Penn Dixie Claims World Record

Our attempt to set the first-ever GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the World’s Largest Fossil Dig on August 25, 2018 is certified. Thanks to 905 fossil diggers who participated, Penn Dixie is now the inaugural record holder for this category! The number one fossil park in the U.S. is now also the official home of the largest fossil dig in the world!! We thank the many community members, partners and business organizations, and media outlets that made this event possible.

“It’s incredible how well things came together for our record attempt. This new recognition cements Penn Dixie’s place in the geologic and paleontologic community, and we’re confident that we can provide an immersive educational and scientific experience, even in our new socially-distanced world.”

Keith Wesolowski, Penn Dixie Director and Chair of the Guinness World Record Event Committee.

The event provided a unique logistical challenge. In addition to being the largest fossil dig attempted by any group on the planet, this event was also the second largest program in Penn Dixie history. We had to recruit and organize dozens of unaffiliated volunteers (stewards) to monitor hundreds of participants. We had to prepare our park for the attempt by designating multiple collection zones and ensuring that all participants would be digging in a coordinated fashion for 30 minutes with proper collecting tools and attire.

Briefing nearly 1,000 participants prior to the attempt was another challenge that we achieved thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers and staff. Following the attempt, we needed to collect specimens from all participants and have them reviewed by unaffiliated professional paleontologists on site to make sure that the fossils were acceptable to the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ review committee.

Participants from the dig are eligible to purchase an official certificate from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ to show that they were part of this record-setting day. Certificates may be purchased here for approximately $28 plus shipping by selecting the date (August 25, 2018) and location (USA) of the attempt. Official certificates may be purchased here.

Alternatively, participants may purchase a certificate of participation from Penn Dixie for $5.99 plus tax. These certificates are locally designed and printed. Preview here. Once purchase is made, we will contact you via email to verify the name(s) you would like printed on your certificate(s). Order deadline is August 6, 2021. Order here.

Our attempt was made possible by Evans Bank, Phillips Lytle LLP, and RP Oak Hill Building Company Inc. Penn Dixie also thanks Erie County and the Town of Hamburg for ongoing support of our organization.

WKBW Presents Fossil Friday

Fossil Fridays are back! Join us for $7 admission and unlimited fossil hunting on Fridays from June 18 to September 3. Dig, explore, and learn about our natural history at our 54-acre fossil park and nature reserve.

Reservations strongly recommended to avoid waits. To reserve your discount admission rate, follow this link and select tickets on one of the Fossil Friday dates.

Basic collecting tools provided at no charge; hammers and chisels may be rented for $5. Penn Dixie members attend for FREE.

Fossil Hunting for Beginners

New to fossil hunting?

Learn the tricks of the trade from Director of Education & Paleontologist, Dr. Holly Schreiber and/or Director of Science, Catherine Konieczny, M.S. Tour the site and learn all the best spots to hunt for fossils. During this two hour tour we’ll teach you how to find, dig, and preserve all the fossil treasures you find. Bring your own tools or borrow from our limited supply.

No experience necessary. All ages welcome — this program will run rain or shine, dress for the weather.

Dates and times:
Saturdays throughout the season starting at 10 am and lasting until 12 pm.

  • May 15th, 10 am-12  pm
  • June 5th, 10 am-12 pm
  • June 19th, 10 am-12 pm
  • July 3rd, 10 am-12 pm
  • July 17th, 10 am-12 pm
  • August 7th, 10 am-12 pm
  • August 21st, 10 am-12 pm
  • September 4th, 10 am-12 pm
  • October 2nd, 10 am-12 pm

Included with admission or FREE for Penn Dixie members.
Select “Fossil Hunting for Beginners” tour-time option when registering online, for no additional charge.

Included with admission or FREE for Penn Dixie members.
Select “Fossil Hunting for Beginners” tour-time option when registering online, for no additional charge.

Member Appreciation

Penn Dixie members: Join us from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday April 24 to kick off the season! Our staff will be on-site to show you what we’ve been up during the offseason. Remember to bring your membership card and ID to show upon check in.

  • Unlimited fossil collecting for all members
  • 1 free (non-member) guest is allowed per cardholder as a thank you for your support
  • Free tool rentals while supplies last
  • Free take home container for your fossils
  • Individually wrapped snacks and light refreshments
  • Complimentary educational tours are available upon request
  • No reservations needed

RSVP Here

Additional non-member guests may pay our normal rate of admission upon arrival with credit card. Guests must be accompanied by a card holding member at all times.

If you would like to stay past 1 pm, please visit out Member Guide at https://penndixie.org/member-guide/

Opening Day Fossil Hunting

Saturday May 1, 2021, 9 am to 4:30 pm

This program has reached capacity and no additional tickets will be sold.

It’s a new season for Penn Dixie and there’s hope in the air! Join us for an Opening Day like no other as we celebrate Erie County’s Bicentennial with discounted fossil hunting for ALL Erie County residents.

For just $2 per person, you and your family will enjoy a short tour followed by unlimited fossil hunting at our 54-acre, outdoor science and nature park. You’ll bring home plenty of brachiopods with complimentary rental tools (bucket and trowel) as well as a biodegradable container that you can take with you.

The first tour departs at 9:15 am; subsequent tours are held every 15 minutes. The final tour is 2:45 pm and the park closes at 4:30 pm. Make reservations here. If you do not have a credit or debit card to complete your booking, please Contact Us. Penn Dixie members: there is no charge for admission — Contact Us for a code that you can use to register.

Reservations are required and walk-in guests will not be admitted. Due to capacity limits, we expect tickets to sell out in advance. Adult Erie County residents must present a valid form of ID or proof of residency on arrival. Non-residents are welcome at our usual rates. Mask wearing is required in some areas and while interacting with staff. All guests are expected to abide by our enhanced safety measures.

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve is generously supported by Erie County and the Town of Hamburg.

This program has reached capacity and no additional tickets will be sold.