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Field Trip Updates: No Updates

Upcoming Field Trips:
Next Peace River Monthly Trip: March 9, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only and water levels permitting)
Next Brooksville Trip: March 20, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People)
Next Bone Valley Farm Trip: Feb. 24, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People) - This trip is full!
Next CEMEX Center Hill Trip: Feb. 28, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People)
Peace River Adventure (Maybe) Apr. 27, 2024 (Anyone can participate)

Field Trips

Monthly Peace River field trips:


Trips are river depth permitting, (below 7 feet as measured by the Peace River gauge at Zolfo Springs, Florida.

Peace River field trips in the 2023-2024 season will be on the second Saturday of each month until May.

Montly Trip Location:
We will meet at the Peace River Park, 1322 E. Main St., Wauchula.

Area A on the map, is about a 1⁄2 mile long and is deeper and not hunt-able if river levels are above 5 feet. Areas B and C are shallow and can be hunted by youngsters if the level is below 7 feet on the gage. There is a nice wide path from this park along the river to areas B and C, a little over 1⁄2 mile walk. Only Area C has room for a wagon. At this time neither site has facilities, so stop before arriving.

You must be a paid member of TBFC to participate in Monthly River Trips

Equipment:
Here is some information about Recommended Tools for screening in Florida rivers. If you don't have a screen, you can typically rent one from Fred.

Please watch this page, the calendar and Facebook for cancellations due to high water. It is not unusual for TBFC to cancel river trips in the spring or fall due to high water levels. - FRED

CEMEX Center Hill Mine Trips:


The dates for the Center Hill Trips are all on Wednesdays from 8:30-Noon: 11/29/2023, 12/13/2023, 1/24/2024, 2/28/2024, 4/?/2024 (Earth Day event need Volunteers), 5/29/2024.

CEMEX Center Hill Mine trips are for TBFC members only! There is a limit of 20 people for this trip. You must be a paid TBFC Member to attend. The first 20 people who email Marlin at (members can check the Chronicles for email address) will be on the list (email only... no text or phone calls). Any others than the first 20 will be placed on a waiting list. Marlin will send an email with detailed instructions to the first 20 on the list. Address, directions and other details can be found in the Chronicles.

Center Hill is an active limestone mine. You will find Eocene marine deposits, mostly invertebrates... many echinoid species, shell casts, corals, crabs etc. On rare occasion, you may find a rib section, vertebra, or small shark tooth.

Please note that we are required to wear the yellow safety vests. You can buy the yellow safety vests at Home Depot or Lowes.

You must wear your own hard hat at the Center Hill Mine. You must wear long pants... NO SHORTS. You must wear closed toe shoes... NO sandals or flip-flops. You must wear a yellow safety vest.

You will have a 20-minute site specific training when you arrive. - MARLIN

Brooksville Quarry Trips:


The dates for the Brooksville Quarry Trips are all on Wednesdays from 8:30-Noon: 11/15/2023, 12/13/2023, 1/17/2024, 2/21/2023, 3/20/2024, 4/17/2024, 5/22/2024.

There is a limit of 20 people for each trip. You must be a paid TBFC Member to attend. The first 20 people who email Marlin (check Chronicles for email). E-mail only... no text or phone calls. Any others than the first 20 will be on a waiting list.

(Note: The Brooksville Quarry is NOT the old Vulcan Mine)

You must wear your own hard hat at the Brooksville Quarry. You must wear long pants... NO SHORTS. You must wear closed toe shoes... no sandals or flip-flops.

You must wear a yellow safety vest. You will have a 20 minute site specific training when you arrive. - MARLIN

Echinoids are commonly found at CEMEX and Brooksville:

Here's some info on echinoids.

Peace River Hunting Locations and Water Level Charts:

Peace River Park: This is where the TBFC does monthly trips, but it is open to the public too.

Peace River Park is located at 1322 Main Street East, Wauchula, FL 33873.

