We had the most epic day at Brownies Beach (also known as Bay Front Park) collecting fossilized shark teeth (and other fossilized bone fragments, one of which turned out to be the vertebrae of a large porpoise)! I have spent the last 7 years seeking out awesome adventure spots for my family to enjoy, and this is definitely one of my favorite finds!
First of all, the Calvert Cliffs (Brownies Beach is one of many beaches that make up the Cliffs) is FASCINATING. My kids and I really loved researching the cliffs before checking them out for ourselves, and we were all amazed to learn that fossils of everything from Megladons to camels have been discovered there (learn even more at Fossil Guy)!
The bay is shallow and calm, making it ideal for our Adventure Squad (we had 10 kids under seven years old)! I love how small the beach is, making keeping an eye on my kids while sifting for shark teeth possible.
We found lots of sharks teeth, but the fact that we had sifter trays made it a lot easier. I would highly recommend bringing some with you. One of our Adventure Moms made her own, but you could also buy them online. To copy the ones we used you need an old screen from a door or window, wooden Melissa & Doug tray, staple gun, cord and pool noodle. Use a hammer to knock out the bottom of the wooden tray. Cut a piece of screen so it can wrap up the sides. Stretch the screen and staple tightly across the bottom. Wrap the screen up the sides and staple to the top. Trim off the excess screen. I added the cord with a pool noodle so they wouldn’t get lost by our littlest fossil sharks teeth searchers. We also saw people using wire baskets from Target that worked well and for a last minute fossil adventure a metal kitchen strainer will also work.
Make sure you check the tide charts before heading over. Low tide is when the beach is exposed, which is best for searching with littles. We met a fellow fossil fanatic while sifting who said right after high tide is the best time to see newly exposed fossils. CAUTION: The cliffs fall all the time! 5 feet out from the base of the cliff is very dangerous so please keep yourselves and your little ones safe!
Admission to Brownies Beach is free until Memorial Day, after that kids 3 and up must pay ($5- $8 depending on age and military status. Click here for exact pricing). While fossil hunting was so much fun, our kids really enjoyed running around on the beach and playing in the water. There are restaurants in town about 5 minutes down the road, but you can also pack a lunch and have a picnic on the beach. There are no bathrooms or showers available, and the parking lot isn’t huge, so try to get there early!