Ladonia Chamber of Commerce

Ladonia Fossil Park


October 17, 2015


Ladonia National Fossil Day Events

  • Saturday, October 17, 2015
  • 9-10am Registration, Fannindel High School Cafeteria, Ladonia
  • 10am NFD Program:
    • Welcome: Mayor Chris Burch
    • NSR and Ladonia Fossil Park: Kenny Karl
    • Safety and Hunting Fossil Park at NSR: PK Kirkpatrick
    • Microfossil Hunting at NSR: Gary Turner, DPS
  • 11am Adjourn for Ladonia Fossil Park at NSR
    • Individual and group hunting of NSR Canyon Area
    • Group Guides Available
    • Identification Table at Pavilion
    • Food Concession at Park by Ladonia Chamber of Commerce


The park is open 365 days a year but hunting is determined by whether water is in raging flow. Due to safety issues, hunting is allowed only when the river is not flowing. Admission is free. The fossils date back about 80 million years or more. With a few exceptions, hunters may collect and take fossils out of the river. A fossil left in the riverbed or embankment will not be there after the next big rainfall due to extreme flow rate of the raging North Sulphur River. Exceptions are large museum worthy finds and unusual and rare specimens. For many years, the North Sulphur River has been an attraction for local fossil hunters, amateur and professional paleontologists, and various fossil, paleontological, gem and mineral groups and societies in Northeast Texas. More recently, it has attracted national attention.


Ladonia Fossil Park is a project of the City of Ladonia, Texas and is located two miles north of downtown Ladonia on Highway 34 north and west of the bridge spanning North Sulphur River. The park sits on the bank of the vast river channel and provides an entrance into canyon hunting grounds that have yielded a variety of fossils from the Cretaceous and Pleistocene Periods. The river banks and river bed provides fossil enthusiasts with surface area exceeding a thousand acres for hunting.

The channelized riverbed, dry most of the time, stretches a distance of about ten miles to the west of and ten miles to the east of Ladonia Fossil Park and is open year round for fossil hunting. The canyon is approximately 300 feet wide and 80 feet deep. Cretaceous fossils including mosasaurs and plesiosaurs are found in the bed while Pleistocene fossils including mastodons and mammoths are found in the banks. Of particular interest to serious fossil hunters are red bed outcroppings.

Ladonia Fossil Park Rules

The City of Ladonia is not responsible for accidents or injuries occurring on this property. Use of this property is at your own risk.

• Fossil collecting is allowed only within the river beds and banks.

• Parking permitted in designated area only.

• Possession/discharge of firearms, hunting and archery are prohibited.

• Possession/consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs is prohibited.

• No pets allowed.


Enter and exit collecting area at designated points only. Area has dangerous drop offs, steep slopes and loose soil.


Encounters with dangerous insects/animals are possible.

Web searches yield several hits for Pete Patterson Fossil Park, aka Ladonia Fossil Park one of which is available below:



Ladonia Chamber of Commerce