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Florida Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Florida Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Florida is an exciting state for rockhounding, highlighted by unique specimens and a wide distribution of prospective rockhounding sites. The geology of the state is characterized by very flat coastal plains in the south and rolling hills to the north. While not particularly known for its rockhounding, Florida nevertheless contains many interesting rocks, minerals, and (most notably) fossils for rockhounds who know where to look.

The best places to rockhound in Florida are the beaches along the Gulf Coast, the banks and tributaries of the Suwannee River, mines near the Georgia border, and the many quarries spread across the state. The Gulf Coast beaches of Central Florida are especially popular rockhounding destinations.

I’ll give more comprehensive lists of rockhounding locations later in this article, but if you’re just looking for the best sites in the state I’ve compiled them for you here. Here are the top 10 rockhounding locations in Florida:

LocationRocks & Minerals
Suwannee RiverAgatized Coral Heads
St. Johns County beachesCoquina
Ballast Point, TampaAgatized coral heads, Geodes
Tampa, shores at low tideAgatized coral, Coral, Chalcedony, Enhydros, Fossilized shells
Englewood BeachFossilized coral, Shark teeth, Sponges, Manatee bones, etc.
DunedinGeodes (coral geodes)
Hillsborough RiverBrain coral, Finger coral, Agate
CottondaleChert (red fossiliferous chert)
Mines along Georgia borderSilicified wood, Fossils
Cross Florida Barge CanalFossils, Silicified coral
Best Rockhounding Sites in Florida

A wide variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones can be found in Florida including agatized coral, calcite, silicified wood, chert, flint, chalcedony, and geodes. Florida beaches are also famous for producing shark teeth, fossilized coral, and manatee bones.

State Symbols
State Mineral
State RockAgatized Coral
State GemstoneMoonstone
State FossilAgatized Coral
Florida: Source

Moonstone
Moonstone

Through quite a bit of research and cross-referencing of available literature, I have compiled this list of some prospective locations in Florida which I would recommend to people looking to do some rockhounding. These are mostly comprised of beaches, old mining prospects, streams, and historically known rock and mineral collecting sites. For additional reading, I’d highly recommend these books you can find on Amazon:

Please remember that rock collecting locations are constantly changing. Specimens may become depleted from other collectors, the location may have been built on or altered, locality information in literature may be inaccurate, and property ownership may have changed hands. Though there are many locations listed here, this list is far from exhaustive. A location’s listing here is not a guarantee of accuracy. Be safe, never go underground, and make sure to get permission from the landowner to search for and collect specimens.

If you’re planning on heading to the field, make sure you have all the gear you’ll need! To get started, you can check out my recommended gear page which contains my full reviews for every Geologist’s favorite rock hammer and the best hiking backpack I’ve ever owned.

Rockhounding Locations in Florida

NOTE: All the locations listed in these tables are clickable, and will take you to the location on Google Maps.

For ease of discussion, I’ll break the rockhounding locations up into four parts of the state. Please see the map below for reference.

Florida Panhandle Rockhounding Locations

The best places to rockhound in the Florida panhandle are the old mines along the Georgia border, quarries in Jackson County, and the stream banks and rocky exposures near Washington County. Most of these rockhounding locations contain chert, flint, and fossils, with some calcite and silicified.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Mines along FL/GA line, in sandy strataSilicified wood, Fossils
Quincy, mines to the NSilicified wood, Fossils
Jackson County, area quarriesFossils, Chert
Cottondale, area streams and creek bedsChert (red fossiliferous chert)
Washington County, area stream banks, road cuts, quarries, etc.Chert, Flint
Chipley, area limestone exposures, road cuts, etc.Calcite, Chalk, Chert, Calcite

Northern Florida Rockhounding Locations

The best place to rockhound in northern Florida is along the banks and tributaries of the Suwannee River, where fossils and agatized coral heads can be found in abundance. Other rockhounding locations include the area’s many quarries and mines, as well as the beaches of St. John’s County.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Marion County, regional limonite quarries, road cuts, & exposuresChert (gemmy chert), Fossilized ivory
Alachua County, regional limonite quarries, road cuts, & exposuresChert (gemmy chert), Fossilized ivory
Sumter County, regional limonite quarries, road cuts, & exposuresChert (gemmy chert), Fossilized ivory
Lawtey, at the Highland MineKyanite, Zircon, Ilmenite
South Jacksonville, the Skinner MineIlmenite, Rutile, Zircon
Jasper, area phosphate pitsGem coral (agatized coral)
Stephen Foster State Park, areaAgatized coral heads
Suwannee River & tributaries, in banksAgatized coral heads
Cross Florida Barge Canal, in banksFossils, Silicified coral
Suwannee River banks, in Levy, Lafayette, Gilchrist, and Suwannee CountiesSilicified coral
St. Johns County, area beaches and quarriesCoquina

