When Beltzville Dam was built in 1960s , the deep cut for the spillway exposed a window into the Middle Devonian (Mahantango Formation) sea that was Pennsylvania 350 million years ago. The shale along one side of the spillway is riddled with impressions of brachiopods, bryozoa, corals, crinoids, and trilobites. Although complete trilobites are rare, shed sections of Eldgedgeops rana, Pennsylvania’s State Fossil, are fairly common.

The collecting area is a flat, open field surrounded by walls that reach between ten and 30 feet. There is a paved parking area in the center of the field where people can park very close to where they are picking through the rock. There is limited shade, so be sure to bring your reusable water bottle filled to the top!

This site is great for collectors of all ages and levels. The wall is steep and unstable due to loose scree in some places, but fossils can be found easily by simply scanning through the loose rock while walking on flat ground.

Check-in with a brief orientation and chance to utilize restrooms will be held roughly from 10- 10:30. There are no restrooms closer to the site. We will then drive to the fossil collecting site.

Children (12 year old and under)- $3.00
NHSM Fossil Club Member- $5.00
NHSM Member (Non Fossil Club)- $10.00
Non Member- $15.00

Maryland Nature Beltzville Trip 2021

Cancelation Policy: NHSM Field Experiences
Cancellations made 7 or more days in advance of the field experience, will receive a refund (minus a $5 processing fee). Cancellations made within the week of the event will not receive a refund but can be transferred to a friend.