Some of the best places to rockhound in Florida include oceans, rivers, and other waterways. Many public and private lands are open to rockhounds with the right permits and/or permissions.
Here are examples of what you might find at certain locations:
|Florida City||Site/Location in Florida|
|Venice||Venice Beach, Caspersen, Venice Fishing Pier|
|Dunedin||Honeymoon Island (coral agates can be collected for free in the parking area)|
|Fort Drum||Ruck’s Pit at Fort Drum Crystal Mine|
|Tampa Bay||Ballast Point Area OR Tampa Member of the Arcadia Formation|
|New Port Richey||Green Key Beach, Pasco County|
|Tarpon Springs||Anclote River, Pinellas County, Gardner Boat Ramp; Charlie Creek|
|Suwanee||Runs across northwestern Florida|
The Sunshine State is rich in rocks, minerals, and fossils – making it a rockhound’s dream. Keep reading to find enhanced lists and more specific details on rockhounding locations and what can be found where.
A permit is not required to rockhound on privately owned land, but permission is required. This extends to most fossils, minerals, rocks – and even human artifacts, in many cases. However, human burial sites should remain undisturbed.
Always check with your local Bureau of Land Management office before embarking on a rockhounding adventure in any of these regions, as some specific areas may be off-limits. They will be able to tell you whether or not any specific region is not open to digging.
Public Lands Rights:
Your finds become an issue when it comes to public lands, although they may be a great place to dig. It all boils down to getting permission from the property holders in advance – like private properties. If you take something from an area without permission, there will likely be consequences, ranging from a warning to a heavy fine.
Although there are some legal hoops to jump through in order to collect in certain areas, it is worthwhile to check first and get a permit (it’s really inexpensive).
You can learn more about the requirements to obtain a fossil permit and how to apply on the Florida Museum of Natural History website. You can apply for the permit using the link. A permit is needed to collect all vertebrate fossils in Florida, excluding the collection of shark teeth.
Yes, there are many places to collect these tiny treasures, there are a few places that are almost always off-limits to rockhounding in Florida, and just about anywhere else.
Off-limits areas include:
- National Parks
- National Monuments
- National Wildlife Refuges
- Florida State Parks