Exploring the Cliffs

For fossil hunters, it’s tops.

Amateur archeologists can spend a day fossil hunting along the Stratford Cliffs on the shores of the Potomac River. Located on Stratford Hall’s Historic Preserve in Westmoreland County, the cliffs—one of the mid-Atlantic’s most important fossil research sites—have yielded more than 600 fossilized sharks, birds, whales, and shells. 

A rare geographical phenomenon, the Stratford Cliffs were once seafloor 10-17 million years ago during the Miocene Epoch. Fossilized remains reveal the primitive shark-toothed porpoises, sea cows, saltwater crocodiles, gopher turtles, rays, whales, and sharks that once lived there. One shark tooth found at the site, more than seven inches long, belonged to a giant white. Eagle-eyed hunters can join two upcoming excursions in August and October. StratfordHall.org


Saturday, August 5, 2023 – Registration opens July 1, 2023

Sunday, October 1, 2023 – Registration opens September 1, 2023


This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue.

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