This site has a variety of hunting levels which can be seen on this PDF Map, A is deeper and for adults, B is very shallow and sometimes dry, C is shallow and easy to reach with a wagon if desired. After parking, walk across the small wooden bridge then turn sharp left as the path follows a small creek to the river. This is a primitive camping site and has no restrooms or change sites. It is a bit of a hike around to C but the path is mowed and easy walking.

You may also reach this site by kayak from the Wauchula Riverside Park Boat Ramp heading south.

The river level needs to be 7 feet or lower, as read at the Zolfo Springs gauge for good/safe fossil hunting.

Brownville Park: Typically, Peace River trips were at Brownville Park but that spot hasn't been producing as of Fall 2022. Each season the river can expose new material based on the storms we've had so this could change. The Brownville information will remain here for those that want to try it.

You'll want the water level to be lower than 3.5 feet based on the Arcadia gauge for fossil hunting in this location.

The GPS address is 1885 NE Brownville St., Arcadia, FL, 34266.

There is a $2.00 per car fee payable in the box at left as you enter the gate. Bring correct change.
The park has reopened their campground and restrooms after being closed for a year due to COVID.

Please follow these simple rules so that we maintain our welcome at Brownville:

- Please car pool to the park when you can. Parking is limited and has been a problem in the past.
- Please use the hose outside to rinse fossils. Some hunters have done this in the restroom sink and clogged them.
- The showers are for campers only.
- Please help keep trash picked up and haul your own trash when possible.

Thousand Trails: Folks who like to camp will enjoy Thousand Trails RV Park located at:

255 HWY 17 South, Wauchula, FL 33873



They border a long stretch of the Peace River. You must be a camper to hunt from their property. Screens and shovels are the recommended tools for fossil hunting from this location. Use the Zolfo Springs guage for this location. 7ft or lower, for good hunting.

Zolfo Springs:

The water level for the Peace River - Zolfo Springs Florida can be monitored via the US Geological Survey as seen below:


The water gage at Zolfo is in a deep hole and does not indicate hunting levels at Thousand Trails.
Typically, if it is 7 feet or lower there will be good fossil hunting in the shallows.

Arcadia/Brownville:

The water level for the Peace River - Arcadia Florida can be monitored via the US Geological Survey as seen below:


If the water level is lower than 3.5 feet in this graph, you can hunt fossils using the shovel and screen method in the shallows. There are several places to put in and just walk; boats are not needed.

We have started doing our monthly hunts at Brownville Park. The site is 6.3 miles north of Arcadia on Brownville Rd which goes out to a county Park on the river. Park at the boat ramp and walk upstream to the island and hunt the shallows. Yes, it is free. Check the calendar for trip updates.

Another location in that area is the Peace River Camp Ground at Arcadia, ask at the desk, when you check in and pay for a $15.00 pass that covers 2 days, for the wilderness area beach.

Below is General Fossil Hunting Location Information, pre-COVID-19:


Gainesville Area:
If you are in the Gainesville area you can try Hog Creek, and while there, don't miss the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University, it is first rate.

Note: Creek Laws in Gainsville may have changed. Please check the local law before fossil hunting

Venice Beach:
There are some beach spots. South of Venice at the end of Harbor Drive is a park called Caspersen Beach with good beach hunting. Englewood and north to Manasota Key is OK, but the shark teeth tend to be pretty worn by the waves. It is nice to sit at the waters edge and pick out little teeth or use a screen. If you are a certified SCUBA diver, diving from shore from Caspersen or Venice Beach may lead to larger teeth. There are also a handful of dive charters in the area that can put you on fossil rich spots with depths up to 30ft. If you are lucky, you may find a Megalodon tooth!

Field trips are open to Club members only, with a signed release form on file (unless overwise noted).

For more information on trips contact our Field Trip Director Fred Hendershot
.

Club members can learn about Upcoming field trips during club meetings or through the clubs Facebook group page.

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