we recommend everyone wear socks that can get wet with the shoes. They're much more comfortable if you get sand in your shoes. We don't recommend sandals. Collecting equipment is provided by us.
RIVER QUALITY: No matter how clean a river may or may not be, please take every precaution to make sure you don't get water in your mouth, ears, nose or open cuts. We recommend you don't snorkel to be on the safe side. Besides, we can find more digging. Wash your hands before eating when you take a break. Don't bob your head under water to cool off.
Please give us a call at 239-368-3252 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have other questions.
We are guided by an appreciation for the professional paleontologist and also for the laws that regulate fossil hunting. For information on how to obtain a permit, click here . Our group permit will cover you on our trips.
HOTEL INFORMATION -- Since most of our trips are close to Arcadia and Wauchula, a lot of our customers stay at the following hotels:
1) Best Western Heritage Inn, 2727 US Highway 17 N, Bowling Green/Wauchula - (863) 773-2378
2) Holiday Inn Express, Arcadia, FL. Direct Phone: 863-231-0200.
*Although we have not stayed at these hotels, we have yet to hear any complaints.
MEETING LOCATIONS and TIMES: Often, we meet at a Burger King in Wauchula or Arcadia. When we do, the address is:
Arcadia Burger King. GPS might send you to 1016 East Oak Street - which is a side street. But because Burger King also fronts Hwy. 70 east/west, it might be easier to use for navigation.
Wauchula Burger King, 415 South 6th Ave. (fronts Hwy. 17), Wauchula, FL 33873.
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur!