Menu
Log in



Ladonia Fossil Park 



FOSSIL PARK

TEMPORARY

LOCATION

Located at FM 2990 and the North Sulphur River. Starting July 8, 2024 the FM 2990 bridge over the North Sulphur River will close to traffic so please note the detour.  The park is open every day from sun up till sun down.Construction updates are available on lakeralphhall.com. 

NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING

NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES IN THE RIVER


Western Interior Seaway

Fossils can be found in many places in Texas, not just in the river but the NSR contains mostly Cretaceous finds. Learn More

HISTORY OF THE NORTH SULPHUR RIVER

In the 1920s, the natural path of the North Sulphur River was straightened and channeled to help protect farmland along the river near the City of Ladonia from periodic flooding. The channel was originally created to be 16-20 ft. wide and 10 ft. deep. Since that time, massive erosion has expanded the channel to 350 ft. wide and over 60 ft. deep–nearly ten times its original size. Original wetlands, quality habitat and multiple state highway bridges have been destroyed in the process.

Soon, Lake Ralph Hall will inhabit much of a section of the river but fossil hunting will continue in the riverbed east of the dam.





LOCAL FOOD SOURCES

When you are out and about, there are a few local places to eat. Be sure and check their Facebook page or call them for hours and menus as times and availability vary.

Ladonia

Pig And Whistle Cafe in Ladonia

East Side Grocery

J J Cut Rate


WATER LEVELS AT THE LADONIA FOSSIL PARK

Q: When is the best time to hunt for fossils in the North Sulphur River?

A: After a rain and the water has receded. Preferably when it’s not too hot as summer temperatures are very warm in the river with little breeze to cool you off. Anytime you plan on going, and it has been raining the past few days, check this flood gauge that is east of Ladonia. It needs to be below 3 ft for conditions to be good at Ladonia.

North Sulphur River Water Levels - NOAA Link

Check the observed levels in blue and the forecasted levels in purple. The numbers are actually calculated east of the river towards Cooper so when it says 2.5 ft flow (on the right side of the graph) it's lower than that at the 2990 bridge so is generally a good time to go.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Things are changing for the river and the fossil park. You can follow updates on construction at Lake Ralph Hall.

Here are a few frequently asked and answered questions. FAQs.

Q: When is the best time to hunt for fossils in the North Sulphur River?

A: After a rain and the water has receded. Preferably when it’s not too hot as summer temperatures are very warm in the river with little breeze to cool you off. Anytime you plan on going, and it has been raining the past few days, check this flood gauge that is east of Ladonia. It needs to be below 3 ft for conditions to be good at Ladonia.

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=fwd...

Check the observed levels in blue and the forecasted levels in purple. The numbers are actually calculated east of the river towards Cooper so when it says 2.5 ft flow (on the right side of the graph) it's lower than that at the 2990 bridge so is generally a good time to go.

Q: What about food, facilities and cell phone service?

A: There are no facilities and cell phone service is spotty if you get it at all. No cell phones work in the riverbed.

You can find facilities in Ladonia, though. Eastside Grocery, JJ’s and Pig And Whistle Cafe are open at various times if you want to get a bite to eat.

When you are out and about, there are a few local places to eat. Be sure and check their Facebook page or call them for hours and menus as times and availability vary.

East Side Grocery - Hwy 50 and Main St in Ladonia

JJ's on Hwy 34/FM 2990 - food/gas

Pig And Whistle Cafe in Ladonia (call to verify if open)

https://www.facebook.com/PigandWhistleCafe

Q: What should I take?

A: Take water, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks, a backpack or buckets, totes, small containers, walking stick. You could even take a small utensil to turn rocks over. Main thing is, you don’t want to be in the river without water to drink. Wear comfortable tennis shoes or mud boots if it’s muddy - also be aware of mud as it can steal your boots from you! True story!

Q: Where do we go to enter the river at the Fossil Park?

A: The new temporary Fossil Park is on FM 2990 just on the north side of the North Sulphur River.

This parking area and entrance will be available from July 9, 2021 through the next few years.

See @LakeRalphHall or go to https://lakeralphhall.com/ to follow the progress of the lake being constructed.

Q: You found something and wonder - What is this?

A: If you want someone to ID it, there are lots of experienced fossil hunters on this Facebook page, who are glad to help ID when you post a picture. Try to make it a clear, sharp image so they have a better shot at helping you ID it. Most of the experienced fossil hunters who are viewers on this page know their fossils and arrowheads!

Q: Is overnight camping allowed at the Ladonia Fossil Park on FM2990?

A: Camping is not permitted at the Ladonia Fossil Park but there are other places to stay the night. Here are a few nearby:

Bonham State Park

Cooper Lake State Park

Hidden Grove RV Park in Honey Grove

Bonham Lake (reserved through the City of Bonham)

NETT (Northeast Texas Trail) primitive camping in Ladonia and Wolfe City. https://netexastrail.org/northeast-texas-trail-nett.../

Q: Are there ATV entrances?

A: NO

It is illegal to enter the river on any motorized vehicle, so no, there are no entrances made for ATVs. Please respect the river.

TPWD: If A River Runs Through It, What Law Applies? (Frequently asked Questions: River Navigation)

Please refer to this list instead, to ride your OHV:

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/texas-off-highway-program/where-to-ride-ohvs-in-texas

Please see additional information below if you see anyone on an ATV in the river bed.

Q: What if I see someone in the river on an ATV?

A: If you see someone in the river in/on a motorized vehicle, you can contact the Sheriff’s Office to get someone to come out and take care of the situation: 903-583-2143

If you can’t make the call you can also take a picture and get the tag number for the vehicle they are driving if they trailered the ATV there.

They will get back with you when possible. Thank you.


ABOUT ASSOCIATION

All contents copyright Chamber of Commerce of Ladonia. Use of any information or images without permission is prohibited by law.

CONTACTS

COCLadonia@gmail.com
(903) 266-1473
PO Box 44, Ladonia, Texas 75449

SHARE


Copyright © 2023 Chamber of Commerce of Ladonia

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software