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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fossil Park, Sylvania, Lucas Co. Ohio

Address:  5675 Centennial Road, just south of Sylvania-Metamora Road, Sylvania Ohio.

Site: http://www.olanderpark.com/pages/Fossil.htm

Field guide for the park: fieldguide.pdf.

This park was built from inactive quarry owned by the Medusa Cement Co.  This quarry has produced world class specimens of phacop rana sp. trilobites and spectacular pyritized brachiopods.

Free admission no fees:

Park Rules: No hammers, chisels, screw drivers or other metal tools.
Recommended Tools: Toothbrush, hand whisk, bucket for holding water, cardboard flat, magnifying glass.

Park has a water tank for washing specimens.  There are also restrooms available. 

This park is very small kid friendly.

Park is open 1st weekend in April through 2nd weekend in November.
Hours: 8:30 am to 90 minutes before sunset.

Directions from Akron Ohio:

1. Take the exit onto I-77 N/OH-21 N Continue to follow I-77 N (11.1 mi)
2. Take exit 146 toward I-80/Toledo/Youngstown (0.3 mi)
3. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Interstate 80/Ohio Turnpike
Toll road (0.4 mi)
4. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-80 W/Toledo and merge onto I-80 W/Ohio Turnpike
Partial toll road (114 mi)
5. Take exit 59 for US-20 toward US-23/I-475
Toll road (0.6 mi)
6. Keep left at the fork and merge onto US-20 W/S Reynolds Rd
Partial toll road (4.8 mi)
7. Turn left onto US-20 W/N Reynolds Rd    (1.8 mi)
8. Turn left onto OH-120 W/US-20 W/W Central Ave (3.6 mi)
9. Turn right onto Centennial Rd

Review: My wife Joanne and I went on a overnight fossil collecting trip to Sylvania Ohio for our 20th anniversary.  (Okay, I know you are thinking or says geeks… perhaps but it was the perfect for two geologists who have met at school and have spent the last 20 years mineral and fossil collecting together.)

The park was very easy to find.  Some of the park rules like no hammers and chisels are annoying and a lot of the nice collecting area is marked off limits with a fence.  The Medusa company that operates the active quarry (which you cannot see from the park) supposedly dumps new material at the park but it looks like it has been awhile since new material has be brought in.  Also, it would be great  to visit this park right after a hard rain. 

Despite the rules and the lack of new material, the visit to the park was very enjoyable.  We found 6 trilobite (phacops rana)  tails and one head.  Also, found on relatively large Paraspirifer bownockeri and many smaller Mucrospirifer sp, and Atrypa reicularis.  Also collected a couple horn corals, and very tiny crinoid stem segments..

I give this park 2.5 of 4 stars.  This could be a 4 of 4 stars site when new material is dumped at the park.

I give high praise to the OlanderPark system and the Medusa Co. for creating a fantastic fossil collecting park.  We spent 5 hrs over two days and collected enough specimens to be satisfied with trip.  I also was able to share my knowledge and specimens with 12 or so kids who were visiting with their families. 

There should be more parks like this one allowing people to have an hands-on experience with Ohio’s natural heritage.

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