Where to Find Fossils in Georgia?

There are history lessons all around us, and we can find many of them in fossils. Fossils are imprints made by animals and preserved on rocks and other natural formations, including bones, teeth, shells, and exoskeletons. 

Which makes it a great practice for fossil hunters or rockhounding activities. You get to hike outdoors and see all the sights of nature, plus you may find these fantastic pieces of history. And what great is that you can do it by yourself, with family, or in a group.

If your new when it comes to hunting for fossils here are some terms, you need to know:

Invertebrate fossils – animals without spines, like snails, trilobites, sea urchins, and corals. 

Vertebrate fossils – animals with backbones, including reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals.)

Trilobites – tiny animals that lived in water and walk on land. They resemble large beetles. They are believed to be over 500 million years old. 

Paleontologists – scientists that study dinosaurs and the times when they lived

Where to Find Fossils in Georgia

Where to Find Fossils in Georgia?

If you want to search in the state of Georgia, you’re in luck. There are many reported finds of fossils in that state.  The best places to find fossils are near bodies of water.

As you search by the shores of streams or lakes, look for sedimentary rocks. You can pull these rocks apart with your hands, and you often find fossils, small shells, and invertebrate bones. 

Fossil hunters divide Georgia into three parts: Northwest, Northeast, and Southern.

The northeast portion of Georgia has few fossil finds. 

The northwest portion of Georgia has many areas where fossils have been reportedly found. But most places with rich fossil beds are privately owned, so you can’t enter them without permission.

The Southern area refers to the part of the state located south of Macon. Here, hunters can find more recently deposited fossils. 

Fossils found here have been more than 100 million years younger than fossils in the northern portion. Most found in this area are primarily invertebrates. 

A few fossil hunters have reported finding complete invertebrate exoskeletons. 

Here are some of the placesets you can visit. 

Fort Oglethorpe

Northwest Georgia has many areas full of limestone; in one of them, the tooth from a 24-foot-long Deinosuchus was found. This fossil tooth is the largest found in the USA. 

The Tellus museum displays the Deinosuchus tooth plus fossils showing trilobites, dinosaur bones, and teeth. 

There is a Fossil Gallery, where a paleontologist talks about his finds and how to look for fossils. 

Here, guests can dig for fossils.

Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742, USA

The approximate GPS coordinates of this site are: 34.91921255272538, -85.25519658658878

South Houston Valley

In this area, you can hunt for and find fossilized sea shells. Some are believed to be 23 million years old. 

As you walk here, you will see the shells glitter in the sunshine, and you can gather some for yourself. Some fossil hunters have found the outer shells of sea urchins, clams, and sand dollars. There have also been finds of shark teeth and a few vertebrate fossils.

The approximate GPS coordinates of this site are: 34.841914, -85.095376

Shark tooth Island

Regularly scheduled fossil hunting tours take place by boat during low tide periods. Licensed captains conduct the tours, and they take 3 and 1/2 hours.

During the tour, you will learn how to look for fossils and other treasures in the sand. People who go on the tour must be able to climb off the bow of the boat onto the shoreline. 

It is found at River Walk, Savannah, GA 31410 , and its GPS coordinates are 32.0704N, 80.9718W.

You may like: Where to Find Fossils in Florida?

Where Can I Find Fossilized Shark Teeth in Georgia?

So many shark teeth have been found in Georgia the shark tooth has been declared the state fossil. 

Although you won’t find the entire skeleton of a shark (since they have cartilage instead of bones), sharks have left many teeth in Georgia waterside areas.

One place famed for finding shark teeth is fittingly named Shark Tooth Island A. Here, the rivers have washed up shark teeth and can be easily found. The park is near Savannah. (see above)

The biggest recorded shark was called the Megalodon. Teeth from these 50-foot sharks have been discovered in Georgia – and their teeth are almost seven feet long.

Fossils Found in Georgia

An amateur fossil hunter reportedly found a fossilized sand dollar (” Periarchus”) in a forested area near Waynesboro in 2016. 

This organism is over 34 million years old. Waynesboro is in the southeast part of Georgia.

Bones believed to have come from a Giant Ground Sloth (also called a Megalonyx) were also unearthed in Georgia. This mammal, which weighed about 500 pounds, became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene era. 

On the coastal plains of Georgia, scattered broken bones belonging to the Hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs) have been found. These animals from the Cretaceous period are the ancestors of today’s sheep and cattle. 

Georgia Fossils Hunting Laws

If you find fossils in the national forests in Georgia, you are allowed to take some home, as long as you are not in a designated wilderness area. 

Fossil hunters in national forests can’t take fossils to sell them; and can’t cause significant destruction to the site. 

When hunting fossils, the safest thing to do is ask the property owner for permission to dig. 

Another way to safely hunt fossils is to join a local fossil hunting club. The clubs know the local laws, and some even make arrangements with private owners of rich fossil fields. 

Although most bones you’ll find are invertebrates, some Georgia fossil hunters have unearthed a vertebrate skeleton.

If this happens to you, don’t dig it up on your own. Check with a local museum since the skeleton may have historical significance. 

Dinosaur Fossils in Georgia

Georgia paleontologists believe most dinosaur fossils are from the Cretaceous to the Miocene eras. 

There have been reports of dinosaur fossils found in the Columbus area (southwest Georgia) and multiple reports of trilobites found in many regions of Georgia. 


As you can see, Georgia fossil hunters can find many opportunities to discover fantastic finds that will make great souvenirs – but they might also discover their own pieces of history.