Central Florida Rockhounding Locations

The best rockhounding locations in central Florida include the Gulf beaches from Ft. Myers to Crystal River, the shorelines around Tampa, the banks of the Hillsborough River, and the many quarries in the region. Rockhounds can find many specimens including agatized coral, geodes, and chalcedony.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Bradford County, area quarries, road cuts, exposures, etc.Chert, Fossilized ivory
Crystal River, in area limestone quarry seamsCalcite crystals (clear, yellow), Quartz (drusy), Chert, Fossils
Brooksville, area quarries, exposures, road cuts, etc.Calcite crystals, Geodes (echinoid geodes), Silicified coral heads (golden calcite)
Tampa, at Ballast Point and David IslandAgatized coral heads, Geodes (carnelian red)
Tampa, area shores at low tideAgatized coral, Coral, Chalcedony, Enhydros, Fossilized shells
Hillsborough River, in banks and gravelsBrain coral, Finger coral, Agate
Gulf beaches, esp. from Tarpon Springs to Ft. MyersFossilized coral, Shark teeth, Sponges, Manatee bones, etc.
Englewood BeachFossilized coral, Shark teeth, Sponges, Manatee bones, etc.
Pasco County, area W of Dade City in banks of rivers and streamsSilicified Coral
Flor-a-Mar, in dredger tailingsAgatized coral, Chalcedony
Banks of the Caledesi CausewayChalcedony (roses, deep blue, black),
Dunedin, W endGeodes (coral geodes)
Pinellas & Hillsborough Counties, Gulf beachesAgate, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Chert, Fossilized coral
Polk County, area quarries, pits, etc.Fossils, Gypsum, Petrified wood, Uranium minerals, Vivianite
Lakeland, 7 mi. NE, areaChalcedony, Silicified coral

Southern Florida Rockhounding Locations

Southern Florida isn’t well regarded for its rockhounding, but nevertheless there are some productive sites to be found. The best rockhounding locations in southern Florida include the Gulf beaches extending south from Ft. Myers, canal cuts in Key Largo, and Blowing Rocks Preserve.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Fort Myers Beach, deposits around Estero BayOcher (several varieties)
Gulf beaches, areaFossilized coral, Shark teeth, Sponges, Manatee bones, etc.
Key Largo, area canal cuts & exposuresFossilized coral heads
Miami, in quarries W of the cityLimestone (oolitic limestone)
Blowing Rocks PreserveCoquina

Where to Find Crystals in Florida

Due to Florida’s regional geology, there are few locations where high-quality crystal specimens can be found. However, some calcite and quartz crystals can be found near Crystal River and Brooksville in local quarries. Seams and vugs in limestone exposures are the best places to search for crystals.

Tip: Check out my Complete Rock Tumbling Guide to make your rocks and gemstones really shine!

Where to Find Shark Teeth in Florida

The best places to collect shark teeth in Florida are the Gulf Coast beaches between Tarpon Springs and Ft. Myers. Experts say that the most popular destinations for shark teeth collecting are Englewood beach, Casey Key, and Manasota Key just south of Venice, FL.

Tip: You can also buy shark teeth on Amazon.

Where to Find Geodes in Florida

There are several places in Florida where geodes are found. The best locations include the west side of Dunedin, Ballast Point in Tampa, and the limestone quarries around Brooksville. These geodes are usually created in coral and are sometimes lined in beautiful carnelian red.

Tip: You can also buy your very own geodes on Amazon.

Florida Rockhounding Laws & Regulations

One of the most common questions rockhounds have is whether or not they are allowed to collect at a certain location. It is the responsibility of each rockhound to obtain permission from a landowner to search and/or collect on a piece of property.

The ownership and status of land can and does change frequently, making it impossible to document accurate information on this page. However, I have compiled a list of resources here so that you may investigate and obtain permission for any locations (found here or elsewhere) for yourself.

Public Land Resources

I have written entire articles which cover the rockhounding laws and regulations for nearly every type of public land you can think of. I encourage you to check them out if you are curious about the legalities of rock and mineral collecting.

To determine what type of public land a particular location is on, I would recommend starting with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s State Land Records Map.

In the state of Florida, it is illegal to collect rocks or fossils in a state park, and as in any state, it is illegal to collect anything in a National Park. It’s also worth noting that if you find any vertebrate fossils (aside from shark teeth) it is illegal to collect them anywhere in the state without a permit. You can obtain a fossil collecting permit here.

Private Land Resources

As with most states, each county in Florida will have records of who owns each piece of property. Unfortunately for rockhounds, the law in most states prohibits them from publishing their names or contact information online. You can get the landowner’s name and address by visiting the county records office. In Florida, I would recommend starting with the County Clerk’s office.