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Rucks Fossil Pit

Written By: admin - Apr• 20•10

Rucks Fossil Pit

Would you like to go a discover some of the most amazing and beautiful fossils you will ever be lucky enough to see? At a little known location you can find fossilized clams that are not only fossils but also crystals. Looking at them is like looking at a fine piece of art, and hard to put into words.

A Great Place to Dig For Dinosaurs

Fossilized clam with calcite crystals

Rucks Fossil Pit also known as the Fort Drum Crystal Mine located just outside of Fort Drum, Florida is the only place in the world where you can find these wonderful fossils.

You’re probably asking what can make a fossil so special? Well these are clams that were buried under what used to be a large ocean. Over the millions of years that have followed the clams have been calcified and inside the clams calcite crystals have grown.

Some of the calcite crystals have grown up to an inch long inside of the larger clams. The effect of having a snow white fossilized shell with honey colored calcite crystals poking out of it is hard to put into words.

These fossils are a wonderful interest item by themselves, or can make for an amazing centerpiece to anyone’s rock, gem, or fossil collection.

The ease of digging makes this a wonderful site for kids, and the shear amazement on a childs face of seeing the some of these wonderful fossils definitely helps make it one of the best fossil sites for kids.

Digging For Fossils at Rucks Pit

Until recently this site was allowing folks to go down into the pit and dig for themselves, but due to the fact that this is an active gravel pit, that is no longer authorized.

But to allow people to still have access to these unique fossils, the owner Eddie Rucks now brings piles of material up from the mine.

For only $30 per person per day, you are allowed to dig, but you are only allowed to fill one 5-gallon bucket with your finds.

Equipment Needed to Dig For Dinosaurs at Rucks Pit

Calcite filled clam fossils from Rucks Pit

To get some of these amazing fossils for yourself you’ll need to bring your own equipment:

-Hat (the sun can be a little harsh out here)
-Sunscreen (once again the sun can be a little harsh)
-Kneepads
-5 Gallon bucket (to help with you move material for screening and washing)
-Small hand shovel (try to get one that is easy to use while kneeling)
-Rock hammer (useful if you plan on just digging a little or a lot)
-Food and Water (no food is available at the mine)
-Chisel
-Pry Bar
-Newspaper or packing paper (to protect your fossils from damage, some can be fragile)

Water hoses are available on site to help wash off your finds.

Getting to Rucks Fossil Pit

The mine is open to folks 7 days a week 8am-5pm, be sure to call Mr. Rucks ahead of time so that someone can be there to let you in.

To visit the Rucks Pit you’ll need to fly into Palm Beach, FL, you need to get a rental car from here, since it’s 73 miles to Rucks Pit.

Be sure to set up your hotel reservation in Okeechobee, FL. Although it’s 13 miles from Okeechobee to Rucks Pit, it is the nearest town with hotels.

Directions to Rucks Fossil Pit

From Okeechobee, FL head North on US-441, also called Parrott Ave. Follow US-441 North for about 19.5 miles to NE 304th St in Fort Drum.

Turn right (East) onto NE 304th St and follow it for just under 3 miles. Rucks Pit will be on the Left (North) side of the road.

Contacting Rucks Fossil Pit

To make an appointment to dig, and to get more information about Rucks Pit contact:

Eddie Rucks at 863-634-4579 or by email Fortdrumcrystalmine@yahoo.com.

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9 Comments

  1. patricia tiver says:

    Hi, interested in visiting for a dig with my 2 12 year old boys. Kindly advise schedule. thank you.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Patricia,

    The only way I know to find out their current dig schedule is to contact Eddie Rucks the owner, at 863-634-4579 or by email Fortdrumcrystalmine@yahoo.com.

    Let us know how things go.

  3. Greg Kirk says:

    Hi all,

    I just want to let people know, I just got back from Ruck’s Pit and had an awesome time ! Thanks Ed !

  4. admin says:

    Hi Greg,

    Glad to hear that you had a good time. Where the pickings good? Where you able to find any good specimens?

  5. tom hoffelder says:

    Dig for dinosaurs? Maybe a general term for all fossils? But I think these clams are only 1 to 2 million years old, as compared to the youngest dino bones being 65 million. Sorry, not trying to be a pain in the you-know-what, but it doesn’t “sound right.”

  6. admin says:

    Hi tom,

    Thanks for the comment. True that the dino bones come from about 65 million years ago, but even 1 to 2 million year old fossils are still fossils. I don’t know if there is a specific cut off between being a fossil and being a dinosaur.

    Thanks again

  7. josefina hernandez says:

    I love this place it was awesome. I went for the easter egg hunt. I defiantly want to go back and dig!!

  8. admin says:

    Hi Josefina,

    Thanks for your comment, I’m glad they did an Easter egg hunt this year, I didn’t realize that they did that, and I’m glad that you had fun. When you go back to dig let us know how your experience was.

  9. sunshine says:

    I live down the street, and have heard they have found 7 different species that never been found before. I have not been there yet but, I plan on going real soon. We had truck loads of shell delivered for a pad for our home when it was built and i have found plenty of crystalized shells, rocks, etc. believe it! It’s there.

  10. Glenda says:

    Four of us went out to the pit last week and had a great day.We left with a 5 gallon bucket each. We plan on going again,soon.

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