The purpose of this cache is to direct people to one of three fossil hunting parks in the US, a place where you are encouraged to keep what you find!! The cache is in the area where shale was once quarried to make tile and bricks. The Rockford Brick and Tile Company owned and operated the pit. One of the old kilns where they fired bricks and tiles is pictured here. The Kilns are in the extreme NE part of the park, very close to where the cache is located. If you find any tiles or bricks, do NOT touch, let alone break them. They are a part of the valuable history of this location.
The cache location is accessible by either of two remnant roads. I myself parked here: 43 02.737 by 92 58.327.
I take my biology students here every spring to find fossils. They say it’s the best field trip ever! The climbs up and down these steep hills are fun enough, let alone finding and keeping spectacular little fossils like this horn coral. Other fossils include brachiopods (sea shells), crinoids, and gastropods – actually the internal casts of snails like what you see here. If you know a burgeoning young paleontologist or geologist, you may want to take them to this location. I guarantee no one will be disappointed. While there you should visit the first class Fossil & Prairie Park and Center in The NW part of the park. It features one the best salt water aquariums I’ve ever seen. The displays include the history of the quarrying of shale and the making of tiles and bricks as well as an interpretation of the paleoenvironment represented in the sediments there. Donations to the center are a blessing well deserved.
Rock throwing is against the rules, as is the use of plastic bags for collecting. Apparently they get left often. Old socks work well.
In the gallery below are several pictures depicting the site. The picture just to the lower left shows two of my students enjoying trying to identify the fossils they are finding. To the lower right is the wonderful nature center within the prairie.