Trammel Fossil Park, Ohio


Google Maps

Land Status:

City Park, Collecting Permitted


The rocks of southwestern Ohio are packed with Paleozoic fossils to the point that, as Robert Gaines of the Pomona College Geology Department says, "when it rains in Cincinnati, brachiopods go rolling down the street." At this super awesome public park, you can see that the city really is built on fossils.

In the Ordovician Period (~445 million years ago), Ohio was beneath a vast inland sea that covered much of Laurentia (the general geologic term for the North American continent). Waters in Ohio were shallow and were home to a variety of sea creatures, including brachiopods (symmetric shell-dwelling invertebrates), branching bryozoans (small tree-/coral-like filter-feeders), crinoids (so-called 'sea lillies'), and trilobites. The skeletal remains of these creatures are now found in limestones and shales throughout much of the State of Ohio. At Trammel Fossil Park specifically, these fossils are abundant in four thin rock formations that were deposited in this shallow sea. As the pictures below show, the fossils are abundant. The park has a nice informative display about the four rock units exposed in the hillside and the kinds of invertebrate fossils that can be found in each. You are allowed to collect in moderation within the park.

Note that, for some reason, Google Maps thinks that the park is only open on weekdays. I visited on a Saturday, and I believe the signs there said the park is open from dawn to dusk everyday.


City of Sharonville Trammel Fossil Park Webpage

Trammel Fossil Park

Fossiliferous hillside

The middle two formations

Lots of brachiopods

The upper two formations

Lots of branching bryozoans

All sorts of Paleozoic fossils

Site visited on 9/3/2016Page created on 10/2/2016