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Fossil Hunting at Craigleith


My three children and I have come to Craigleith Provincial Park to find fossils, and we aren’t disappointed. We have found fossils, thousands of them. Craigleith is located on the southern

shore of Georgian Bay at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment and just north of the Blue Mountain Ski Resort. One of the chief attractions of the park, besides the sparkling turquoise waters of the bay, is the smooth brown shale that lines the shore. To a geologist, this shale is an outcrop of the lower Whitby formation. A palaeontologist would call it “upper Ordovician.” In plain speech, this means the shale is about 450 million years old. It is the oldest exposed rock along the Escarpment.


“Look at this!” shouts my daughter, holding up a small square of fractured shale upon which a thumbnail-size bronze fan is embossed. “What is it?”


“It’s a trilobite,” I answer.


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