Our friends at Localourist.com where they encourage you to “Live like a local and play like a tourist” have found their favorite spot. Here is their article:
Shark Tooth Hunting at Chippokes Plantation State Park Surry Virginia
by Localourist.com explorer and writer C Bada
Just a short fun trip on the free ride on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry (30-45 min trip to from Williamsburg VA), is the beautiful Chippokes State Park.
Locals know getting a State Park parking pass can save you lots of money over the year…but for tourists to the area park fees are not high. Day parking at Chippokes is $7. Please check Chippokes’ website for park fees and any closures before going.
This is a worthwhile family trip with little ones to adults. When you leave the parking lot and walk down to the beach – keep walking straight ahead. You can go to the left and head to a sandy beach where you can look for teeth but if you keep heading straight you will see trees that have fallen into the water and steep cliffs. That is where large shells lay and where we have found the most sharks teeth. Once at the shoreline and look for triangular black shapes. Stop where you see piles of shells and search for the teeth. See pictures below.
If you are unsure, stop by the visitors center to speak with the park ranger or someone at the gift shop to orient you.
Are there shark teeth at the State Park? Yes! You can find shark teeth along the park’s shoreline. Full disclosure….it is not always easy but you can find them and when you do, it is all worth it!
The teeth are fossilized shark’s teeth from millions of years back. You may even find a Megalodon tooth, people have found them at this state park (we found part of one).
The Park Rangers are very well informed on what you can find at this park. In fact you can find the Virginia State Fossil…Chesapecten jeffersonius – which are shells of extinct scallop (which must have been very large because the shells can sometimes be as large as a plate). These fossils are four and five million years old. Maker sure to ask the Rangers what the rules are with taking items out of the Park. Last time we were there we were allow to take sharks teeth. When you get to CPSP you can pick up one of these guides to help you with what you may find.
What should you bring? Locals know it can get soggy in the parks so bring some waterproof boots for walking the shoreline and the park itself. You might bring something to sit on too; squatting can get tiring. If you have something to sift the sand and shells through that does make it easier but really, just your hands will do.
Dress for the occasion; you will be down by the water so it can get cold. And you will need to bring your patience and a sharp eye. It is not a bad idea to bring snacks along because nothing ruins a good shark tooth hunt like a hangry child (parent or fellow hunter).
And don’t forget to wander around while you are there. It is a beautiful park and has great programming in the Spring through late Fall so check their site before arriving. Oh, and yes, you can bring your dog, too.
Now, in case you are not sure if you have found a Megalodon tooth…here is an image of one found at Westmoreland State Park (another great place to hunt for sharks teeth and about a 2 hour drive from the Burg). York River State Park in the Williamsburg area is also recognized as one of the other Virginia State Parks where you can find shark’s teeth. So put that park on your list too.
After a storm is the best. Low tide is also the best time to hunt so check the tide schedule before you head out. You can go anytime but you will have less surface area (beach). But most of all, make sure to enjoy the great outdoors!
Wondering if you can take shells, whale bones, and sharks teeth out of the park? They have a great display right when you enter the beach of what you may find at Chippokes and what you can and can not take home with you. Here is the image:
Virginia and Southern MD Fossil Hunters Facebook group is a great group to join as you find more and more sharks teeth. If you post your finds, usually someone in the group will identify your shark’s tooth and even send you info on it!
For more information and to plan your trip, visit Chippokes’ website