Connecting the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today.




Earth Discovery Day

Program and Schedule 

August 24, 2013


All activities require regular admission: $5 Age 19+, $2 Age 2 - 18, Under 2 are free


All activities and areas are open  9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Exploring the Fossil Beds 

9:30 —12:30 Hike on the outer fossil beds,* led by park volunteer Paul Olliges and   

                                                                          Brian Vance.

*Outer fossil bed hikes are rugged.  Sturdy foot wear is recommended and a walking stick will be helpful. You will get wet. This hike is not suitable for small children.


Indiana Shoreline Fossil Bed Hike Schedule

11:00 a.m.,  12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Meet on the deck beside the Interpretive Center.

Look for roving volunteer naturalists on the fossil beds throughout the day.


Public Programs - everyone is welcome!

1:30 pm: The story of "Fred" the Mastodon, Ron Richards, Indiana State Museum

2:30 pm: Life in the Devonian "Black Sea", Charles Mason, PhD, Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky.


3:30 pm: Trilobites, Don Mikulic, PhD, Illinois State Geological Survey.  


Hands-On Activities


Outside the Interpretive Center


Fossil and Mineral Collecting Rock Piles

Always popular, these piles are located beside the parking lot. A ticket is required to collect can be picked up with paid admission to the Interpretive Center. It is good for the entire day.

Dig Silurian and Devonian fossils in two large rock piles. You may keep anything you find. (Collecting at the Falls of the Ohio is not allowed anywhere else!)

Trucked in from southern Illinois, look for fluorite, barite, calcite, and sphalerite in this pile.

Collecting piles - refreshed for this event!      Dumping 15 tons of rock for the event.

        Click on the left-hand photo to learn more                 Dumping 15 tons of rock for the event.

                     about the collecting piles.


Inside the Interpretive Center

Children’s Activity Area

The Mineral and Fossil Interest Club sponsors this activity area located in the River Observation Room . A variety of crafts can be made each day: Bead stringing, weather rocks, dream catchers, and more!

Crafts for kids - all involve rocks, minerals or fossils.

Inside the Lobby


Kentucky Paleontological Society and Mineral and Fossil Interest Club have tables in the lobby

Located behind the Interpretive Center, you can find information about the event, join a geology club, get rocks and fossils identified and pick up brochures from fossil parks, earth science

publications, and more.


Kentucky Paleontological Society

Members will be on-hand to identify your fossils and rocks. Club fossil sales at booth, “spin the wheel fossil game.” Information about Kentucky fossils and membership.

Horse tooth identified by Dan Phelps

Fossil, Mineral & Rock Identification

Mineral and Fossil Interest Club

Rock, mineral and fossil identification, specimens for sale including egg cartoon collections, sponsors microfossil and micromineral demonstration described below and the Children's Activity Area described above.

Looking at microfossils through the microscope.

Microfossil examination

Free Informational Brochures -

Fossil Parks of North America

Brochures are available for many of the 50+ parks in the U.S. and Canada that have significant fossil sites. A representative from the National Parks Service with a display on the National Natural Landmarks (of which the Falls of the Ohio is one) will be in the Resource Tent on Saturday only.


Other Information

Brochures about earth science publications, organizations and fossil information can be found under the tent.


Educators —  Win a geology collection for your school!

Any full-time teacher may register for a chance to win a collection for their classroom. This is a free door prize. Three collections are available: 100, 75 and 50-piece collections will be given away! Collections include a variety of fossils, minerals and rocks from many locations (except the Falls of the Ohio).

Winner of the 100 piece collection in 2012

Winner of the 100 piece collection in 2012

New this year!

Fossil Symposium (Silurian Theme) August 25

  Halysites over Coenites reticulatus K Popp 660.jpg  Calymene breviceps TRI300.jpg


Photo Album See what our previous Falls Fossil Festival's (predecessor to Earth Discovery Day) were like!

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Updated August 13, 2013