W.M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park

The W.M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park is a small site in northeast Mississippi where anyone can dig, search, and collect 75 million year old fossils. The park is located on Twenty Mile Creek at the intersection of U.S. Route 45 and road 7450 in Baldwyn, Mississippi.

The W.M. Browning Cretacceous Fossil Park and route 45

The stream at this site passes through rock formations that erode into a fossil bed exposing fossils of sharks, mollusks (oysters, scallops), sponges, turtles, crocodiles, mosasaurs, dinosaurs, and other creatures from the Cretaceous period 75 million years ago. This publication has information about many of the commonly found fossils at the park. The shark teeth are the most popular fossils collected from the site while many of the others are easily overlooked.

Collecting at the site is open to the public, requires no permits, and is relatively easy. It is best to go with water shoes (or waders in colder weather), a shovel, and a sifter (see video). Dig around the large concretions in the stream, sift through the debris, and collect the fossils you find.

The best areas for collecting in the park are directly below the parking lot and the highway bridges.

Shark teeth collected at the park

Other fossils collected at the park

There are more photos of this site in this album.


  1. The fossils are eroded from a five-foot-thick layer that was about 50 above the parking area during Cretaceous times. Fossils from this layer were redeposited into most of the creek beds in Alcorn, Prentiss, and Lee Counties.

    At this site, which is State property, these Late Cretaceous fossils can be found in the gravel layers that alternate with sand layers in the creek bed and in sandbars at the water's edge. There are no decent sized fossils in the banks, which are either protected right-of-way or private property or in the giant concretions, which mostly crushed shells.

    Best spots for finding fossils are where the flowing water drops the most gravel. Look where water slows down: at the shore line under the sand, downstream from the concretions, downstream from openings between concretions, and in pits left by other fossil hunters. The most efficient way to get fossils is to “loosen” the gravel with a tool. “Digging” breaks the fossils. The loose gravel can be scooped up with bottomless, hole-punched, gallon bleach bottle. Up to 3 quarts of gravel can be scooped up this way. While lifting gravel in a shovel will get you a pint—at most.

    Save everything BLACK as it is most likely phosphatized fossil material. Save anything interesting. There are fossils from the Ice Age, too.

    There are no rest facilities here. The closest are 3 miles south on Highway 45.

    Doug Fleury, Chair
    Fossil Park Project Committee


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