For many fossil collectors and paleontologists, Whiskey Bridge, just outside College Station, Texas is a Holy Grail to visit and collect at. The Brazos river cuts through the Stone City formation exposing some of the best preserved Eocene era marine fossils known. Best of all, it is all on public land.
So far we have made two trips to the site and come away happy both times. On our very first trip Steve found one of the rarest fossils the area is known for. A cuttlefish prong.
The fossils here are plentiful and beautifully preserved. Most can be picked up by hand or with just a little work.
The banks of the Brazos river are steep with some clay and mud pockets hidden amongst the fine grained fossil bearing layers. Even when the area is dry, boots are recommended as you never know when you might step into a soft spot. The fossils themselves can be found all along the banks but are concentrated in thick bands of shell bearing sediment.
Watch out for the native residents and give them space.
You don’t need big tools or even special knowledge to enjoy Whiskey Bridge. Heck, just wear “working” clothes and bring a small bucket. You won’t be disappointed. Just be sure to pick up your trash and fill in any holes.
Speaking of which, on our first trip Steve came across several large, spherical stones far down the river bank. He was determined to excavate one the next time we were out and see what they were.
Thankfully the river level was down on our next trip and Steve was able to get to the curious orbs.
After much digging he was able to uncover most of it. The river bank at this level held several of these curious stones. The one Steve was working on split open revealing a hollow interior with a fine layer of crystals. The mystery object turned out to be a sandstone concretion.
Pretty cool huh?
Note: The hole was filled in after the video .
So if you are in the area, and the river level isn’t too high, I highly recommend you take a little time to explore this unique and interesting site. Who knows how much longer it will be here and accessible to the public. The next good flood or regulation/statute change might shut everything down.
Here is a gallery of pictures and detailed close-ups of many of our finds.